How Stupid Has the Democratic Party Become?

Republicans haven’t taken over red states; Democrats have lost them by not running as real Democrats.

That’s my big takeaway from Alec MacGillis’ fascinating look into the biggest political mystery of our time: why poor white people in red states are not bothering to turn out to vote, leaving the field to Republicans elected by more affluent whites in those states.

There a lot of theories as to why this happens.

One of the most famous comes from Thomas Frank, who argued in his book What’s The Matter With Kansas? that poor white people vote Republican because Republicans have duped them into caring about social issues like abortion, guns, and gay marriage.

There is a lot to be said for that line of analysis, but Alec MacGillis, has a different theory.

As he explains in a new piece for ProPublica and The New York Times, the problem isn’t that poor white people who should vote Democrat vote Republican.

No, the problem is that “the people who most rely on the safety-net programs secured by Democrats are, by and large… not voting, period.”

To put it in less wonky terms, Democrats are losing out to Republicans in what have become red states because the people who should vote for Democrats aren’t voting whatsoever, full-stop.

A great example of this, according to MacGillis, is Pike County, Kentucky, which is both a place where 18 percent of households get some sort of government assistance and a place where Kentucky governor-elect and Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin just won 55 percent of the vote.

All logic suggests that Pike County should vote Democratic, and it used to do so pretty much every election, “but 30 percent fewer people voted in the county this month than did in 2003 --11,223 voters in a county of 63,000, far below the county’s tally of food-stamp recipients, which was more than 17,000 in 2012.”

If all of Pike County’s 17,000 food stamp recipients had come out to vote, we could be talking about how that county was a democratic stronghold in a sea of red.

But that didn’t happen, and now we’re left with the same old problem of a county -- and a state, for that matter -- that should go Democratic but instead falls to Republicans.

The situation is pretty similar in other former Democratic shoe-in-states like West Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee, where pretty much no one comes out to vote, except white middle- and upper-class Republicans.

Not surprisingly, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee are also states that have now flipped red after years of going blue, again, because Democrats are not showing up to vote.

All this, of course, raises the question: why are poor people, especially poor white people in red states, not showing up to vote?

This is obviously a complex question with a complex answer, but to me, at least, there’s one really big reason why.

It’s because with the exception of a few people like Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Al Franken, Democrats don’t run as Democrats any more.

Ever since the “centrist” (aka corporatist) "New Democrats" staged their coup back in the late 1980s and recruited Governor Bill Clinton, most Democrats have run for office and governed as Republicans-lite.

Instead of pushing progressive values and populist economics, they call for welfare “reform,” talk about how cutting Social Security might be a good idea, and support awful trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP.

Oh, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they also take in millions of dollars in donations from the fat cats on Wall Street, big Pharma, and the so-called "Defense" industry.

Aside from just adopting Republican talking points, you really couldn’t ask for a better way to alienate the poor -- people who already every reason to be alienated from the political process.

The take-way here?

Easy: It’s time for Democrats to embrace and run on their party’s core values, the kind of values represented by people like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Bernie Sanders, who up until recently didn't even call himself a Democrat!

That’s the only way Democrats can hope to win elections in red states again.

It really is that simple, because, as Harry Truman once said, “Given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican; the voters will pick the Republican every time!”

It's time for the Democratic Party to stop promoting Democrats who act like Republicans, and return to the progressive roots and values laid out and championed by truly progressive presidents like FDR.

Comments

BarbieRedSox's picture
BarbieRedSox 3 years 34 weeks ago
#1

The lack of real Democrats is why Bernie is so popular. The New Democrats don't speak to the base the way Bernie does. Bernie is an FDR Democrat, which was democratic socialism before it was called that. We need Bernie in the catbird's seat this election to bring those poor folks back on board.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 3 years 34 weeks ago
#2

Since the Clinton administration, it is Democrats who have taken the lead in the "war on the poor," the elderly poor, and the disabled. As our attention began turning to the 2016 elections, Democrats started 2015 with agreeing to virtually end food stamps to these people (cutting monthly allotments from roughly $115 to $15). And this is just the most recent cut made by Dems in Congress during this administration. Liberals have consistently responded to our poverty crisis by waving the banner of middle class elitism.

