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How Can the Democratic Party Rebuild?


vcczar

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I'm going to post the 41 notes I wrote in a notebook on the day after the election--I finally typed them out. As you may have noticed, I disappeared for a few days, because I was absolutely crushed. Not all my questions/statements are sound, I'm sure, but at least some of them are. I think some of these may be implemented by 2020, which could influence the platforms in the next official President Infinity scenario, whenever @admin_270 gets around to creating it in 2018 or so. 

Remember these are just notes, and some are better thought out than others. I wrote this in a state of shock: 

Democratic Party Evaluation (post-election)

 

1. How can the Democratic Party better portray itself as the party "of the people"?

 

2. In what ways has it weakened itself as the preferred party by some former Democratic voters? 

 

3. What must the party do at state and local levels to compete with the Republican Party, which generally dominates at this level? State legislatures can make an impact on the national election. Democrats must win state legislatures. How?

 

4. Must the Democratic Party become more decentralized? The Republican Party does well in state and local elections, I think, because their party is more likely to fit a local character. Should Democrats focus more on local concerns than national policy? 

 

5. How should the party interact or use the media?

 

6. Should the party spend more time finding personalities rather than forming a  Democratic Party script? In many ways our victors have been personalities -- Obama, Bill Clinton, JFK, FDR. The same goes with Republicans--Trump, GW Bush, Reagan. The script may have been secondary. Who has the personality now? 

 

7. What has the Democratic Party done well? What should it continue to do?

 

8. What has the Democratic Party done poorly? What should it stop doing?

 

9. Considering where support must be expanded (non-voters, independent progressives, independent moderates/centrist, white-working class, whites with high school degrees, white males), what can be done to expand this support?

 

10. Overall, how can support be expanded at a national level?

 

11. Overall, how can support be expanded at a regional level?

 

12. Overall, how can support be expanded at a state level?

 

13. Overall, how can support be expanded at the county level?

 

14. Overall, how can support be expanded in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural areas? 

 

15. How does the party balance an effort to reach out to whites,males and rural and suburban voters without demoralizing or losing minority, women, and city voters? 

 

16. How does the party get voter participation up, especially in midterm elections, which must be won to take back state legislatures. 

 

17. Should the party stick primarily to the progressive issues that are soundly popular among the electorate (regardless of party identification) such as marijuana legalization and minimum wage, and give less attention to the more divisive issues such as gun control? However, how does one give less attention to abortion, very divisive issue, and not lose a lot of women voters? 

 

18. Going back to decentralization, should we welcome more civil disagreement within the party? For instance, were the debates between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton much more healthy for the party than not? 

 

19. Let us remember that while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote soundly against Donald Trump, that neither candidate received 50% of the vote. 

 

20. Should the party run only candidates that are free of negative baggage for major offices? How does one vet a candidate for this? Let me also add again that this candidate, at the national level, and possibly gubernatorial level, must likely be a personality as well. 

 

21. Should the party avoid vilifying the other party, its candidates and its supporters? It is possible that doing so doesn't win votes, it may bolster the other side. 

 

22. Should the party avoid a battle of establishment versus progressive and admit that the party should be an equal mix of the best and most practical ideas of both wings of the party? 

 

23. How does the party become more transparent and trusting without opening up weaknesses that the other party can exploit?

 

24. Should the party commit to rotation in office as a way to consistently reintegrate new blood and to combat corruption? If term-limits don't exist, there could be unofficial term-limits adhered by the party. If done, this should definitely be applied at the state and local levels, except in areas in which the sitting politician is the only Democrat that can win that seat. 

 

25. The party must be the primary promoter of a anti-gerrymandering bipartisan reform committee on electoral reforms. Even if it doesn't succeed, making this a major issue will probably encourage voters to vote. 

 

26. Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chaffee, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren were candidates or near-candidates in the 2016 election for Democrats. Every one of them are also senior citizens (65+). Should the party aim to field younger leaders to make the party more vibrant?

 

27. Should the party speak less about demographics and more about economics, infrastructure, foreign policy, climate, jobs, etc, all of which could help all demographics? 

 

28. We should certainly be the pro-Science party, but should we be more tolerant to those that are not pro-science? The best way to convert someone is to listen to them. 

 

29. We must be friendly, but bold. 

 

30. We must be on continual campaign and actively getting everyone involved. All politicians and activists should aim to personally recruit at least ten new people to be a guest, participant, attendee at each public event, even if they are not a registered Democrat. The possibility of conversion increases. Numerous and regular events integrates the party and civic participation into daily life. Voting during a mid-term election, for instance, might seem less unusual, local politicians might become less unknown, and civilian participation in government might become more common. The career politicians might be replaced with the informed civilian politician. . 

