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It Is A Republic - But Not Republican

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 06/27/17 03:17

by Dave Mindeman

I have seen a lot of explanations about what is "wrong" with the Democratic Party. A lot. But our basic problem isn't in philosophy - it is structural.

We argue about process in our own party like this is the answer to all of our problems. It's not. The problem lies in the mechanics of elections.

The Democratic Party is an actual majority party - we got more votes in the Presidential election. We get more votes in Congressional elections. We even should be 50-50 in state elections. But end up in the minority because the Republicans focus on structure rather than votes.

I think most people are aware of the gerrymandering aspects of drawing Congressional and district lines. The GOP studied this for years and have mastered the art. And in order to take advantage of that, they embarked on controlling state legislature majorities, so they can put their gerrymandering into full practice.

Wisconsin, under Scott Walker, has been a clear violator. So much so, that their recent district borders have been challenged and will be decided in court as to whether or not overly partisan district lines are Constitutional.

But it is not only that. Republicans have created a fake problem of "voter fraud" in order to enact laws that suppress Democratic vote. Using identity politics to target Democratic base groups, Republicans have been working for years on finding ways to purge voter rolls and using voting regulations to disenfranchise a lot of potential voters.

And then there is this insistence on dividing voters. Using fear mongering as a weapon to rally prejudicial ideas into anti votes - against one group or another. Often using false ideas and anecdotal incidents that can "prove" their viewpoint.

Meanwhile, Democrats obsess about having the "right" message. To get everybody on board with one idea or another - and litigating elections by rehashing divisive ideas. It is self defeating and plays into the hands of a party that no longer worries about political policy - but rather worry only about keeping power.

I'm not advocating that we adopt Republican tactics. But we do need to recognize them for what they are - and work on methods to neutralize it. And the only way we can truly do that is to win those majority seats.

We have that opportunity in 2018 because, as usual, the Republicans are overplaying their advantage. Many within their own party are uncomfortable with where they are currently taking us.

That means recognizing that we have to form a broader coalition in order to realize those majorities. We need to accept some candidates who are less than progressive, but will join us in social justice and climate change discussions.

Our democracy is not a true democracy. We have accepted our system as the republic that it is. But republic is one thing - Republican only is another.

And that requires strategy more than message alone.
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