Giving Americans the benefit of the doubt, maybe the Reagan era's "dumbing down of America" was even more successful than we thought. This appears to be the case among Democrats and liberals, as they seem completely unaware of the reality that not everyone can work (health, etc.) , and there aren't jobs for all. When it comes to targeting the poor, Democrats just can't resist. What we've seen in recent decades is that Democrats present a greater risk to the survival of the poor (working poor, or far worse off) than Republicans.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 3 years 34 weeks ago
#3

On FDR, did you know that what came to be called AFDC (the primary welfare program) was first included in FDR's Social Security Act -- the New Deal? The (neoliberal) Clinton Democrats got rid of that. C,linton also had time to begin similarly "reforming" Social Security directly, targeting the disabled. Consider the liberal response (or lack thereof) to this.

On Sen. Sanders, he used to speak out powerfully for the poor, and the need for poverty relief programs. Certainly, socialists are keenly aware of the fact that our poverty crisis IS the proof of our deregilated capitalism. Unfortunately, this is not a trendy topic among (media) liberals, so he dumped the poor to appeal to middle class campaign donors. Pragmatic, but he lost a huge number of votes in the process.

angryspittle's picture
angryspittle 3 years 34 weeks ago
#4

Joe Bageant's book Deer Hunting with Jesus explains it pretty well. Too damn bad he passed away several years ago.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 34 weeks ago
#5

Not too sure here!

What and who Is Bernie appealing to?

Billy Turner's picture
Billy Turner 3 years 34 weeks ago
#6

I live in Oklahoma. The Democratic candidates in this state are republicans. This is mostly true everywhere. The only difference in the two parties is one enjoys human suffering. The other just don't care. If Bernie doesn't win a lot of peoples hopes are gonna be crushed. 2010 turnout will look good compared to what 2016 will look like.

RFord's picture
RFord 3 years 34 weeks ago
#7

Real democrats don't want republican-like-democrats such as Mrs. Clinton but most democrats don't have a choice as to who is chosen to be the democratic candidate for president but will vote for her if she is the only democratic choice. The real task is getting democrats to care enough to get out and vote in local and state elections. The republican majorities are being created by hate speech and false stories stirring up people who believe whatever they hear and see on TV (especially the FOX news channel), radio, and the internet. I've been in favor of re-instating The Fairness Doctrine and The Equal Time Rule. I've been getting lots of crazy conservative Facebook posts from my friends here in the deep south area of southwest Tennessee and north Mississippi as may be expected. I call them propaganda if they fit the definition and they all do. I counter by sharing articles from Politicus but at least I'm honest and up front because I say "here's some left wing propaganda for you". After all that's what they will call it anyway and if any of my conservative friends read it, at least I'm not just preaching to the choir. That's one thing we can all do. I don't like using propaganda but it's really counter propaganda. We now have to change the mindset of millions of brainwashed people. Enlightenment of those that don't want to be enlightened is a very difficult task.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 34 weeks ago
#8

In any event I would say that Bernie is anti establishment and against corporatism and therefore fascism

How long can he fight and survive against the right wing machine???

It is wonderful to believe he could defeat these damned to hell wealth, worth, capital, owner psychopaths

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 34 weeks ago
#9

Boy!

Are you ever right!!!

Outcome could be bloody scary mate!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 34 weeks ago
#10

Comment above #9 was answer to RFord #7 above

Sorry about my misunderstanding

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 3 years 34 weeks ago
#11

For sure the new middle is far to the right thanks to the Fascist Party controlling the message, and thus always in possession of the ball so to speak, and on offense. The Democrats are hopelessly on defense with little will to change. Just watch Wasserman Shultz and other Dems on any Sunday show going up against representatives of the Fascists and you'll see what I mean.....zero fight, nada, zilch.

Anthony Weiner should hold assertiveness seminars for these mild mannered souls. So yes, maybe Democratic Party whimpiness creates voter apathy because being on defense all the time sends the message that the party is filled with career politicians who could care less about fighting for the best interests of those who would otherwise get excited about voting.

