Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Left Lost. It's Temporary. Move On.

Democratic hand-wringing continues over last week's election results, but really, I don't understand the angst. The party ran a message-less campaign, didn't allow it's most valuable asset, the president, to defend his record, ran away from its soul  and against better GOP candidates, and was fighting ages-old historical tides that pointed to losses as far back as the spring. The polls were way off in terms of victory margins and many Democrats practiced what Republicans perfected in 2012: fiddling with the numbers until they said what they wanted them to say.

I, for one, am not surprised at the outcome, nor am I devastated by the turn of power in the Senate and the loss of more House seats. This was going to happen. The point now is to figure out how to regroup for 2016.

The Republicans made great strides in their technology and that helped them this fall. They also ran candidates who were slightly less conservative than the Tea Party folk who stuck large shoes in their mouths in 2010 and 2014. And their voters showed up at the polls. How can you beat that?

Voter turnout for this election was abysmal in many states, so the real issue for me is how to get more people to become engaged in the political process. People who vote are more likely to be active in their communities and to care more about issues. Young people came out in better numbers in 2008 and 2012, but they stayed home this year. It's up to all of us to try and get them, and other constituencies, to vote in all elections.

There is some talk about younger people not supporting Democrats as they did in the past, but mostly because these youngsters believe that the culture wars are over and the Republicans lost. That means they can vote for GOP candidates based on their free-market values. We'll see how long that lasts, especially if the Republicans continue to deny climate change and support anti-choice legislation.

As for the president, he is clearly moving at his own pace, and the climate deal with China, along with his promised executive orders on immigration are the latest signs that he's not going to back down. This clearly bothers Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, but I think they're bothered simply because Barack Obama is president. Anything he does just produces bonus disgust.

Reason enough for me to feel better.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest   

3 comments:

  1. Well said, Bob, as always!

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