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December 31, 2005

Why The Democrats Can't Gain Traction

I spoke to my friend Steve_in_HB yesterday. He's not a Republican; he's a sort of extreme libertarian with some Republican leanings. But not enough to be a Republican. He's pretty down on organized religion and the religious right agenda, for example.

When I've tried to argue politics with him, he's generally argued against me 50% of the time. Sometimes a little more. Sometimes a little less.

The point he made is that he is the Democrats' target for recruitment. Born in a Blue State, raised in a Blue State, living in a very Blue State. And yet, when he got involved in arguing with some of the liberal posters here, and checking out Fire Dog Lake blog, he was completely turned off.

He's open to the Democratic message -- whatever the hell that might be -- but they just don't seem particularly willing to engage him with anything other than insults and unhinged Get-Bush-At-All-Costs-isms.

Anyway, he wrote something to this effect on the blog today:

I'll tell you some of what I've seen. A string of people coming here not to discuss issues, but rather to hurl canned insults.

Typically the first sentence contains "fascist". There is also a generally sneering use of mock hick phrasing. Some type of allusion to gun racks and trucks. Also, some variation on the Chimpy McHitler when referring to Bush.

Frankly, there is no reason to take these people seriously. They start out with the assumption that Republicans or Conservatives are evil and stupid, not that their fellow citizens are good people who have different political beliefs. How can you have serious discussions with this type of person?

As for "unpatriotic" -

Having reservations about surveillance activities, counter-terrorism tactics, etc is not unpatriotic. However, many of the "liberal" commenters don't really want to talk about trade-offs between privacy vs security, regime change vs realpolitik, etc. They instead take glee in US setbacks, misteps, etc because it helps their political side. That is unpatriotic.

I'm not even a Republican and disagree with a lot of their positions. In other words, I'm the Dems/Libs target audience. But all I see from them is blind anger, petty politicing, sneering elitism, and, at times, a lack of patriotism.

This isn't just the Internet, either. Sure, it's worse on the Internet, and there are a lot more dummies in cyberspace than working at the DNC, but it's just all part of the Big Democratic Message, which seems, to many, to consist of little more than "Impeach Bush, Give Us Back Power, We'll Make Things Better, Though We Have No Idea How, Or Else We're Too Afraid To Share That Information With You For Fear You Won't Like Our Actual Ideas."

The Republicans got their noses bloodied in 1998 when, as many people believed, they seemed to have de-emphasized advancing actual policy debates in favor of pursuing their bete noir, Bill Clinton, with an Ahab-like intensity. Hey, I was part of that madness myself, so I can't point fingers. I do know, though, that whatever the complaints were against Bill Clinton, Republicans failed to convince a majority of the country that we had anything to offer that was better as a substantive matter.

There's little point in giving advice to your opponents -- you don't want to give them useful advice, and besides, they won't listen anyway -- but really, hatred and spite are just not selling, guys. Even at the steep discounts you're offering based on volume, volume, volume.

You don't like Chimpmaster McHalliburton, Fascist Emperor of Hegemonic Terrorism. We get that. You also despise conservatives, anyone more religious than, say, Michael Newdow, and anyone who's ever taken a shot at a deer.

You say you have trouble "getting your message out;" trust me, that part of the message has come through loud and clear. Message received, roger wilco.

Now-- can we skip down a bit to the bullet-points lower on the list?


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posted by Ace at 05:09 PM

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