A Harsh Outlook: The Current State of the Democratic Party and How to Fix It

Democratic-Seal-1While many Democrats have curled up into a fetal position following this year’s elections, I’ve mostly stayed away from political news as much as possible because I can’t stomach the “experts” who seem to not have a damn clue what they’re talking about.

The truth of the matter is, I’m pissed off. Not because Republicans won, but because we let them win.

Yes, some Democrats and liberals want to blame voter ID, but that’s nonsense. Did these laws help lower voter turnout? Of course they did. That’s what they’re meant to do. But these laws aren’t the reason why Democrats got their butts kicked this year. The main reason why they got destroyed was because they acted like cowards. You’re not going to inspire people to vote for you by running away from your convictions. By doing so, not only did these Democrat candidates not bring conservative voters to their side (who the hell thought that was ever going to happen?), but they also failed to inspire independents to side with them and ruined any possibility of liberal enthusiasm heading into this year’s elections.

This summarizes how most of these campaigns went:

Republican: My opponent has sided with Obama most of the time and will continue to support his horrible agenda!

Democrat: I agree, Obama pretty much sucks…but vote for me anyway.

Yeah, very inspirational. Especially considering Obama is still very popular with Democrats. As he should be; he’s been very successful despite what the media likes to tell Americans.

Right now the state of the Democratic Party isn’t very good, though it’s not as bad as some might have you believe.

A president’s party losing seats 6 years into their presidency is nothing new. It happened to Reagan, Clinton, Bush and now Obama. If anything this was predictable the moment Obama was elected.

But how do Democrats fix this? Well, that’s not easy. The weakness of Democrats also happens to be one of their strengths – diversity. And by that I don’t mean racial or ethnic diversity, I mean ideological. When Republicans fail, they sheepishly get in line and follow the status quo of what they’re told to do. It’s how they won this year. They marginalized radical candidates, put a muzzle on the ones that did win their primaries and simply rode the wave of anti-Obama sentiment to power in Congress without really standing for anything.

Democrats are all over the place. It’s great that we’re diverse in our ideology, but it’s a pain in the ass when it comes to getting a cohesive movement going. That’s why liberals tend to fail so often. As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divide against itself cannot stand.” And that’s what happens to Democrats constantly.

So, how do we fix it? Well, it starts by getting angry. Not this whiny, “Oh, but the Republicans are so bad I don’t get why people vote for them” crap. Get pissed off. Anger can be a good thing when harnessed in the right way. When they speak, we need to be louder. When they double-down on lies, we need to do the same with truth. We need to leave every “battle” knowing that if we lost, it’s because we lost fighting – not running away.

Liberals have got to stop being so “politically correct.” I’m sorry, but this is an issue. Nobody likes someone who’s constantly telling them what to say or do. And when the hell did context suddenly stop being important? You know how tired I am of seeing liberal blogs and websites go batshit crazy because some well-known person made a controversial joke? For days they’re rabid because someone said something that someone found offensive.


If the context is offensive, then by all means, call them out. But if it’s not, just let it go. Learn to pick your battles. It’s like tattletales. Nobody likes a tattletale. That doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t point out wrongdoing when they see it, but nobody likes the person that’s telling on everyone and everything they see, no matter how trivial.

And that’s what I’m seeing far too much of with liberals.

Here’s another reality that’s going to probably ruffle a few feathers: Stop alienating white people.

Look, I love diversity. Diversity is one of the things that makes the Democratic party much better than the GOP. But even I’m getting tired of everything being turned into a “white people are the problem” argument. There are tens of millions of white people who fight for equal rights for minorities every single day. Hell, I’m one of them. Are there issues with racism? Of course there are. But you don’t improve race relations by shaping the argument as “us vs. them” and that’s what’s happening far too often nowadays. Lately I’ve met several white liberals who are getting tired of hearing how “bad” white people are when they’re constantly fighting for the equality and civil rights for minorities. I’m not asking for “sympathy for being white,” I’m just saying stop turning everything into a “white people are the problem” or “white privilege” argument.

Conservatives are the problem. And just because they mostly come in a shade of white doesn’t mean all “white culture” is bad. It just means many conservatives are assholes.

The most consistent demographic of voters in this country is middle-aged and older white people. And guess which group I never hear Democratic strategists say they need to ensure they motivate to vote for them?

And whether liberals want to believe that or not, that is an issue that’s going to start having an impact on these elections. Especially at the local level where these voter ID laws and voter suppression starts really impacting things.

Speaking of voting, we have to vote more. Liberals do great when it’s the “trendy” presidential elections. But when it comes to midterms, we sit it out and let Republicans take power nearly every single time. It doesn’t matter if we elect a Democrat to the White House if we don’t give that president a Congress that will work with them. And we never did that with Obama. Hell, we didn’t even do it for Clinton.

We never do it. 

Keeping Republicans out of power is simple: We have to show up to vote. That’s about it. There’s a reason why Republicans scored such big victories this year – because voter turnout was abysmal. When fewer voters turn out to vote, Republicans benefit the most.

The power lies with us. When we vote, we win – it’s that simple. The problem is, far too often, we’re not doing it. Just like this year and in 2010. If we want real change in this country, it starts with us. But if we don’t start participating every election, none of this matters. We’ll just be a dog chasing our tail wondering why we can’t ever catch it.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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