 

31. Should the party hire non-elected representatives who set up offices in rural and suburban areas specifically to seek out the concerns of these voters and listen to them. By making this effort, they may better understand us (including the base of the supporters in urban areas) and we may better understand the rural and suburban voters that are suspicious of the Democratic Party. This will be mutually educational. 

 

32. How does one integrate ideas of non-Democratic voters without diluting the elements of the party that the base likes the most?

 

33. The party must follow through with its promises it makes and to tell the truth at even when it isn't pretty. Declare no promises that cannot be kept. We must be the reliable party. 

 

34. The party should offer better alternatives, rather than "the only choice" on an issue. To claim to have a monopoly on answers is to set up a clear battleground, that some voters may refuse to cross. By labeling it as a better alternative, it sounds as if you've considered the other sides options, and found better ideas. This is the sort of subtle difference in language that could move a reluctant moderate/centrist Republican-leaning voter to the Democrats. 

 

35. I might have already said this. But it's worth repeating. Perhaps the party should avoid insulting the other candidate, their major ideas, and their major values. To insult these is to insult their potential supporters. This energizes their voters and also makes it harder to convert voters. Obviously, the extreme minority elements of their party--bigots, racists, misogynist, etc.--must always be denounced. 

 

36. We must denounce bigots, racists, misogynist, etc, regardless of their party affiliation. When doing so, aim to make the condemnation bipartisan, rather than a Democratic Party declaration. Doing so deflates the rebuttal by Republicans who may want to claim Democrats are using the "race card" or at too sensitive about "political correctness." There are plenty of notable Republicans and Libertarians ready to speak out against bigotry, racism, misogyny, etc. Keep a list of them. We will need their help. 

 

37. Should the party be quicker about repudiating seriously flawed candidates and politicians? This would remove dangers to the party's image early enough to recover. The quick repudiation also creates the image, if not the reality, that we're a clean party, and eager to keep it clean. 

 

38. I mentioned how our leaders are senior citizen earlier. Should there be an unofficial age limit that the party tries to stick to for presidential elections? If not an age limit, should the party at least attempt to have an equal amount of younger candidates for the nomination as there are senior citizens? 

 

39. Should the party scan through its numbers for the politicians and politically aware non-politicians that best embody the energy of the moment and then encourage them to run for president or other office?

 

40. Make the big picture ideas clear, but stick primarily to specifics in areas of immediate concern. Focus, detail, specifics on a few key areas may be easier on most voters. Let the voters drive the conversation, not the other way around. 

 

41. Every message must hold the triumvirate of human emotion, logic and credibility. 

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The Democratic Party has loosed the electors of the christian northern states because under Obama the party mooved to the center.

And probably that Bernie would have kept the working class of Wisconsin Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

I mean, the industrial jobs have been lost, and normally the GOP's message doesn't work with these states, but Donald Trump is not a real republican and he took a message for the labor class which worked.

Obamacare is also a reason, the middle class suffered of the consequences of Obamacare and 4 years after the 2012 election it brought more people of this class to vote Trump.

For me the DP has to be stronger in its own bases, talk to the young generation, talk to the minorities, change its platform to adopt more measures of how restart the working class and ensure benefits for the middle.

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1.  Get a better candidate and allow competition during the primaries.  The unlikable and baggage-heavy Clinton was coronated by the rich, the media, and the DNC.  Millions of people stayed home or voted none of the above on Election Day.

2.  Go campaign, physically.  Clinton never once stepped foot in Wisconsin and barely touched Michigan and Pennsylvania compared to Trump.  If she had kept those historically Democratic states instead of losing them by <1%, she would have become President.

That's it.  Considering that Clinton won the popular vote by ~1.5 million or more, I would not overanalyze.

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3 hours ago, Jayavarman said:

1.  Get a better candidate and allow competition during the primaries.  The unlikable and baggage-heavy Clinton was coronated by the rich, the media, and the DNC.  Millions of people stayed home or voted none of the above on Election Day.

2.  Go campaign, physically.  Clinton never once stepped foot in Wisconsin and barely touched Michigan and Pennsylvania compared to Trump.  If she had kept those historically Democratic states instead of losing them by <1%, she would have become President.

That's it.  Considering that Clinton won the popular vote by ~1.5 million or more, I would not overanalyze.

This is incredibly simple, but 100% true.  The Republican Party had many candidates who were actually viewed as having a chance at winning the nomination.  The Democratic Party really only had one candidate who had a chance at winning the nomination, until Bernie "came out of nowhere" and even then he really never had a shot.  We had a poor candidate from the beginning and never really did anything to rectify it.

