Both the Democratic and Republican parties have wedge issues in which they believe, On which they campaign and generally govern. For the Republicans, it was[is] small government. Gun ownership. States Rights. Against abortion. Strong military and religion, to name a few. Except that Republicans are only fiscally conservative when there is a Democrat in the white house.
Democrats believed in social programs. And expanded role of Government in helping to take care of those unable to take care of themselves. Over the last few election cycles, Democrats have become champions for abortion rights. Gay rights, as a [civil right] and, have signed on to illicit wars even though their voters are generally opposed to America’s militaristic forays into other countries.
Republicans have had an uncanny ability to formulate policies and stick to their talking points. They exercise discipline as they push those policies even when they are proven to be destructive. (See the Iraq war).
Republicans slavishly stick to the script when it comes to the tenets of the policies which they believe in.
One example of that has been how they purged the party of moderates as it lurched to the far right, through the process of primary challenges to establishment moderate. The right labeled moderate republicans (republicans in name only )[RINOS].
That process forced from its ranks moderates like the late Pennsylvania US Senator Arlen Specter, former Secretary of state Colin Powell, former Indiana US Senator Richard Lugar to name a few. In fact, the party’s platform has been so radicalized that the hero of the former right, Ronald Reagan, would potentially be excommunicated from what now obtains as the Republican Party.
Others like John McCain have either been sidelined or forced to adopt the toxic rabidity of the right, or risk expulsion from the party.
Gone is the party of George H W Bush or even George W Bush who was arguably more conservative than his dad, but who was a man who proposed Immigration reform, and talked about compassionate conservativism.
The Democratic party in my estimation never seemed to have a political identity, except that it isn’t the Republican party. Democrats are split into different categories, moderates, conservative, blue dogs, and of course progressives.
The Democratic party has been out-hustled by the right which has cultivated a web of grass-roots organizations which act as factories for their brand of conservatism.
The gazillion different organizations, think-tanks, and interest groups which drill home the conservative agenda to the faithful are well funded by wealthy Industrialist and Billionaires like Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Alderson, Foster Friess, Robert Mercer, The [JETS] Woody Johnson, to name a few.
The Democratic Party has no credible grass-roots organization which presses home at the local level the values of the party. The Democrats which seemingly only care about Presidential elections have completely lost the war at the local level.
Even in deep blue states like New York, Connecticut, Massachutes and others local counties and town politics are dominated by Republicans.
The lack of grass-roots organizations and organizing makes it harder for Democratic presidents to enact their agendas because Republicans control the foundations and can simply say no.
Trade Unions which were once a bulwark of support for the democratic party have seen their influence eroded through strategic assaults against them like that which was waged by Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker who has eviscerated unions in his state. Other states have enacted right to work laws which have gutted the power and strength of public sector unions, knee-capping an integral support structure of the democratic party.
The Supreme court’s most recent decision which now prevents unions from collecting dues from non-members all but removes that slush of funds unions once had to donate to Democratic candidates. Thanks to Anthony Kennedy’s parting gifts to his pal Donald Trump.
Additionally, the group which usually made up the bulk of union membership[white males] have largely moved on to the Republican Party as a matter of course.
Not that the unions have not been serving their interests but with the changing face of America along racial lines, white men are wont to support any other party other than one whose purpose is the protection of white supremacy.
On the other hand, the Democrats are old, out of ideas and confused about who they are and what the party stands for.
The rise of Barack Obama out of nowhere to win their nomination 10 years ago against the establishment neanderthals, ought to have been a warning to the party that the progressive voters who are forced to support the party wants more focused leadership.
The lesson was staring the Dems in the face yet they failed to recognize that there was a faction of the party which was unhappy with the Republican-lite approach the party was invested in.
That disquiet among younger progressive voters was squandered by the Democrats, and so Ralph Nader was able to split the vote twice, eventually costing them a President Al Gore.
Still not recognizing the systemic progressive shift of it’s younger supporters the party missed the message and so Bernie Sanders the Vermont Socialist was able to launch his leftist-populist movement which ultimately split the 2016 vote on the one hand and kept enough progressive voters at home to give rise to Trump.
For years Democrats followed the mainstream media’s narrative that younger voters were not dependable voters. I have always believed that young people are far more focused than the left gave them credit for.
Younger voters and leaders on the right are some of the most focused and dedicated to their cause, as a consequence, I believed that Democratic leadership was woefully myopic in adopting the media’s talking points about apathy on the part of young voters.
