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Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:05 PM

Democrats need to do more...

I have posted threads like this in the past and they usually sink like a stone. It is a pretty common theme among some of us here. Frustration that Democrats aren't "doing enough". More importantly, calls from some that "Democrats need to be more like Republicans"

When I respond to those threads, I ask questions, two questions mainly, and they are typically something like:

1. What do you mean "be like Republicans"?
2. What would that look like in practice?

So basically, I am putting this out there again. For all those who are frustrated and "fed up", and think that Biden is too soft, that Schumer is handing the keys to McConnell, and that Pelosi can't manage her caucus.

WHAT do you mean by "Be like Republicans"? What are they like, that you admire and think we should copy?

WHAT specific things should we do that they do? AND What effect would that have on the country and our democracy as it is?

Like I said, I fully expect this thread to disappear soon, because whenever I ask people to define what they mean and give some practical steps for their vision of "Democrats doing more..." or "Being like Republicans..." I rarely get any responses that would spark a discussion.

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democrats need to do more... (Original post)
Caliman73 Friday OP
JustAnotherGen Friday #1
Caliman73 Friday #7
JustAnotherGen Friday #35
WA-03 Democrat Friday #2
PortTack Friday #3
Omnipresent Friday #4
Pantagruel Friday #5
Caliman73 Friday #11
StarfishSaver Friday #6
JustAnotherGen Friday #9
JustAnotherGen Friday #8
Hugh_Lebowski Friday #10
StarfishSaver Friday #14
Hugh_Lebowski Friday #17
StarfishSaver Friday #20
Caliman73 Friday #21
Hugh_Lebowski Friday #28
wellst0nev0ter Friday #24
lagomorph777 Friday #12
CrackityJones75 Friday #27
lagomorph777 Friday #29
CrackityJones75 Friday #30
lagomorph777 Friday #31
CrackityJones75 Friday #32
lagomorph777 Friday #33
Caliman73 Friday #38
CrackityJones75 Saturday #39
Caliman73 Saturday #41
ck4829 Friday #13
Pantagruel Friday #15
ck4829 Friday #19
betsuni Friday #16
wellst0nev0ter Friday #18
Caliman73 Friday #22
wellst0nev0ter Friday #23
Caliman73 Friday #37
CrackityJones75 Friday #25
mcar Friday #26
CrispyQ Friday #34
Caliman73 Friday #36
Crunchy Frog Saturday #40
Caliman73 Saturday #42

Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:14 PM

1. I'm kicking this up

Just to keep it from sinking.

Your questions are fair.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:20 PM

7. Thanks.

I am really curious and would like to explore what people are trying to communicate and what ideas they might have. I understand and feel the frustration and that leads me to think about what can be done, and how it might work, and what effect it would have.

This is not to put anyone down. I would rather have a discussion or debate about this issue than keep reading posts that pose the problem, then just sit there.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 04:37 PM

35. My concerns about voting rights

Were addressed by Merrick Garland this afternoon.


See - I think Biden smiles very sweetly then gets shit done. Now the GOP really looks like a bunch of horse's asses. You won't tell your home state Governors, AG's, and Legislatures to stand up straight and fly right?

I'll sue.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:14 PM

2. Kicked

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:17 PM

3. Thank you! Just me, but I think Dems are doing a great job and we need to support them

When I see things like they have to kill the filibuster, we gave them a trifecta now act it, makes me think a lot of ppl do not understand how our government works.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:18 PM

4. Have Patience.

The party leadership doesn’t look like it’s doing much, but meetings are ongoing as we speak. Don’t let the news cycle get to you.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:18 PM

5. The real problem

is the Senate "majority" is illusory. Dems thought a majority guaranteed big changes but a false majority can't get it done.

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Response to Pantagruel (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:25 PM

11. I actually think that "majority" does mean something and can be HUGE.

Problem is that the "majority" we have, is not strong. If we had two Senators that were on board with Schumer, rather than Synema and Manchin, we may have already made changes to the filibuster at least, if not ended it for bills specifically related to civil rights or something like that.