My solution: compulsory voting and post fact filled signage at all polling places with brief summaries of the congressional voting record of both major parties. Make it mandatory for citizens to review the reality of what is happening in Washington before they vote. Facts for example like this one, the Democrats proposed to get rid of tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas, and the Republicans filibustered it. If our politicians disagree with this, then we have first hand evidence of shady and corrupt representation, a government that needs to be overthrown by "we the people," as in a Bernie Sanders political revolution.

Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 3 years 34 weeks ago
#12

It's hard for Bernie Sanders to appeal to anyone that was born after 1960, simply because those people never saw what changed after the fifties and sixties. Actually, the mid seventies is when things started going awry. By that time the Neo-cons had completed their infiltration of the Republican party after leaving the Democratic party.

They are the new Confederacy. They are the new slave drivers of the modern age. They have destroyed the intellect of the middle class and the poor by demolishing education, jobs and our industry.

All of this can only add up to another civil war in my opinion. Things will continue getting worse until their is nothing left but the few rich and the many poor. So here we go again, history will repeat itself.

VW Steve's picture
VW Steve 3 years 34 weeks ago
#13

The Whigs were undermined by slaveowners and states' rights advocates who opposed the pro-Union, pro-industrial-economy, and infrastructural policies of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, and they rarely had any majorities in Congress. People stopped voting for the Whigs because it was unclear just what they stood for. The Whig Party died and was replaced by the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln. This is what is going to happen to today's Democrats; they will die and be replaced by a new progressive party. The Republicans of the 2010s will be like the Democrats of the 1850s - surviving by default but declining rapidly and ending up in utter disarray. But don't expect a Lincoln to emerge from any of this when the current two-party system collapses. Circumstances beyond our control - a dying middle class, ISIS, climate change - will put us in a worse place than this country was in back in 1860.

PitResQr's picture
PitResQr 3 years 34 weeks ago
#14

This analysis is right on. I don't think that white poor and working class people who aren't voting are thinking that these Democrats are not liberal enough per se, but they they look at the Democratic and Republican candidates and shrug their shoulders. They don't see how voting for the Democrat is really going to make a difference in their lives.

The Democrats are still going by the playbook that you must run to the center to get the middle-of-the-road swing voters, but they don't seem to get that by being centrist and corporate friendly they are losing far more votes by turning off potential voters that are or should be part of their base, than they are gaining votes from swing voters.

On the other hand, there are states where I could make the case that Republican-lite Democrats are the best you're going to get. I'm specifically thinking about the Nebraska U.S. Senate seat that used to be occupied by Democrat Ben Nelson. Back in 2009-2010, along with Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson helped Republicans obstruct some good progressive legislation that had been passed by the House and presumably would have passed in the Senate on an up-or-down majority vote.

I had Ben Nelson pegged as a DINO, who 20 years ago would have been a Republican. But then Ben Nelson retired and Democrat Bob Carey (sp?) ran for the open seat against a Tea Party hard right Republican (I'm sorry but I'm blanking on his name). Judging by Carey's past track record, he is a good, solid Democrat. Unfortunately, the Republican won.

Should the conclusion be that in Nebraska, the best you can hope for is a Ben Nelson Democrat? I didn't like him, but he is significantly better than a Tea Party Republican. The center of the country (Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, etc.) has been red for many years--George H.W. Bush was soundly defeated by Clinton in 1992, but Bush won the states right down the center of the country. It is the south--especially when you get away from the deep south--that used to be winnable for Democrats and now has turned red. That is where we can definitely do better.

lefaivre's picture
lefaivre 3 years 34 weeks ago
#15

I think it is appalling that people shirk what I consider a responsibility to vote. I get it - it is also a privilege but I think our founding fathers pretty much assumed that anybody given the opportunity to vote would jump at the chance.

What seems to me to be a simple solution is never discussed. Why not make voting a reqluirement for everyone? I think Australia has that law now - maybe some others? I think we have a large segment of voters who fall into the "low information" category. I think back in the day when you had to be male and a land owner to vote, the big reason for that was to keep the low information people out of the process. You might say that we should think the same way today but I would argue that we might well have elections much more representative of the people if everyone was forced to make a choice.

