Friday, November 7, 2014
Gerrymandering, fear mongering, voter suppression. Yeah, I suppose they all played a role. But what explains, really explains, the fact that in virtually all relevant matters, Americans prefer those things for which Ds stand and reject the things Rs want to do. That's not hyperbole. That's what the polls have been saying for years.
So what happened? Voter turnout, especially among Ds, was abysmal. Was that because they had no idea what was at stake, or because they knew but didn't care? Is it because, as usual, Ds couldn't hold a candle to Rs when it comes to messaging, are (thankfully) unwilling to gin up the sort of blatant and dishonest scary stuff one heard on Fox "news," right wing radio, and in practically every R ad on the airwaves? Maybe so. Which means, I guess, that people really are that gullible, fearful, small. Or, in the case of Democrats, lazy.
But why would Ds be afraid to stand proudly behind what's been accomplished in the last six years? How pathetic that they ran away from President Obama like the squirrels on our front lawn! Why focus only on the focus group message, instead of putting out there the magnitude of what's at stake? (Udall, of all people, knew. What a pathetic campaign.) Yes, they're up against a nonstop propaganda machine and some very clever (and unethical) managers on the right. So they let a clearly true message at the center of a questionably phrased point get obscured by perfectly played "outrage." They just can't help themselves.
I think, in these times, a message based on truth and reality is a loser. Because truth and reality are too hard to swallow nowadays, thanks to our own careless behavior on so many fronts. People don't want to hear it; they want something easy, something familiar; and fear and hate fill the bill quite nicely. Same with a message that we don't need to pay for anything, that tax cuts on the wealthy will make us all rich. Keeps the mind on the wrong stuff, which is exactly what's called for, when your political plans are antithetical to everything needed by everyone but the tiny group of people pulling the strings.
So it's hard to see a way back. Dems are nothing if not weak-kneed when it comes to campaigns. And given the gloominess of the reality of our twenty-first century, and given their inclination to be truthful, more at least than Rs ever will be, there's no way their message, even if they got it together, would be one our perfectly Foxified nation will accept.
I guess I could be wrong. I sure as hell hope so. Surely this time, for reasons I can't quite see, R tax cuts and deregulation will, finally, against the many lessons of their history, against what we can see in Kansas (which just reelected their governor everyone of whose previous promises failed to materialize), prove to be something other than the voodoo that they do so well.
My latest newspaper column : Win or lose, Donald Trump has done incalculable damage to America. It can’t be overstated. A disordered eg...
My latest newspaper column : In college, I played Conrad Birdie in a production of Bye Bye Birdie at a neighboring women’s school. Wash...
Here's my next newspaper column, to be published Saturday: I n the age of Trump, having only a weekly column makes it challenging t...
My next newspaper column: After failing to stop even the most conspicuously unsuitable of Trump’s nominees, Democrats clearly have ze...
My upcoming newspaper column: I heard a talk this week by Bryan Stevenson, who grew up amidst the worst sort of racism, became a Harv...