As it stands the Senate Majority leader gets to decide what does and does not get brought to the floor for a vote. That is real power. If you can't get all your own people on board however, then the power is as you say, illusory.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:19 PM

6. I keep asking the same questions

But, like you, never get any specifics.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:23 PM

9. I see

I give you both credit. I don't have the patience of either of you.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:22 PM

8. PS

I think maybe - just maybe . . . people understand 'civics' but not how government is SUPPOSED to function. If they have cut their teeth on politics around the Obama Campaign and subsequent Administration - they may not understand how valuable Biden, Schumer's and Pelosi's experience at negotiating is.

I *think* they are doing a hell of a job and are giving the opposition party enough rope to hang themselves.

The fact that the media is OPENLY discussing Mitch McConnel's 2009 Inauguration Night pledge that went nowhere (making Obama a one term President) in relation to what is on the docket - is positive.

Folks - we've been here before. There's a reason why Biden is taking a Go Big or Go Home approach to infrastructure.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:23 PM

10. My main things would be

1) Get closer to the RePuQ's overall level of 'unity'. Especially in terms of 'staying on message' from top to bottom (throughout their entire ecosystem, if you will) their communications are notably more effective than that of Democrats. They're also better at quickly getting in front of microphones, generally.
2) And speaking of the messaging, they're much more effective at naming and framing issues, and tend to argue more forcefully (even if a lot of times their argument is full of lies and straw-men ... we don't need to do that).
3) Democrats need something like a Fox News (except for it's actually truthful, because we have the facts on our side), and more talkers on the radio as well. Find some wealthy liberals to bankroll it if they have to, like the GOP has with Murdoch and the Mercers.
4) Although we all hate ALEC, the fact is it's not illegal ... Democrats should have a similar entity, and I don't know that we do.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:29 PM

14. These are outcomes you want to see, not action steps someone can take

"Get closer to OP overall level of 'unity'" sounds good. But what steps need to be taken to do that?

"Something like a FOX news" also sounds good. But that's not an action step, it's an outcome. And it's not going to happen in the next few months and won't have any effect on anything happening now.

As the OP said, it's easy to say Democrats need to get tougher or fight harder, etc. But very few people who are making such demands are actually coming up with any specifics.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #14)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:39 PM

17. Fair enough, but I never said I was a political strategist, I don't know the nitty-gritty

details of how to make these things happen. Some may be very difficult in practice, but not impossible I wouldn't think, given that the other side has done them.

The 'steps' would be 'actions that effectively lead to the outcomes I've specified'.

Whatever those need to be. I'm not the one to figure all that out, I'm just a programmer

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #17)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:49 PM

20. That's the point, though

People who aren't experts on this are criticizing and second-guessing and giving instructions to the people who are actually doing the work. But when asked to provide details, they say, "How can I know? I'm not an expert."

That's the point. It's easy to demand certain outcomes, when you don't know what's involved. But it's a different thing for those who actually have to do it.

I understand your frustration, but we need to cut some slack to the people who are in the ring doing the work. At least folks need to stop assuming they don't have the knowledge or heart to do what needs to be done when most people don't really understand how to do what they are demanding these folks do.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:53 PM

21. Thanks Hugh. Good points.

Now I will systematically destroy them... Just kidding. I will address some obstacles to getting to your goals though.

1. As Will Rogers famously said, "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." I think that Schumer and Pelosi have actually done a pretty good job keeping their caucuses together. I think Biden's platform is pretty comprehensive too. Democrats however, have always been a coalition with similar values, but sometimes very different goals and methods of getting there. The overarching unity of the Democratic Party is that we believe that government is and should be a force for good in people's lives, that government should step in to help when other natural systems can't get the job done. From there, we differ widely on exactly how that should be done, and sometimes those distinctions are just as fierce as what separates us from Republicans.

Republicans have no such ideology and no such problem with unity. Republicans used to be a wider tent. There were some who favored less social interference, some who even supported labor. Those days are gone. I think that all current Republicans to some degree or another, favor conservative ideology as intended. To maintain the current social, political, and economic hierarchy. Conservatives believe that there is a natural order to society and that the leaders (Wealthy, White, Christian Men) are at the top because they are simply better. Blessed. Ordained by God to lead. Their goal is to ensure that his hierarchy remains intact. If they can achieve that through electoral politics (they can't) then they will follow that. If they need to become anti-democratic, they will. Everyone currently serving, has that same idea to some extent or another. You see a few like Romney, Murkowsky, and Kinzinger not willing to cross certain lines, but those dissenters have slowly been weeded out of the party.

