Why won’t Democrats stand for those civil liberties they believe in, like gay marriage and free speech? Because they are weak. The GOP has so utterly dominated the political discourse, via their partisan media machine, their think tanks, their leadership and training institutes, and their dominance of the federal and many state governments, that it’s been tough going for Democrats to stand for anything, much less things they might perceive as being “unpopular”.
That’s one reason I say that this is an internal Democratic fight at this point. How can I and others properly sell the Democratic Party to anyone if our party looks like a bunch of beaten-down abused dogs, afraid of their own shadow? Nick thinks that Dems shy from socially libertarian issues because they don’t believe in them. The truth is they’re simply afraid. And yes, there’s no less appealing trait in a politician than fear. It’s been tough going for us rank and file Democrats for some time.
It’s pathetic that only one Democrat voted against the Patriot Act — a document almost none of them actually read before endorsing. It’s pathetic that they are afraid to stand up for gay marriage. Or to point out the ridiculousness and failures of the drug war. Trust me — Democrats of ALL stripes are furious at our own party.
That’s one reason we are so excited about the Schweitzers and Testers and Webbs of the party. These aren’t Democrats afraid of Republicans or afraid of what they believe in. They’re ready and willing to take that battle to the GOP. And as we grow our own Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, we’ll be better equipped to fight the battles of ideas on even footing.
That’s why I’m not ready to make a hard sell to liberals on the Democratic Party. It’s too easy for you guys to counter by pointing to the sorry bunch that dominate our party. But we’re working on it, internally, and I suspect that in 10 years, the Democratic Party will look much different.
At that point, we hopefully won’t need to pander. At that point, hopefully our results will speak for themselves.