Over at that other site, I read too many posts from frustrated, angry Democrats. Hey, I get it. I am frustrated and angry with my Party too—frustrated with Obama too. But what worries me tremendously is the repeated vow, “I am never going to vote for a Democrat again!” I don’t know that if push comes to shove they will really stay home or vote Third Party, but there is a good chance many will. I’ve considered it myself during my voting life.
What these people are trying to do is to send a message, and voting (or not) is the way they feel they can best do that. The message they (and I) want to send is: Stop compromising with Republicans! Behave like true Democrats! Stop moving to the Right! But here’s the deal—we send NO message by staying home. Sure, a few pundits will interpret it as a dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party, but that is really no message at all. It could easily be misinterpreted that voters feel we are moving too far left. We want them to understand clearly why we are dissatisfied.
In my mind, one way to do that is to vote for candidates who stand for the values we want to see reflected in legislation. Those candidates might be Democrats, Greens, Socialists or another iteration. Most likely, for those unhappy with the Dems, it will be a Third Party candidate. But we know where that can lead—2000 and The Shrub. So what to do? I’ve written, e-mailed, and called my representatives so many times, I imagine their staff will expect me to show up for Christmas dinner this year. I believe it may have made a slight impact, but who knows?
When you get right down to it, I am a Democrat, in agreement with what the Democratic Party stands for:
- alignment with the plight of minorities and the poor.
- that government has an obligation to provide essential services for citizens —Social Security, welfare, unemployment insurance and food stamps, e.g.
- universal health care, Medicaid and Medicare.
- a woman’s right to choose
So I don’t need a Third Party as long as my Party stays true to its platform. And that’s the problem; too many haven’t. How do we make them?
We may need to look to the Reptilians to learn how to do that. Let’s face it: For a variety of reasons they’ve been successful at keeping their representatives firmly to the Right. I both hate them and envy them. Many conservatives (and I mean the regular type- not the crazies) stayed home in 2008 after George W. to our advantage, but many of them did not go gently into that good night. Nope. They’ve reared their racist, ignorant heads in the Teabagging Movement. Led by Fox, ClearChannel , Churches, and dozens of well-funded Reich-wing groups they have taken to the streets. Damn,they are organized! And what do we on the Left have? Not as much, but we have Rachel, Keith and Ed. We have MoveOn, and several really wonderful activists centered on health care reform. And I’m kinda wincing as I write this, but we maybe we need our version of Sarah Palin. (Ew.)
What is wrong with us?! Are we too reasonable? Are we too lazy? Are we too—well, too basically content? I know we are not by nature as scared of government as they are, but I know we are just as angry, aren’t we? Maybe their message is just much simpler and easier to rally around—No More Government! My rallying cry would be—No More Corporate Control of Government and More Social Safety Nets! It just doesn’t have the same ring.
And while we on the Left and in the Center ridicule the efforts of Sarah, Rush and Glenn to purge their Party–not just because of their ideology, but because we know they can never win a general election with so narrow a Party– what we are advocating is actually the same thing. They want a more “pure” more right-wing Party and we want a more pure Democratic Party. We want to banish the Blue Dogs and the DNC. At least, I do.
Whenever I read the frightening number of posts from over yonder from frustrated, angry Dems, I want to tell them all this, but of course I can’t. Perhaps we can only point out how much worse the Reptilians are and what they would do if they got another chance. To which I get replies like, “I am tired of choosing between the lesser of two evils!” All I can tell them is that this is a false choice, that there are the evil Reptilians and the not-so-evil Democrats. But it’s hard to motivate people to vote for the not-so-bad.
(I am sorry this is so long. Is there a word length I should stick to? And thank you guys so much for providing this forum!!!)