2. 100% agree on that one. Nothing really to say here. Decorum is something that you reserve for an adversary that argues in good faith. Republicans do not argue in good faith. Biden has been better than many on just naming the issue in plain English.

3. That is a tall order. Republicans like to decry everything not FOX or Newsmax, etc... as "liberal" media, and while there is a certain validity in that reporting of facts and information in a quasi objective manner is more akin to liberalism, as has been said, "Reality has a well known liberal bias". Their goal is only to make their very skewed viewpoint equal to the "liberal view point" which would likely be called the "shared reality". Obviously people with a much more left leaning ideology would disagree with my point too. I disagree myself, but liberalism has been the framework under which standards of fact and objectivity (as much as it can be stated) have been developed.

We do have wealthy people who support liberal ideas, however, they would be actively working against their self interests should they fund a true "liberal" media. I think that liberals are tending to favor the ideas of Social Democracy at this time. Higher taxes on wealth and the wealthy to provide for the rest of us. While many of the "liberal billionaires" have expressed solidarity with this, I think that asking them to fund a "propaganda machine" (because that is what right wing media is) actively working against their holding on to that wealth.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #21)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:19 PM

28. If you'd asked me to argue against the things I'd brought up

I would have made many of the same arguments

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

The point of about the other side believing in this hierarchy is one I make often. I honestly think their brains are wired in this way genetically and that it's one of the most primary differences between us and them.

Another, but related, example is their inherent selfishness. They only care about that which they perceive to be 'of, for, and by ... ME'. Themselves, their family, their tribe, their race, their religion, their sexual orientation, their ideology. The people 'with their beliefs' are perceived as an extension of themselves.

They then instinctively feel that whatever is OUTSIDE the 'circle of ME' ... is dangerous/enemy.

These two traits in particular mean they are better at organizing, and at sticking together to 'fight the enemy' ... which is, at it's core ... those who fight the natural hierarchy that they believe in.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:07 PM

24. Also, do NOT defund organizations like ACORN

Or else we might lose filibuster-proof supermajorities as a result.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:26 PM

12. Apply more effective pressure on Senators/Representatives who get in the way.

Infrastructure bribes, infusions of cash from billionaires, organized protests, even a bit of Kompromat if it comes down to it. We are in an emergency and need to act accordingly.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #12)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:17 PM

27. So....

So we want more money in politics? Pork Bribes? SMH…

So basically we should shed our principles, but jist to get more power and then we can go back to morals.

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #27)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:19 PM

29. When the power imbalance is so dangerous, we can't let the bad guys hold all the weapons.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #29)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:24 PM

30. You've lost the plot.

If we stop upholding democracy to try to uphold democracy just what are we doing?

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #30)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:26 PM

31. Uhhh....whut?

That's not what I said.

All the things I mentioned are standard tools of American politics, going back to the beginning. Including Kompro...uhhh...oppo research.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #31)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:29 PM

32. Bribes Good. Yeah?

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #32)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:41 PM

33. Sweeteners in specific districts or states are standard practice.

Not really a great thing, but, for example, there would have been no Apollo program if the love hadn't been spread around to every possible key district.

And billionaire bribery has been legalized by SCROTUS. I'm not exactly happy about it, but we can either lay down our weapons and die, or we can sic our billionaires against theirs.

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #27)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 07:08 PM

38. Sometimes, imprecise language can damage a good message.

Democrats need to figure out a way to show that government works. Infrastructure projects put people to work with well paying jobs. They also benefit cities, counties, and states. If we put out legislation that makes people's lives better, then people may come back and vote.

Look at how the disgusting Republicans, who voted against the last Stimulus were out there touting the benefits of the Stimulus THEY voted against. That shit is just wrong. WE Democrats actually care about helping the average person. Republicans care about "looking like" they want to help. Bribe was not a good word to use. It isn't bribing, it is actually doing what government should do. Provide for the Commons and help improve prosperity. If that gets us more votes, then bonus.