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I am still thinking the E-mails are the difference in the vote.

But if Wisconsin, Ohio, Pens, and Michigan stayed Democrat against Bush and fallen for Trump it was because of the crash of the industrial jobs during the 2000's, when the Democrats were in the opposition.

usa-2013-t2-emploiprod-manuf.png

 

In purple the number of jobs (in thousands)

Under Bush 3,5 millions of jobs have been lost in the industry, and under obama almost 2 millions before to stabilize.

Apparently Mitt Romney in 2012 was not enough convincing, unlike Trump with this electorate.

And this election was after 8 years, almost every Republican candidate was able to beat Hillary, and probably every "normal" democratic candidate because people wanted change.

I take this opportunity to show to those who would not know a report from Fox News, normally Fox is a real bad channel but they got a teacher who has an amazing technic which works since 1984 with the help of 13 questions.

If you count at least 6 no, the incumbent party will loose.

 

The “13 Keys” are:

1) The Incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the last midterm election than it did after the previous midterm election;

2) The incumbent party has no real contest for the presidential nomination;

3) The incumbent party’s candidate is the sitting president;

4) There is no real third-party (threatening the incumbent party);

5) The short-term economy is not in recession;

6) In the long-term, per capita economic growth is improving;

7) The incumbent Administration effected major policy changes in the past four years;

8) There is no major social unrest;

9) The incumbent Administration is untainted by major scandal;

10) There have been no major military or foreign policy failures in the past four years;

11) There was a major military or foreign policy success during the past four years;

12) The presidential candidate of the incumbent party is charismatic or a national hero; and

13) The challenger is not charismatic and not a national hero.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-zogby/the-13-keys-to-winning-th_b_9594620.html

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I can't find the image that goes 'till '15/'16 but I suspect this has a lot to do with the working class wanting change.

 

Georgetown_Education_Jobs_Recovery-thumb

 

Electoral majorities are rarely stable, and almost never long lived. In 2012 some were talking about a permanent Democratic majority because of the diversity of states they start with a leg up in. Now some are having a meltdown because Trump won some white states with a bunch of poor white workers in them? Just a quick reminder, Clinton won the PV and if she'd done as well with Latinos and Blacks as Obama did she would probably be President.

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For me only some Kasich or Bush were able to win the Popular Vote and the Electoral College

And if the Republican Party would not evolve on social and minorities issues they could not take back the power after 2050.

But apparently because of the recession it is still possible for them to win the electoral college for the GOP, Trump got a special momentum concentrated in some old blue states.

I agree that it will be really harsh for the GOP to win the electoral college in the next decades if the platform stays the same than the current (which seems from the 50's).

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32 minutes ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

With Trump's win the Democratic party and it's members have shown their true colors 

Can you elaborate on this?

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4 hours ago, VanMav said:

I can't find the image that goes 'till '15/'16 but I suspect this has a lot to do with the working class wanting change.

Clinton won all income groups making less than $50k.  Trump won all income groups making more than $50k.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016#Voter_demographics

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32 minutes ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

Oh and please stop with this but Hillary won the popular vote nonsense, if you truly know anything about U.S. politics or have ever played President Infinity you would know that winning the popular vote means nothing in America.

What is the popular vote.

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2 minutes ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

The riots, looting, trashing local businesses, threats, violence, insults, beating up of Trump supporters, calling Trump supporters misogynists, racists, bigots, not accepting the results after attacking Trump supporters for the exact same thing, the burning of the American flag, the whining of the electoral college, the calling for violence and for people to die, saying you want to move to other countries, oh and calling for the assassination of Donald J. Trump.

So, only Democrats resort to name-calling, intimidation, threatening politicians (up to and including assassination), rowdy protests, and other such tactics in recent years in American political history?

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42 minutes ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

The riots, looting, trashing local businesses, threats, violence, insults, beating up of Trump supporters, calling Trump supporters misogynists, racists, bigots, not accepting the results after attacking Trump supporters for the exact same thing, the burning of the American flag, the whining of the electoral college, the calling for violence and for people to die, saying you want to move to other countries, blaming white people for Trump's election, oh and calling for the assassination of Donald J. Trump.

I think you are magnifying what a very very small minority of Democratic supporters are doing it and reflecting it on all supporters. Trump supporters would probably be doing at least all of this if Clinton had won, especially if Trump had won the popular vote, but lost in the EC. Despite his electoral victory, hate crimes by presumed Trump supporters have risen. Again, just like the activities that you mention, these are very very small minorities and don't represent the party accurately at all. Thus, your statement and your elaboration of your statement is very weak indeed, Johnny K. 

