Democrats should to learn a lesson from this year’s election campaigns: Democrats should be Democrats. Democrats should not try to run away from the things Democrats stand for. It doesn’t work.
Supporting Republicans ideas is not going to win you Republican votes. It won’t stop Republicans from calling you a socialist, communist, extremist, or whatever. It is not going to give you any cover at all when the public gets their chance to weigh in. If you do things the public doesn’t like, it is going to come back and bite you. Unless you are campaigning for the job of post-defeat lobbyist, embracing Republican ideas so you can call yourself a “moderate” or a “centrist” buys you nothing.
Exhibit A: the “centrist” Simpson-Bowles deficit-cutting plan. Right now Republicans are running campaign ads attacking Democrats who supported the Simpson-Bowles deficit-cutting plan, because it proposed “entitlement reform” that would cut Social Security and Medicare benefits and raise the retirement age.
Here is an ad Republicans are running in North Carolina. “(Sen. Kay) Hagan is a big believer in a controversial plan that raises the retirement age…,” referring to the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan:
Here is a Republican ad running in Georgia, attacking Democratic Rep. John Barrow for supporting Simpson-Bowles:
Democrats should never forget that Republicans have been running attack ad after attack ad like these, going after Democrats who supported deficit “entitlement reform.”
Exhibit B: In Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor voted against background checks for people buying guns at gun shows. How did that work out? Answer: The National Rifle Association (NRA) is spending $1.3 million to defeat Pryor in Arkansas.
Lesson: Democrats Should Be Democrats, Not Try To Be Republicans
This election should provide a lesson to Democrats, forever, to remain Democrats and not fall for D.C. elite calls to be “moderates” by supporting things like cutting entitlements, or otherwise acting like Republicans. If you think you are going to be praised and rewarded for following the conservative/corporate line, it ain’t gonna happen.
Democrats are for things like:
- Social Security.
- Helping the poor.
- Higher minimum wages.
- Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fund the fruits of democracy.
- Good and well-funded public schools and colleges.
- Maintaining and modernizing the country’s infrastructure.
- Protecting the environment.
- Regulating giant corporations and Wall Street (that includes airlines and telecommunications).
- Helping people join unions.
Democrats are against things like:
- “Fast tracking” trade deals that send jobs out of the country.
- Letting corporations get away with ripping people off and deliver bad or harmful or fraudulent products.
- Letting corporations use their size and power to keep other companies from innovating and competing.
- Letting corporations pollute the environment and harm workers.
P.S. In 2010 Democrats were blasted by hundreds of millions of dollars of ads accusing them of “cutting Medicare,” and it was these ads that helped Republicans take the House. Even though this was about Obamacare, and was a just a lie, it should have been a warning that things that make people’s lives better, like Medicare and Social Security, are popular.
Visit PopulistMajority.org to learn about other things that are popular with the majority of Americans.