#walkaway — but to where?

by

As the democratic party implodes upon itself, and as their key supporters are walking away, let me take a moment to ask those walking away where they want to walk away to, and what they want to accomplish?

For so many years, democrats have lead by angering their base. They get votes by getting people angry, and the angrier they are the more often they will vote. This strategy works in the short term, but it has long-term consequences.

For starters, when your entire party platform is anger, you attract angry people to be your spokespeople and leaders. Anger, by itself, is nothing. Anger must lead to action, and what sort of action do angry people take? If you thought angry people make competent, wise decisions, with plenty of forethought and careful consideration, you would be wrong. And so the angry people leading the angry party make a lot of mistakes.

Sometimes these mistakes have violent consequences. It’s nice to have angry people vote for you, but when they start shooting at people and start talking about civil war, then you know you’re in the danger zone. See, violence isn’t the answer, especially in a society like ours where people shoot back. Well, violence is the answer, but it’s the answer to violence. So initial violence is never the right answer.

As a lifelong democrat, ask yourself: What is it you truly want? What would the ideal government look like? What would the laws actually say? When you consider these questions in quiet contemplation, outside of the anger and bitterness of your party leaders, you might find that your answers are so very different than their answers.

Now, you might find some things that agree with conservatives. I’m more than happy to work with you to accomplish these things in our society. But I’m going to assume that you’re not finding very many or these things, if any at all.

Regardless, this is the first step to any sort of political action: What do you believe in? What do you really want? What is the end goal?

Once you’ve spelled those out, then think about what it would take to get there. Take anger out of the equation, and you see that you have a lot of convincing to do. You need an army of convincers and the convinced. You, by yourself, are really powerless to change much in terms of government. But together, with a few hundred million others, you would be an unstoppable force.

So once you’ve got your goals in mind, start forming those alliances. That’s what a political party should be: a clearinghouse of political alliances. Sure, you’re not going to agree with everything the party stands for, nor are you going to follow lock-step with the party leaders into every issue. But you are going to seek out those people within the party who agree with you, champion the causes you believe in, and who knows? Maybe one day you and your people will be the party leaders.

Can the democratic party be that party? I would say no. Not simply because I really don’t like the history of the democratic party, but because it is bankrupt and has been bought and sold too many times. No, that brand is dead and gone. It’s time to find a new name, a new group, a new set of leaders and a new brand.

These changes will take time, during which conservatives will eat your lunch and laugh about it. See, there was a political war, and the conservatives won. We get to celebrate and we get to take the spoils of war for a season. Your new party will take time to put together and to form, and to become effective. One day, if your ideas are good and you’re persuasive, you too can take the spoils of war won through political victory. That day, of course, is not today.

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