The new orthodoxy for many of the Democratic Party faithful is that Hillary Clinton was denied her rightful place in history, again, by evil Bernie Sanders voters who had the temerity to support a primary candidate who wasn’t sanctioned by the DNC and then mostly voted for Hillary in the general. Bastards! These are the same tactics we got in 2008 when another unknown upstart took on the DNC’s anointed standard-bearer.
Once again, the democrats prove adept of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Their inability to think big and bold then design an effective communications strategy to deliver the requisite public support for their efforts is almost mythic in proportion now. When I first started blogging ten years ago, I wrote of a seemingly instinctive need to destroy anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep among both parties. Even a man as smart and savvy as President Obama was unable to break this unbroken chain of partisan warfare that stretches all the way back to Nixon, but really took its modern form under Newt Gingrich in response to Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Notwithstanding that both Clinton and Obama supported very conservative responses to our national ailments for every minute of their two terms. The former started the trend of “third way compromise” and Obama didn’t have the experience (maybe not even the willingness) to evolve the moribund, compromised beast he inherited. He nibbled around the edges with strategically-placed executive orders on environmental and social issues, but the broad strokes of our national malaise remained stark and grew starker. Donald Trump is simply the final symptom of the Boomers’ chronic political disease.
As much as that generation accomplished in so many other important areas, an inability to practice empathy and common sense in equal measure has led to disaster in government. Their internecine warfare filled with Pyrrhic victories when An Eye for An Eye simply leaves all of us blind and stumbling around in pursuit of the basic necessities. We’ve spent the last 242 years chasing Life, Liberty & Happiness, only to see it slip through our grasp at every turn except for the same genetically-blessed few at the top and those lucky enough to sneak into the tent.
I’m hopeful that 2018 will be notably different for a couple of reasons. Primary turnout has been basically the same except in red states with large blue cities. Democrats are fired up in a way they haven’t been in my 48-years on Earth. Even for Obama. If that enthusiasm translates to a change in who shows up to midterm elections, we could be witnessing a paradigm shift that is long overdue and couldn’t come at a more opportune time. When the Older Typical Voter is replaced by the Younger Atypical Voter, America will finally be on the mend. I predicted the event when Obama was elected and then reelected, but nothing really changed.
We’ll know soon enough if #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo and #NeverAgain are enough to move the chains. Should we go from an average midterm turnout under 40-percent to 45- or even 50-percent, we’ll see seats flipping all over this country. Most of them by way of progressive challengers to comfy incumbents in red districts. I wouldn’t smile too broadly at the prospect of retaking Congress, DNC, because we’re coming for the neoliberals next. Taxes may not be as certain as death, but the latter can’t be legislated into extinction no matter how many checks you cash from lobbyists.
It’s only a matter of time now. Both parties are running a shell game on us. Have been for decades.