I personally do not want more money in politics. I don't want any money in politics period. I think Buckley v Valeo was one of the worst decisions. Money is not speech. Money is a medium of transfer that can purchase access to platforms. That creates inherent inequality of both opportunity AND outcome. In the current situation though, we cannot allow Republicans to dominate narratives because they have money. We do have some wealthy people who share values and it would be good if they could step up and help.

Democrats do not want Power. Republicans want Power. Democrats want the ability to actually govern, fairly, through the consent of the governed. That is a core value that we possess, that Republicans do not. It is what makes us good at governing but makes us not so good at getting the chance to govern.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #38)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 12:02 AM

39. Sure and I agree with that.

Sure and I agree with that, but when we start throwing around words like “Bribe” and “Kompramat” I think we are getting a little too close to the places where we shouldn’t go. Using an infrastructure bill to deliver jobs to a state is one thing. A bribe is something altogether different in my opinion. And the problem is that once we start getting comfortable with those words then things quickly can get out of hand.

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #39)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 12:48 PM

41. No doubt.

Kind of the whole point of my thread. I want to know what people mean when they say that we need to be more like the GOP or fight like the GOP.

The GOP cheats. They don't care if they destroy democracy because they have never really believed in it. If we use any of their tactics, then like you said, "what are we even fighting for?"

I actually don't see too much wrong with what are called "Pork Barrel" projects. If a vote is needed to pass a significant bill that will help millions, giving special funding to a particular district is fine, with the obvious caveat that the project does not directly benefit the Rep, or the Rep's friends, family or cronies. The Rep can say, "look, I brought funding for that community center I promised you all".

Bribes are definitely wrong. Kompromat is also wrong but doing research on and exposing a candidate's scandals, hypocrisy, horrible policies and views is part of politics. Kompromat is wrong because it has typically been used to blackmail or manipulate people. We should however, know if a candidate is or was a member of a Neo-Nazi group.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:26 PM

13. I think the question needs to be asked: What are YOU doing in the "need to do more"?

And that's for everybody who reads this.

I have a spam honeypot email for hard-right groups.

I like pointing out contradictions and creating juxtapositions across social media.

I'm deplatforming hate.

I'm flagging job ads that are just outright pathetic - The minimum wage jobs that are physically demanding but where the employees are probably treated like trash - The kind of toxic "employers" that will benefit from the Republican cuts to unemployment payments. I'm watching them get removed from listings.

And more.

Voting's cool - But there's only so many times you get to do that every year

Donating's good - But not all of us have money

The "buckle up and enjoy the show" spectator politics is DEAD.

Democrats do need to do more, and last time I checked we should all be Democrats on Democratic Underground, so the statement should apply to us as well.

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #13)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:32 PM

15. "spam honeypot email for hard-right groups."

More details please??

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Response to Pantagruel (Reply #15)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:43 PM

19. Oh certainly, easy to create, you'll want to maintain it though

Get a throwaway email address, I've got them on the major providers, Yahoo and Hotmail for example.

Start subscribing, I've got subscriptions to the hate groups as defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center, I google groups that throw fits about as many groups they don't like ("the libs", "Muslims", "gays"... Google can help you out here), I've also used fake news/parody news stories and going off that, I look for the sites that respond to those fake news stories with "Can you believe what the libs are doing now?" or some other way of sending a signal that they think the fake news story is genuine.

It's easy to get, but you want to maintain it, because it can be unspammed.

I had a hard-right group send an email stating Yahoo had blocked their services, I have it printed out. And I haven't seen an email from ACT for America for quite a while either.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:33 PM

16. Longing for angry populist yelling. The illusion that angry yelling and flailing arms

are the real "fighting for" and "taking on."

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 02:42 PM

18. Be like the goops by NOT playing nice all the time

Democrats last election cycle aired six times more positive ads than the goops.

And this is during an economic collapse and an out of control pandemic.

What kind of dog-brained moron does that?

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #18)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:01 PM

22. Positive and negative ads.

Positive adds are geared toward engaging OUR side, and any fence sitters to spur them to participate.

Negative ads are geared to depressing THEIR side, to sit it out.

The positive adds seemed to have worked to an extent as we got 81 million people to vote.

Their side is always aroused. Always being spurred on by fear, so targeting them with negative adds to keep them home is a hard sell. It did seem to work in Georgia.

