I’ve listening for months now to all the various pundits/partisans/prophets and fools giving their weighty opinions about why the Democrats lost the 2016 election.
It’s all self-deluded bullshit.
There are two main reasons the Democrats lost and until they fix those reasons they will continue to lose.
1st: They didn’t do the work.
2nd: They forgot who their base was, and is.
When I (or any rational observer) look out over the last forty years in the political arena, there is a glaring discrepancy. On the one side you have the Republicans: marching in lockstep down their road to hell, completely governed by their party leaders and speaking from an approved script. They have assiduously gathered together to overwhelm school board meetings, attack town councils, raise candidates for state legislatures – over and over and over again – until they win and win and win again. Where has there been opposition? Where are the Democratic candidates supported by ground pounding cadres ceaselessly turning out the vote? Answer: [crickets]
And we’re surprised to find out that the south and the middle of the country are solidly Republican?
Let’s face it: the Democrats blew it simply by being disorganized and feckless. They blew it in 1968 when they let Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman run wild in the streets of Chicago. Anyone who saw that had an instant reaction; “There’s no way I want those morons in charge of the country.” And so we got Nixon. The original Mad King.
Notice that every so-called Democratic candidate thereafter was deemed an irrelevant sideshow.
And they were because the Democrats never woke up to the fact that they had to DO THE WORK of building a base that was respected and feared in the political world, they needed to fight for every school board seat, every town council member, every state legislator in order to prevent what happened: Republican control of the state houses and therefor control of drawing the congressional district maps after the census, i.e., gerrymandering, which gave them control of the House.
Yes, the Republicans were aided by very smart people who crafted and plotted this insurrection and developed the propaganda and misinformation that guided the victory they achieved. It’s all true but it’s irrelevant The Republicans only won because the Democrats didn’t enter the field.
The crux of the situation is that the Republicans knew they were in a war and the Democrats never figured it out… stupid.
Stupid, which is also an apt word for the second reason the Democrats lost (and will continue to lose until they figure it out).
Who are (and were) the Democratic base?
Well nobody really knows do they? Let’s see: there are the Blacks and the Hispanics and the Women and the Indians and the LGBTQ people and the… whatever…
Notice anything odd about this list? No? Well I’ll tell you this one time: there are no white people. Sounds racist doesn’t it? It does sound racist until you go back and look at the history of the Democrats: from its founding the bedrock of the Democratic party has always been the unions: which have been almost exclusively poor blue collar white folks. The Democratic party’s bulwark has been the cadres of union members who could be reliably turned out for rallies, demonstrations… and voting.
But not after Chicago 1968, then the party was more and more given over to interest groups and not to party unity. In part the Democrats were victims: the Mafia had so completely taken over the unions that no self-respecting pol wanted anything to do with them fearing, rightly, that they would soon be compromised and used as tools for mob enrichment.
Nevertheless, unions continued to dwindle and the Democrats continued to suffer the consequences.
So the Democratic party became, more and more, a collection of special interest groups. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but special interest groups in general have an agenda: the welfare and benefit of their particular group. There’s nothing in their lexicon about ‘cooperation’. In the old days, the democrats could fall back on the unions to be the organizing drivers for the party and they would drag all the disparate factions along for the ride but that doesn’t work anymore.
This time around we had the so-called ‘progressives’ (yet another faction) who, imo, knew they would lose and just did as much damage as they could (turned out to be quite a bit). And of course there was the hilariously boneheaded Black Lives Matter who apparently could only think of one target for their ire and showed up to hijack one of their own candidate’s rallies, instead of confronting a Republican rally - I guess that was too hard.
So every little splinter group had their own agenda and none of them was prepared to even listen to any of the others… the results were predictable.
If the Democrats ever want to have political power again they need to remedy the two areas mentioned above. It won’t be quick and it won’t be easy, indeed. It may already be too late. But going along the way they doing now will only lead to more losing.