Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Message to the Democratic Party

Tennessean |  In a nutshell, Trump’s Access Hollywood tape was obscene, but almost as obscene to me was the WikiLeaks revelation that Clinton Foundation money had helped pay for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and living expenses for a decade.

More broadly, the Democratic Party has become, like Bill Maher says, a “boutique” party, a party of flashiness and glitz with its Lady Gagas and Katy Perrys and Beyonces, and with its non-stop debates on race, gender and sexuality. These issues are important, but they came at the expense of talking about bread-and-butter issues, which is why the Rust Belt voters bolted.

Liberals and the Democratic Party have some serious work to do. Among them: Don’t condescend to rural voters, the non-college-educated, and conservative Christians, and don’t paint them in a single dimension. At the very least, extend them the same courtesy you do to immigrants, Muslims, gay people. And don’t judge their groups by their worst members, the thing you – we – say about Muslims.

Further,the Democratic Party’s identity politics makes it hard for Americans to talk honestly about Islamic extremism, undocumented immigration, and many other issues.

Most of all, I mourn that the Democratic Party (and millions of Democratic voters) that prides itself on being an evidence-based party has lost its way and ignored the evidence that their candidate was deeply flawed.

In the Electoral-College-versus-popular-vote, my take is that Trump’s Electoral College victory is a more representative victory nationwide than Clinton’s popular vote victory. If we went by only popular vote tallies, in the future, populous states like California, New York and Texas may decide elections. I know this isn’t a perfect argument, though.

I’m not happy Trump won, but I’m glad Clintonism lost. The Democratic Party deserved to lose for many reasons, but especially because it had gotten annoyingly complacent about its demographic “coalition,” and smug in its convictions of its moral superiority.