What an Obama victory will teach the Democratic party
wrote on October 8:
The effect of a McCain victory on conservatism has been much discussed. The other side of that coin is the effect of an Obama victory on the Democratic Party.
We have discussed at VFR many times how poisonous it was for this country to have no public debate before going into Iraq, which resulted from the democrats having become hysterical paranoiacs who could only talk about “It’s all to make profits for Halliburton!” or “It’s all about oil!” Even though I will never vote for a Democrat, I think we need each of the two major parties to be somewhat sane, rational, and located somewhere within the broad mainstream of America.
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In the past, Democrats were taught that when they nominated a Southern white governor (Carter or Clinton) who tried to appear moderate or centrist, they had a good chance of winning. When they nominated Kerry or Dukakis (Massachusetts liberals), Humphrey or Mondale (Minnesota liberals), McGovern (very liberal/leftist), or Al Gore (tainted by Clinton scandals and no longer seeming like a Southerner after his years in D.C.), they lost. In 40 years, they have won only three presidential elections.
Many political observers have noted that the American public responds to Southern or Midwestern political figures much more than Northeast or California figures. A politician from the coasts had better seem like a Midwesterner or Southerner for some reason (accent, speaking style, whatever; e.g. Reagan). He had better appeal to the Reagan Democrats, blue collar, Catholics, etc., to build a winning vote total.
In contrast, an Obama victory will teach Democratic leaders, donors, activists, etc. the following:
1) You can nominate the most liberal member of the entire Senate and win. 2) You can nominate a black from a background that shares nothing in common with the American people and win. 3) You can nominate a member of an openly anti-white racist church and win. 4) You can nominate the Democrat who was weakest among Reagan Democrats, blue collar and Catholic ethnics, etc., and win. 5) Any black who does not come across as Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson will get so many white guilt votes that he can win. 6) You can nominate the typical leftist appeaser with no foreign policy toughness, even in the middle of a war, and win. 7) A nominee who appeals to the MoveOn.org crowd is a winner. 8) The key to winning is ACORN-style election fraud, dragging blacks to the polls, registering the homeless, etc., NOT appealing to mainstream white Americans.
I could add more to the list. Perhaps this is not decisive to anyone. But I shudder to think that the above list is actually true for American politics from now on, and not just a one-time thing due to the Dubya incompetence in Iraq and the financial crisis.
Clark Coleman’s list is interesting and I believe incorrect—and it’s the things he’s most off on that actually are the most telling in terms of what an Obama victory will mean to Democratic politics in the future.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 16, 2008 01:04 PM | Send
1) You can nominate the most liberal member of the entire Senate and win.
This is probably even empirically true, but that’s not the angle that Obama spins—if you listen to his stump speeches and look at his campaign’s materials, you’ll see someone that’s really trying to deliver a populist, semi-centrist message. The real lesson that the Democrats can take home from this is that liberalism with a veneer of populism/centrism is enough to mollify enough of the electorate to win.
2) You can nominate a black from a background that shares nothing in common with the American people and win.
Obama’s background cannot accurately be described this way. Sharing “nothing in common with the American people” is hyperbole. Conservatives (or ersatz conservatives like me) don’t benefit from characterizing Obama this way. We’re better off sticking to the facts and offering reasoned criticisms lest we get tarred with guilty associations to people like this—not that some of these observations can’t be supported, they just need to be articulated.
3) You can nominate a member of an openly anti-white racist church and win.
This is essentially true—it’s ironic that while the electorate obviously wants a “person of faith” to be elected President, it is from his attendance at this church that Obama derives most of his Christian cred.
4) You can nominate the Democrat who was weakest among Reagan Democrats, blue collar and Catholic ethnics, etc., and win.
This is for all intents true and in any fashion that it’s not, a similar comparison with Clinton should suffice.
5) Any black who does not come across as Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson will get so many white guilt votes that he can win.
Chalking this all up to “white guilt” is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps a case can be made that the post-modernist education most people receive is indirectly related to white guilt but for most, I think it’s reasonable to inject at least one degree of separation. Not much of the general public is race realist—most naively believe in the blank slate. This point is evident when we look at the political failures of those like Harold Ford Jr.—white guild is not sufficient.
6) You can nominate the typical leftist appeaser with no foreign policy toughness, even in the middle of a war, and win.
I’m not sure that this sticks to Obama—a lot has been made of Obama’s statements about meeting unconditionally with America’s enemies, yet I don’t think that there’s definitive evidence to suggest that Obama is or would be a Chamberlain-esqe appeaser.
7) A nominee who appeals to the MoveOn.org crowd is a winner.
Does this say more about the candidate, the party, or the electorate? I think we agree that most Americans aren’t what you consider conservative, and the large preponderance are liberals by my own standards.
8) The key to winning is ACORN-style election fraud, dragging blacks to the polls, registering the homeless, etc., NOT appealing to mainstream white Americans.
Election fraud has been the excuse of both mainstream parties—while it is undeniably a problem and no amount of it is acceptable, it is by no means “the key to winning.” We shouldn’t hoist the straw man of election fraud after Obama wins this election. The platform of the Republican party is simply not popular enough with contemporary Americans. Whether this is due to a deficiency in the former or the latter is what should be up for debate.