It would also solve lots of other issues. It would require a national voter database since it would be the federal government that would enforce the voting law. Anybody not checked off after the election would have some nominal fee added to their taxes ($25 ?). It would also eliminate all the voter suppression efforts. Everybody would have to be registered and given ample opportunity to vote. It would be much harder to complain about non-existent voter fraud.

This is probably easier to fix than the other big problem we have - money driving elections. Since the Supreme Court has weighed in, our only option appears to be a constitutional ammendment. Universal voting requirement should simply be a new law which the opposition would have a hard time railing against.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 34 weeks ago
#16

Sorry! What is a catbird?

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 3 years 34 weeks ago
#17

Barbie, my grandfather was a democratic socialist and member of the Socialist Democratic Party in the 1920s - in Eastern Europe. The New Deal wasn't socialism but it flirted with it. I don't know if FDR was a socialist - if he was he kept it quiet - but Henry Wallace probably was. Although the New Deal was really an attempt to save capitalism and FDR had to "move to the left" - not only in rhetoric but also in governing - because socialism of the more democratic kind and even Leninist authoritarian socialism were very popular in the United States in the Great Depression, particularly within the labor movement. So much so that there was a very real possibility of communist revolution, I mean armed overthrow of the government and system, much more so than in the '60s. The political and economic elites FDR came from had very good reason to be afraid so FDR co-opted the socialists' program.
The relatively newly established Soviet Union added much to that fear and the relatively new absence of it is why the elites no longer fear and act with an audacity not seen for a long age in pursuing their interests at the expense of ours.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 3 years 34 weeks ago
#18

Probably the biggest problem the Democrats now have is Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She was a co-chair of Hillary's campaign in 2008 and she - a true soulmate of Hillary - always pursued her personal career goals as chairwoman of the DNC rather than the good of the party. She did much to lose 2014 for the Democrats, refusing to support some Democratic House candidates because she was friendly with their Republican opponents, for example, in 3 races which those Democrats eventually lost to her Republican pals.
She had alienated and antagonized almost all the Democratic leadership. President Obama almost had her replaced, once even having a replacement chosen and ready but she threatened to howl "sexism" and "antisemitism" so the administration backed off on it.
Hillary is the only friend in the party she has left so she will take extra care of her.
The chairmanship of the DNC is considered a great career opportunity for a Democratic politician and a great opportunity for their advancement. That is the only apparent purpose that office is serving in Schulz's tenure.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 3 years 34 weeks ago
#19

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/democrats-debbie-wasserman-schultz...
Try that and the link to the article describing how she antagonized Nancy Pelosi.

DFMM's picture
DFMM 3 years 34 weeks ago
#20

Democratic party has been losing ground because;

The Democratic party has been losing ground for myiad reason, among them are:

They are losing the propaganda war --- assuming they even realize they are at war.

They don't message effectively,

They don't counter the GOP and right-wing BS which allows the BS to get traction.

They cede the high ground; e.g. they let the GOP claim the mantle of values, let the GOP claim they are tougher on national security; even thoug the GOP doesn't have a leg to stand on on those issues.

They are too timid, they backpedal or tread lightly when they should stand ground.

They unilaterally disarm and let the GOP get away with double standard; they play nice even though the GOP repeatedly hits below the belt; and the Dems' response is to say "look at what they did to us." But if the ref (media) isn't looking you have to hit back, you have to protect yourself; but the Dems won't even put on a damn cup.

Speaking of the media; we need to badger the media, ask them why and for how long they are going to allow Trump and others to yell fire in a crowded theater with impunity, and when are they going to stop giving them air time to yell fire.

dr818dr's picture
dr818dr 3 years 34 weeks ago
#21

I'm sure I'll get grief for this but maybe just maybe some of these people are really lazy and as long as their "safety net" stays in place they don't care. Clearly many of the Democratic candidates in these areas aren't particularly liberal but they are almost always better than the Republican candidate.

I think more liberal candidates don't run because they know these people don't pay attention and won't show up.

Let's not always make excuses for those who don't participate. These people are in danger of losing their free health insurance in states like Kentucky but they all sit at home and let a tea party candidate beat the Democratic candidate. Was the Democratic candidate really the same as the tea party guy? I don't think so.

