Lost on the Low Road

Throughout my early years, into my twenties and thirties, I was a conservative Republican. This was mostly due to the fact that my parents and grandparents were conservatives. In my late 30’s I started searching my soul, and found that I actually had many liberal traits and beliefs. I began leaning left, so that by the time Obama ran for his first term, I decided to support him.

Family members thought Obama was inexperienced, and somewhat full of himself. We had many conversations, my family and I, throughout Obama’s presidency. Sometimes I agreed with my family members’ points, but most times I didn’t.

What I respect about my family is that they still respected the fact that Obama was our president. As much as they complained to me about some of their biggest issues against him, they also begrudgingly agreed with me on some of my points for him.

While I happily supported Obama’s presidency and voted for his second term, most of my family supported their GOP senators and reps, and voted Romney in 2012. My family also voted midterms in an effort to gain House and Senate seats. Me, on the other hand…I sat the midterms out. Smug as a bug in a rug.

My family never protested when Obama won two elections, and they gracefully acknowledged his presidency, all the while never caring for him. They never spoke ill of him in my presence, but kept the discussions to policy and issues. When they felt he did something well, they said so. We kept our conversations civil even when they felt he did something wrong.

I dreaded holiday gatherings for nothing.

In his second term, I defended Obama as much as I could, but now and then I’d find myself agreeing with my family more and more, due to the lack of a solid argument.

Several things that occurred during Obama’s second term turned me off. But rather than fall back on my conservative leanings, I found myself agreeing with the populist movements that were cropping up, like Occupy Wall Street.

By the time 2016 came along, I was ready to go with Bernie Sanders. I donated to his campaign, I supported him very vocally, and looked forward to the day when he and Trump would go to the debates. I felt their shared populist message would make things very interesting. I rather hoped that democratic socialism might catch on, once voters realized that Trump and Sanders were actually saying some of the same things, only from different “sides” of the political spectrum.

But then Clinton won the Democratic nomination and, for reasons I won’t go into here (as, anyone who knows me knows how much I dislike the Clintons), I decided to look into the remaining alternatives. I did not care for Stein, nor Johnson.

I ended up voting for Trump, needless to say.

So did my immediate family. So did almost my entire county. So did almost my entire country.

Like most of the world, I went into election night thinking Clinton would win. I can tell you the exact moment I knew Trump had pulled off a miracle, and it was long before PA votes were tallied.  But, that’s another blog post.

I have not regretted my decision to vote for Trump once.

What I regret is that I’ve lost so many friends.

Granted, I had already lost a huge number of left-leaning friends over the primaries, where I backed Sanders and they backed Clinton. But to lose even more friendships over Trump’s win, I just didn’t expect that.

Color me racist, xenophobic, backwards…or just blind.

I never expected the violent protests, the boycotting of Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, the vitriol, the nonsensical hatred and fear. The obstructionism in congress is hard enough to take without seeing the entire left wing turn so awkwardly left so quickly that even Berkley went berserk.

Streep. Super Bowl ads. SNL. CNN. Washington Post and the New York Times. Not everyone agrees with you folks, outside of LA and New York City.

What about the rest of us? “Within the 50 states, of which you lost 30, there are 3,113 counties — 2,626 that went Republican and 487 that were won by [Clinton].”*

I never expected the Democratic party to become the “Party of No.” Liberals always say they want to put people first. But all I see is them putting party – and careers – first. Take this piece in New York Times.

“All of that’s true. But none of it gets at larger challenges that were much less frequently mentioned, if at all: the necessity of grooming and rallying behind candidates who can forge an emotional connection with voters and are in sync with the moment; the imperative of studying the map, identifying every Senate and House seat that could possibly swing to Democrats in 2018 and playing a ruthlessly pragmatic game of chess; the articulation of a down-to-earth, visceral message that resonates with as many voters as possible. “I’m with her” didn’t cut it.