Then came a young, bright, focused, and convincing messenger,”Yes we can” and to the disbelief of the brackish Democratic establishment Barack Obama was elected with a large plurality of younger voters and an impressive coalition of interest groups, not once but twice.
The Republicans recognized the threat Obama posed through his message-deliver, coalition-building and his stated goal of transforming America into a country where all people could compete equally and live their best lives and so the embarked on a plan to obstruct whatever he proposed even policies they themselves once supported.
Though many in the house and senate owed their respective wins to Obama’s coat-tails, rather than stand steadfast with Obama they fought amongst themselves about who were blue-dog democrats as against who was not.
By 2010 Republicans recaptured control of the House, increased their number of seats in the Senate and gained a majority of governorships to boot.
In 2012 Republicans lost 7 seats in the house but retained control. By the 2014 midterms, Republicans took control of the Senate, gaining 9 seats.
With a final total of 247 seats in the House and 54 seats in the Senate, Republicans accomplished their largest majority in the Congress since1929.
The voters who giddily supported Bernie Sanders and even those peeled of by Jill Stein are still looking for that party with a difference.
Talk about showing bravado as captain of a sinking ship.
Asked whether Ocasio -Cortez represents the future of the Democratic party, Duckworth retorted shockingly, quote, “I think it is the future of the party in the Bronx where she is”.
The stark reality is that many Democrats have moved to the Republican party, if for nothing the Republicans do what they say they are going to do, we can argue about the merits afterward.
Over the last four election cycles, the Republican party has gone through a complete metamorphosis, moving decisively to the right. It is incredibly silly to suggest that voters on the left do not want their party thus clearly defined.
Today despite lurching decisively to the right Republicans control the white house and both chambers of the legislature and have 5 hard right votes on the supreme court.
Additionally, they control ore state houses, state legislatures, all the way down to dog catcher. So much for not going too far to the left.
In an opinion piece for the New York Times Thomas B. Edsall wrote Democratic losses among working-class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien;A consistent theme is that the focus on white defections from the Democratic Party masks an even more threatening trend: declining turnout among key elements of the so-called Rising American Electorate— minority, young and single voters. Turnout among African-Americans, for example, fell by 7 points, from 66.6 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent in 2016.
Even as many Trump-fatigued Americans talk of a November blue wave Donald Trump is predicting a red wave of his own.
Arguably he knows something the rest of us doesn’t. After the debacle of the polling in 2016, I dare not challenge anything Trump predict.
The Democratic party continues to be out of touch directionally as well as how it treats black women, it’s most loyal base of support.
As part of the resistance against the Trump agenda, many young females have stepped forward to mount challenges to the old guard of democratic wishy-washy republican-lite democrats. Many are African-American women, who like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have received zero funding or support from the national Democratic party.
Say what you want about the Republican Party or Donald Trump for that matter, they never ever forget that their most hardcore base of support comes from white males.
In the meantime, the (NewRepublic)reports that Democrats are losing their most loyal voters: black women. At a moment when so much attention is focused on how Democrats can win white working-class voters who backed Donald Trump, new data shows support for the party is slipping among its most reliable voters—African-American women.
I am absolutely not mad that there is a lull in support by black women for the Democratic party, despite their loyal support and fidelity to the party there is no Black-Women in the party’s leadership or what passes for leadership.
Most importantly, the party is duplicitously silent when their sons are abused and murdered by police.
It was rather offensive to hear Nancy Pelosi chastize Senior Congresswoman Maxine Walters for telling supporters to push back against Administration officials. It did not take long for Charles Schumer to jump on the anti-Maxine Walters train, after all, why not berate the black woman and cry tears about civility to Republicans while neither dinosaur had a single word of chastisement for the thinly veiled threat Trump made against Ms. Walters.
I don’t pretend to know what is going to happen in November save to say that as far as we are told the Russians are still working to meddle in America’s elections and the view of many of the nation’s intelligence chiefs is that nothing is being done to stop them.
The Supreme court has all but gutted the voting rights act for no reason except that the court had the power to do it as so it did.
Trump is packing the courts at all levels with white men, many of whom are white supremacists and the Democratic party doesn’t even have a leader.
Though imperfect, the Media is the only line of defense which stands between the American people and the right’s attempt at turning this country into a full-fledged white ethnostate. Trump did say the media is the opposition. His push-back against the fourth estate is emblematic of how one responds to an opposition party. Many Republicans are beginning to attack the media as well, Litt;e Marco Rubio being chief among them.
There is really no Democratic party of consequence to speak of, Trump and his cult of followers knows it quite well.