ConservativeCorporatism's picture
ConservativeCor... 3 years 34 weeks ago
#22

stupid is assuming a democrat has to be partisan and not balanced, Democrats are evolving. Outdated stereotypical thinking led by hearing rwnj propaganda doesn't mean it's true. One can hear the rwnj propaganda machine over and over... now that is stupid as stupid does.

Someone Fears More Balanced Democrats running on center of the aisle values .... and this article is proof of that.

There's nothing wrong with a more balanced Democrat than an old outdated ideal that someone has to stereotypically fall into a category , boxing themselves in.

Which is why people are supposed to think, outside the box/norm.

Variety is the spice of life. we all need some change in our lives, and to do that we must be willing to embrace both sides of the aisle and reach across party lines. the Red State Majority Take Over, has been about the same ways Hitler used Im You Propaganda... the whacked out nut jobbery has convinced the people they made the mistake of allowing this nazi type propaganda to take over the states to divide an conquer the USA.

They do not stop, its all about partisan with the right wingers, all about deferred tax debt which is the same thing as raising taxes, not to mention the deferred deficit.

and there you are, and there you go.

https://youtu.be/848aJL4bAw4

leo marvin 3 years 34 weeks ago
#23

Progressive: "Democrats lose because they aren't progressive enough."

Conservative: "Republicans lose because they aren't conservative enough."

When opposite extremes make the same mutually exclusive argument, it's possible that one (and only one) of them is right, but my operating assumption is they're both suffering from the same cognitive bias.

Roland de Brabant's picture
Roland de Brabant 3 years 34 weeks ago
#24

Bernie will win if he is on the ballot. If not, we can write him in. Maybe the first part of taking our country back is taking our party back. Now is the time for all good .... And maybe while we are at it someone can fit Debbie for some cement shoes.

Roland

Choco's picture
Choco 3 years 34 weeks ago
#25

There are a couple of things, entities, progressives have failed to recognize to the detriment of all.

--One is the NRA, No Regulations Allowed, is most likely not a 2nd Amendment champion nearly as much as it is a GOP political action committee. Each and every election the NRA makes a point to paint the Dem candidate as "going to take your guns away!" This absolute proclamation is designed to scare potential voters and succeeds. Huge blocks of voters knee jerk away from the devious Dem candidate and support the freedom loving/Constitution respecting Repub candidate. The NRA has been devised to shift great swaths of votes to the GOP, it has little to do with guns.

--The second major oversight by the progressives is the role of the media and, in particularly, Fox in the Henhouse News. This is a propoganda network, pure and simple. It is run by the same overlordship that forced the Federal Reserve upon America, the Rothschild/International banksters Cabal. Rupert Murdoch is a business partner with Lord Jacob Rothschild in the Genie shale oil venture in Israel/Golan Heights/SYRIA!

While Hartmann believes everything changed for the worse with Reagan, I think Reagan was nothing but a front man, he switched from being a democrat and espousing progressive, working people's causes, to republican selfish corporate causes not too long after he was invited to the Bohemian Grove in the California Redwoods.

Fox's Zionist controllers know how to manipulate low information, rural voters into voting against their best interests. MSNBC, CNN and the major networks, are Fox spinoffs, all work for the international banksters. A quick look at the ownership will bear this out.

The candidates come and go, they are manufactured, it's time to disassemble the machine that produces rotten candidates and lying media. That machine is the self-appointed right to produce money from nothing as debt for all. It is this system that situates the creators of money above and in control over their respective governments.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 3 years 33 weeks ago
#26

