I’ve been thinking a lot about the forthcoming election, which I think will go badly for the Democrats. Given that we’ll be looking at a rebuilding season, I thought I’d outline some of what I’ll be looking for as a consumer of liberal policies, as well as links to the related stuff I’ve written about these things in the recent past.
Looking through them, a few points keep coming up.
The future ought to be better than the past; there’s a reason why we’re the ‘progressive’ party. There are major changes coming in the world, as technology and transportation cause economies and cultures to intermingle, and provide unprecedented opportunity to those who have had none. We ought to be finding ways to manage the impacts of it, and help steer it toward a desirable (rather than “Snow Crash” like) future state. But we need to embrace the future, not recoil from it.
Just because the cultures are intermingling doesn’t mean we shouldn’t value and cherish ours. We’re noth the source of evil in the world, Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges notwithstanding.
Given that what differentiates our side (Democrats) from the other side (GOP) ought to be the attention we pay to the welfare of the bottom 20% in wealth, income, and power, (we both ought to be concerned with the general welfare of society) perhaps we could lose the obnoxious elitism??
1) Scale matters. Rather than One Big Solution to problems, let’s work on policies that promote small, organically growing policies that directly impact the people targeted and put down roots. Not Le Corbusier, crabgrass.
2) Hypocrisy shows. When your welfare policy is set at AFSCME conferences or at private homes in the Malibu Colony, and your corporate governance policies are set by trial lawyers, it’s hard to get taken seriously. If you have investors (what I call the current class of political donors) make damn sure that your policies don’t tilt stupidly in their favor.(Hollywood, Democrats, DMCA)
3) Get out of the fishbowl. The political and media elites of this country live lives that are pretty well disconnected from those of their consumers. Find a way to break out. Bob Graham found one way; find others.
Most of all, don’t spend time focus-grouping clusters of policies; figure out something we can believe in – an attractive, articulate vision of what America and the world ought to be and a set of policies that offer a reasonable change of moving us toward that vision.
When Detroit builds good cars, people buy them. All the focus-group testing, marketing budgets, and binders full of sales spiffs won’t move them if they are just crappy cars.
So if you want my advice; it’s simple. Build good policies. Be trustworthy. Figure out why you’re a Democrat and make it stick.
I’m a Democrat because I believe that government policies ought to tilted in favor of my assistant – the single mom making $22,000 a year in Los Angeles – rather me, or than the investor whose portfolio only grew 2% last year (and yes, spare me, I know that our well-being is all connected. But how about some trickle-up policies for a change?).
Why are you a Democrat?