Another of the D.N.C. candidates, Raymond Buckley, the chairman of the Democratic Party in New Hampshire, acknowledged to me, “Sometimes we try to impress ourselves too much by talking about issues that are overly complex when the populace really wants you to boil it down to a much more simplistic message.””

The simplistic message was already given to America: “Make America Great Again.”

Instead of trying to see where they went wrong, Democrats are more concerned with their message and how to make it appeal to the entire country. Even while trying to appeal to the entire country, they worry about having to dumb down their message (as if they are the party of Smart?). And then while trying to appeal to the entire country, they encourage protests and obstruction.

Sorry, but Democrats are now the party of NO.

NO from the party that claims to want to save everything…the planet, the bees, the polar bears, the refugees, the poor, the hungry.

NO from the party that tells the rest of America that America is backwards, in condescending tones.

NO from the party that claims to be open-minded and more enlightened.

What happened to the ‘high road?’

What happened to common decency and respect?

If the strategy of the Democrats is to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and win again, the high road will be hard for them to find if they keep losing themselves in obstructionism, anger and vitriol.

They’ve already lost the rest of America. I don’t think they can afford to lose much more.

Note:  In the New York Times article I reference here, I found these comments that really spoke to me. I quoted from one of them above.  These particular ones, below…I hope Democrats will read them…with their open, enlightened minds…:

Aaron

Democrats are pretty much finished. The Republicans have been cleaning up on local elections the last five years and have a huge bench to pull from for state and national seats. Democrats have been debating the wording for gender neutral farm to table menus in soup kitchens. They have pulled so far left the party centrists have become outcasts and marginalized. Boutique social issues are the flavor of the day and one either agrees or runs the risk of being called a racist, xenophobe, homophobe or anti-semite. All the poetry slams and drum circles in the world can’t help them now. Good Riddance to a failed party- they flew too close to the sun and got burned.

BoJonJovi

Let’s don’t lose sight of the fact, democrats ran a candidate that was under an FBI investigation. In a word, duh.
I really do not know what the democrats stand for. Let’s not forget the majority of America is rural. What do democrats have to offer rural Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, the eastern plains and western slope of Colorado? The democrats seem a little mushy on the things they supposedly stand for.
How about,
Free education for life. technology changes quickly. Education is just as important to an 18-year-old as a 50-year-old displaced worker.
When the ACA became law, democrats distanced themselves from Obama and the ACA. Now we see that it is pretty popular.
Democrats rarely talk about the debt. It is important.
Clinton tanked Glass-Steagall and brought us NAFTA. Education and retraining were promised and never delivered.
Regarding health care, why is there no transparency in pricing? It seems the democrats have sold out to healthcare campaign contributions as there is little meaningful reform.
Supporting illegal immigration is kind of a non-starter. It might feel good for politicians but not so good for a blue collar worker that realizes his wages are stagnant or his job is gone because of cheap labor.
I think of myself as a social liberal and fiscal conservative. Democrats would be wise to adopt that posture and really work for blue collar workers in rural Kansas and taxi drivers in New York City.

Michael S

There is a fundamental disconnect between the urban elites who now form the bulk of the Democratic Party and the working people who used to form the base of the Democratic Party. Until those elites get off their Trump hysteria, recognize what their party has become as the party of the Clintons and understand how Hillary created a Trump win there is no hope for their party unless Trump stumbles badly and loses the support of his base.

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4 thoughts on “Lost on the Low Road

  1. I have been astonished from all the vitriol in the past 2 years from Democrats. Unfortunately the ones you and I had contact with are still at it. There is a push back going on with in the Democratic party against this by Sander’s activists. There is some good stuff going on for the next mid term. I don’t have cable so my news comes from the internet. I don’t know when the last time a read anything from NYT or WaPo People outside of the North East just don’t pay any attention to them. Those papers are irrelevant and seem clueless to what is really happening in the heartland. Their actual influence is very limited to the Northeast Echo Bubble.

    The good thing is people are now pushing back against their congress critters and letting them know what they want and need. Sanders did a good job educating the public.

    Good post.

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