Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What Is The Democratic Party's Agenda?

The Democratic candidate in the Georgia election lost a tight contest in a Republican district.  The shattered hopes for Democrats in this election raised an interesting question.  What is the Democratic agenda?  The Democratic candidate in this election ran a bland campaign based on winning the Anti-Trump vote in the district.  Apparently, that was not enough.  The lack of an agenda made him vulnerable to nonsense attacks which argued that he was an "outsider".  Voters did not know what he was for.  This quote from the article frames the issue very well:

Still, it should be sobering to Democrats that a CBS News poll released Tuesday morning filled with devastatingly bad approval numbers for the Trump administration found that only 31 percent of voters thought a Democratic takeover of Congress would make their lives better.
If your opponents are unpopular enough, it’s certainly possible to win elections this way. But especially for the party that has a more difficult time inspiring its supporters to turn out to vote, that’s an ominous sign. Right now on health care and many other issues, Democrats suffer from a cacophony of white papers and a paucity of unity around any kind of vision or story they want to paint of what is wrong with America today and what is the better country they want to build for the future. And until they do, they’re going to struggle to mobilize supporters in the way they need to win tough races.
 Most of us understand that the Republican agenda is terrible for many who voted for Trump.  They won't benefit from the typical Republican agenda offered by Trump.  Drastic reductions in social welfare spending, in order to pay for tax cuts that benefit the super rich, is not what Trump's supporters need.  It may not be enough to rub their noses in their mistaken belief in Trump's "populist" agenda.  What is on offer from the Democratic Party?  The party has lots of good ideas but there is little agreement on the agenda.  The Republican Party has been winning for years with a bad economic agenda that is buffered by attacking the cultural agenda of the Democratic Party. 

It looks like there is a lot of room for progress in the US.  This study shows that the US is a second tier nation in its social progress measure.  There is more to social welfare than the size of our GDP.

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