VDH has done it again. Great article yesterday about some of the reason’s the Democrats wont be in power for a very long time:
We are in unsure times amid a controversial war. Yet the American people are not swayed by the universities, the major networks, the New York Times, Hollywood, the major foundations, and NPR. All these bastions of doctrinaire liberal thinking have done their best to convince America that George W. Bush, captive to right-wing nuts and Christian fanatics, is leading the country into an abyss. In fact, a close look at a map of red/blue counties nationwide suggests that the Democrats are in deepening trouble.
Why? In a word, Democratic ideology and rhetoric have not evolved from the 1960s, although the vast majority of Americans has ? and an astute Republican leadership knows it.
The old class warfare was effective for two reasons: Americans did not have unemployment insurance, disability protection, minimum wages, social security, or health coverage. Much less were they awash in cheap material goods from China that offer the less well off the semblance of consumer parity with those far wealthier. Second, the advocates of such rights looked authentic, like they came off the docks, the union hall, the farm, or the shop, primed to battle those in pin-stripes and coiffed hair.
Today entitlement is far more complicated. Poverty is not so much absolute as relative: “I have a nice Kia, but he has a Mercedes,” or “I have a student loan to go to Stanislaus State, but her parents sent her to Yale.” Unfortunately for the Democrats, Kias and going to Stanislaus State aren’t too bad, especially compared to the alternatives in the 1950s.
A Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean, George Soros, or Al Gore looks ? no, acts ? like he either came out of a hairstylist’s salon or got off a Gulfstream. Those who show up at a Moveon.org rally and belong to ANSWER don’t seem to have spent much time in Bakersfield or Logan, but lots in Seattle and Westwood. When most Americans have the semblance of wealth ? televisions, cell phones, cars, laptops, and iPods as well as benefits on the job ? it is hard to keep saying that “children are starving.” Obesity not emaciation is the great plague of the poorer.
So the Democrats need a little more humility, a notion that the country is not so much an us/them dichotomy, but rather all of us together under siege to maintain our privileges in a tough global world ? and at least one spokesman who either didn’t go to prep school or isn’t a lawyer.
Second, there is the widening gulf between word and deed ? and Americans hate hypocrites most of all. When you meet a guy from the Chamber of Commerce or insurance association, you pretty much know that what you see is what you get: comfort with American culture and values, an upscale lifestyle that reflects his ideology and work, and no apologies for success or excuses for lack of same.
But if you listen to Dr. Dean and his class venom, it hardly seems comparable with how he lives or how he was brought up. John Kerry’s super power boat, Teresa Kerry’s numerous mansions, Arianna Huffington’s gated estate, George Soros’s jet, Ted Turner’s ranches, Sean Penn’s digs ? all this and more, whether fairly or unfairly, suggest hypocrisy and insincerity: Something like, “High taxes, government regulation, racial quotas, and more entitlements won’t hurt me since I have so much money at my own disposal anyway, but will at least make me feel good that we are transferring capital to the less fortunate.”
Worse yet, such easy largess and the cost of caring often translate into contempt for the small businessman, entrepreneur, and salesperson who is supposedly illiberal because he worries that he has less disposable income and is less secure. And when you add in cracks about Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and the “Christian Right” ? all the things the more cultured avoid ? then the architects of a supposedly populist party seem to be ignorant of their own constituencies.
When will Democrats return to power? Three of the most influential legislators in the Democrat party ? Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi ? reside in and came out of the San Francisco Bay area, which for all its undeniable beauty has created a culture still at odds with most of America. John and Teresa Kerry would have been the nation’s first billionaire presidential couple. The head of the Democratic party is a New England condescending liberal, with a vicious tongue, who ran and lost on a platform far to the left of an unsuccessful liberal.
In contrast the only two men elected president from the Democratic party in 30 years were southerners, hammed up their rural and common-man roots ? the son of a single mother in Arkansas and a peanut farmer in Plains, Georgia ? and were narrowly elected largely due to national scandals like Watergate or third-party conservative populists like Ross Perot. The aristocratic media ? CSB News, the New York Times, NPR ? is often liberal and yet talks of its degrees and pedigree; the firebrand populist bloggers, cable news pros, and talk-radio pundits are mostly conservative and survive on proven merit rather than image.
When we see Democrats speaking and living like normal folks ? expressing worry that the United States must return to basic education and values to ensure its shaky preeminence in a cutthroat world, talking of one multiracial society united by a rare exceptional culture of the West rather than a salad bowl of competing races and tribes, and apprising the world that we are principled abroad in our support of democratic nations and quite dangerous when attacked ? they will be competitive again.
Since they will not do that, they will keep losing ? no matter how much the economy worries, the war frightens, and the elite media scares the American people.