Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Left of Center Greeting Cards

Political Mumbo Jumble

Left of Center Greeting Cards

When I finally get around to sending out holiday cards (something that doesn't usually happen until after Christmas), I think I'll either have to use these, or blatantly copy them and make my own. After all, the election is less than a year away!

Rich get Richer

This is what trickle-down economics buys you: the top one percent of income earners in the US have seen a 201% increase in income since 1979. You do realize that is more than double? I don't think Americans are really all that interested in economic equality, but it sure would be nice if some of us could get a leg up.

Dem's can't seem to capitalize on Bush's misfortune

    Why? With Iraq unraveling and Bush on the ropes, why can't the Democrats come together and deliver a knockout punch? There are too many Democrats running for president and not enough serving in Congress. The Democrats in the presidential race can't get their messages out, and the Democrats in Congress can't do anything at all. While the media is game for "gotcha" stories now -- the press ate up the spat over Howard Dean's Confederate flag comment, and the tempest in a teapot over a leaked memo from a Democratic staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee -- little play is given to the substance of the candidates' views. And the public isn't listening anyway.

What to do about that? According to this book I just started, The Radical Center, both political parties have failed become more inclusive. In the case of Democrats, the majority of Americans view their strategies and policies as beholden to a few disparate minority groups and unions. I don't see these political "factions" as unrelated to the rest of the country, but I realize that most Americans are concerned primarily by their wallets and their own backyards, often failing to ascertain the farther-reaching implications of policies until it's too late. Since that's the political reality in this country, the Dems need to change their strategy and message. Instead of targeting the select groups that have so much influence over the primary outcomes (really, should NH and IA have so much control over who gets nominated?), we need a broader message that appeals to the majority of Americans, not small, well-organized minority factions.

This is not meant to belittle the efforts of interest groups--I think they are an important part of a pluralist system--but to the detriment of all else? Not cool.

I definitely see wiggle room in the platform, places where Democrats can co-opt the Republican message, and retake control of traditionally Democratic issues. One such place where co-option is an option is the environment. I know Americans have the capacity to understand complicated policy differentiations. (I am using the term "complicated" lightly.) It is a matter of message and strategy and unification. All things I feel are lacking in the party right now.

I could say more, but I have to go to work now. Tell me about your ideas?

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