I agree that Democrats need to use more forceful language in discussing what the GOP is doing. Sometimes Decorum gets in the way of things. However, there is a lot of research that shows that constantly talking negatively about your adversaries, can have a depressive effect on your own people.

We are built a little differently than our conservative brethren. They tend to gravitate toward authority and react out of fear and anger. Liberals like to be inspired with ideas. We need to take that into account with our messaging.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #22)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:06 PM

23. The goops were better than the Dems at turning out their voters

In one of three very competitive Iowa races, a final poll predicted that Democrats who were not frequent voters would make up 5 percent of the total electorate, while similarly low-turnout Republicans would account for just 4 percent of voters.

In reality, 5.9 percent of voters were low-propensity Republicans and just 4.7 percent were infrequent Democratic voters, providing the narrow margin of victory for the GOP candidate.

Before a narrow loss in South Florida, the final Democratic poll predicted a six-point victory based on a voter makeup that included 38 percent who were registered Democrats and 33 percent Republicans, when in reality it was just 34 percent Democrats and 36 percent Republicans.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democrats-2020-autopsy-midterms/2021/05/18/6114af82-b80d-11eb-a5fe-bb49dc89a248_story.html

And the goops did that by demonizing the other side.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #23)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 06:53 PM

37. Like I said, We are motivated by different things.

Democratic votes rely on inspirational narratives and practical solutions to problems. If the economy is pretty good and things are stable, and we have a good message about how to make things even better, then our people are motivated.

Republicans are motivated by fear and grievance. Republicans break government, say government doesn't work, then blame it on Black people, Gay People, Immigrants, and the proponents of government = Democrats. They say, "those people are ruining your lives" while the obvious people are fault are the ones who hoard the wealth and block the policies that actually work. That is why us running negative ads to repress the Republican vote, doesn't really work.

Our psychology works against us in some ways.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:10 PM

25. Thank you for this post

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:16 PM

26. I keep asking these questions, too

with a request to be specific.

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:45 PM

34. We could challenge the 40 years of right wing memes that are false or misleading.

We could start with their claim to be conservative, because today's Republican Party is far from conservative. Or their claims that they are the party of personal responsibility. Or the party of family. Or the party of God. Or the party of fiscal responsibility. Or the party of rule of law.

Capture the narrative, frame the debate, call it what you want, but we need a marketing department, stat! I don't think we've worked nearly hard enough to show rural America just how many beneficial things government has provided in their lives came from the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party. They are marketing masters & we are crickets.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #34)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 06:45 PM

36. They are actually conservative.

What they claim as their planks and values, as you said,
personal responsibility. Or the party of family. Or the party of God. Or the party of fiscal responsibility. Or the party of rule of law.
is just window dressing.

At the core of conservative ideology is the belief in a natural hierarchy within society that is based, according to those conservatives, on "the best being in charge". The best according to conservatives are Wealthy, White, Christian (Protestant typically), Men. That is their ideology. It is the same ideology that was used to support Monarchy in the 17th and 18th Centuries. As Monarchy faded as a viable system of government, the proponents of conservative ideology had to find a new class or "betters" to lead. They focused on the Wealthy, because the wealthy were typically, already the aristocracy and the merchants who controlled most of the economy. Obviously they are the most "gifted".

Rules and laws, according to conservatives, do not apply to those in power. Those in power, by there wealth, show that they are able to transcend the need for behavior control.

That said, you are entirely correct about Democrats needing to be MUCH better at framing the narrative. The slight problem we face is that most of the media is controlled by the very Wealthy people we are hoping to depose as the dominant members of society. They control much of the access to "the masses".

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Response to Caliman73 (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 02:37 AM

40. Ruthless and single minded. Brazen. Use whatever power they have to do whatever they can

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Response to Crunchy Frog (Reply #40)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 01:23 PM

42. Okay. Again, what do you mean?

Ruthless (from Dictionary.com) : having or showing no pity or compassion for others.

What would that look like? What would a "ruthless" Democratic politician do to the Republicans? Examples please.

Single minded

Focused on what, exactly? What would the Democrats need to be "single minded about? To what limit?

Brazen (from Dictionary.com) : bold and without shame.

So, I agree about the "bold" but the shamelessness I think will take us to very dark places. Republicans are shameless, which is why they cheat. What specifically would shamelessness help us to accomplish?

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