ConservativeCor..., that's kinda illogical. "More balanced" is just "more Republican" and there isn't really a need for two Republican parties and trying to be a "pale pink" Republican or "Republican lite" is a losing recipe. Republicans will always be better at being Republicans than Democrats can be. If people want to vote for a Republican they'll vote for the real thing, not an imitator.
Anyway, Democrats are much more tolerant of Democrats deviating from party norms. Republicans enforce rigid, lockstep adherence to extreme ideology.
Pat Brown, Jerry Brown's father and former governor of California, in his book about Ronald Reagan, "Ronald Reagan, the Political Chameleon", put forth that the Democratic Party has been a victim of its own success. It moved the country out of the Great Depression, nurtured the labor movement and presided over the formation of the blue collar middle class and ushered in an economy of care free opulence of the '50s, '60s and early '70's in which people only had to worry about getting high and getting laid as their comfortable survival was practically assured. It ensured that everyone could go to college, beginning with the G.I. Bill and continuing with Pell Grants and Guaranteed Student Loans, so that children of those blue collar workers could all become highly educated and highly skilled professionals.
So our society went from poor in the Depression to middle class in the '50s and '60s to upper middle class and rich in the '70s and beyond. So what happens when people start making money? They start buying stock and voting Republican or, in any case, as new bourgeois they start humming the bourgeois tune, adopt bourgeois values and a bourgeois perspective. Their values change as their vested interests change.
Another thing that happened, in addition to the deindustrialization of the United States and the destruction of the labor movement - all attributable to Ronald Reagan and his Republicans - and the consequential defunding of the Democratic Party and causing it to start taking money from the same people as do the Republicans that Thom describes, was the Civil Rights Movement and the Democrats adopting civil rights as an essential part of their platform. JFK and RFK were greatly overrated by legend in this area, even to the point of Hollywood making a completely fabricated picture of their purported heroism. Their rhetoric was good but their actions were wanting if not absent. RFK's FBI wouldn't raise a finger to help protect the civil rights workers and activists, for example, and just let them get beat up, hosed down, attacked by dogs, arrested and murdered. The Administration was too afraid to alienate the Southern Democrats who eventually defected anyway, as LBJ predicted, and THAT may be the biggest thing to beat back the Democratic Party and send it into a rag tag retreat that it has yet to come around from.
Democrats have the unenviable duty of keeping the people united leaving no group out or marginalized. No racial, sexual or other minority or other relatively powerless group is to be excluded.
Therefore the Democrats must overcome some deep and ancient animosities and rivalries and sometimes can manage, at best, uneasy coalitions.
The Republicans, on the other hand, need only destroy and undermine the coalitions, alliances and unities Democrats work so hard to build. They only have to say, in many cases, only two or three words, "gay marriage", Willie Horton", "Welfare queen", and it's all over and the Republicans have turned the people against each other and got people voting AGAINST somebody else instead of FOR themselves.

Franchise2m's picture
Franchise2m 3 years 30 weeks ago
#27

I wasn't really aware that "Third Way" had still existed until recently...I have been complaining about Democrats running as "republican-lites" but didn't know that was an actual formulated "strategy" that the Democratic party was incomprehensibly following.

Besides the inherent dishonesty of the approach and the absolute abandonment of POPULAR progressive ideas it represents...it ISN'T WORKING!

The 2014 GOP candidates chanted the mantra "My opponent voted with Obama 98% of the time!" and although nobody seemed to ask themselves what were the issues of those "Obama" votes and whether or not they actually passed, the Democrats allowed that talking point to dictate the narrative of the election.

The 2014 midterms showed us one Democratic candidate refusing to even acknowledge that she voted DEMOCRAT in the 2012 Presidential election!

Not a single of the defeated candidates bothered to explain that those votes represented the views and interests of their constitutents and had widespread support BUT most were not implemented due to GOP opposition!

Exit polls showed that the majority of voters...both Democrat and Republican supported raising the minimum wage...which very few Democrats even tried to make a campaign issue....AND voters from both parties agreed that the system is rigged to favor the wealthy!

And yet contrary to all logic "Third Way"...and their adherent Hillary Clinton want us to believe "populism"... a popularly supported agenda...isn't viable! This type of "Democrat" admits to defeat...they claim the public feels the way they do ...the progressive agenda has failed even though it hasn't actually been implemented...so candidates need to stop promoting those "losing" ideas and give up (like Clinton has on single payer).

So the "tactic" to use is NEVER run on popular or "populist" ideas that our representatives refuse to implement because running on the real concerns of the voters isn't the way to get elected ?!?

The best thing to do is to pretend to be just like the GOP to fool "moderates" and working class southerners to elect you so you can get slightly more progressive (but not TOO progressive) policies implemented?

Very inspirational! But why would any voter decide to vote for an imitation Republican if they can just vote for the real thing if they are going to bother voting at all?

Are we really wondering why Democrats keep losing congressional seats and the control of more and more state legislatures and governorships.

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