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33 minutes ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

Nope I never said that, I'm talking about the problem the Democrats and America is facing today. The Democratic Party is dangerously dividing people to the point of total chaos so they can win elections and get support through fear and vilification. Political Correctness has killed the Democratic Party in my opinion.

I personally believe it's not the Democratic Party specifically that's dividing the US. It's the current two-party system in place right now as a whole, and the toxic, counter-productive, and even ridiculous mentality I've seen so often from Americans (not ALL Americans, certainly, but certainly enough to get this worrisome impression) online, in the media, and running for office, that party and ideological loyalty have become more important than doing what's actually best for the nation, because, inevitably, important elements of solving the nations' problems always come down to areas where compromise will be needed and each party would have to admit that a number of their cherished planks and philosophies and pushing them into the given context will only do more harms than good to the situation, and to many, this seems unacceptable, to self-destructive political sabotage to retain to ideological and partisan purity is preferred by many. And when things go wrong, the solution that seem obvious to such is a sad one indeed - blame the other party for absolutely everything, including throwing in false claims, insults, urban legends, and even a few threats. THIS is the big problem with American politics today, and both parties (and their supporters) have members in significant numbers who are both guilty of this.

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7 minutes ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

Okay, but I was talking about what happened after the election and how the Democratic party can rebuild specifically because that is the title of this post not how can the Republican party rebuild. I have a lot to say about that too

My main point is that their is a socio-political disease, if you will, which the US is very ill with, but which is attempted to be dealt with only on a symptom-by-symptom basis (which modern doctors know is not an effective treatment), but the root causes are either ignored, like an elephant in the room (as in the real idiom, not a clever dig at the GOP mascot, by the way) or are things that dealing with meaningfully would lead political leaders to alienate their own constituents due to what actions they'd have to take or agree with being taken, compounding the issue further.

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8 hours ago, Jayavarman said:

Clinton won all income groups making less than $50k.  Trump won all income groups making more than $50k.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016#Voter_demographics

The exit polls this year were extraordinarily bad. Like 2004 levels bad, where we were still on track for a Clinton victory after the exit results came in. 

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9 hours ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

Oh and please stop with this but Hillary won the popular vote nonsense, if you truly know anything about U.S. politics or have ever played President Infinity you would know that winning the popular vote means nothing in America.

Winning the popular vote is not important to becoming President, but more often than not the winner of the PV is also the winner of the EC. That's just the nature of how swing states work. 

For the record, I'm actually in favour of the Electoral College. But you sound like the kind of person who'd be whinging if Trump won the PV and lost the EC.

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3 hours ago, VanMav said:

The exit polls this year were extraordinarily bad. Like 2004 levels bad, where we were still on track for a Clinton victory after the exit results came in. 

The final exit poll results (at least starting at the broadest demos, male vs female) match closely the currently counted popular vote.

For example, the final exit polling had Clinton beating Trump among women by 12 points; Trump beating Clinton among men by 12 points.  Women were 52% of the electorate.  Clinton thus won the popular vote.

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30 minutes ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

No actually I would be just fine if Trump lost just as I was when Obama won because unlike you I actually know the U.S. voting process and I know how to accept democratic elections and the importance of unifying and respecting the President of the United States, no matter what party. Saying I sound like the kind of person who'd be whining if Trump won the PV and lost the EC is insulting and ludicrous. You don't know me, you can't even spell whining correctly ever heard of spell check?

Where's the "democracy" in the winner losing the popular vote? It may follow current US Constitutional conventions, but by definition of the word, it's not "democratic."

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2 hours ago, Jayavarman said:

The final exit poll results (at least starting at the broadest demos, male vs female) match closely the currently counted popular vote.

For example, the final exit polling had Clinton beating Trump among women by 12 points; Trump beating Clinton among men by 12 points.  Women were 52% of the electorate.  Clinton thus won the popular vote.

That's a really poor way to look at it. That's bad logic and bad statistics. We'll know more as complete data becomes available.

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3 hours ago, Jonathan Kudelka said:

Again the U.S. is not a direct Democracy it is a representative Democracy. Obama said in his speech about Trump winning that Democrats must accept the result because that's how Democracy works. Yes the U.S. is not a full democracy nobody is and our founding fathers made it so we weren't a full democracy. Anybody who thinks it is better somewhere else like Canada or Spain, they can go right ahead.

You said in the previous post that you can "accept the results of a democratic election" but now say "the U.S. is not a direct Democracy." This is an example, in microcosm, of the sort of two-faced, double-talk and double-standards that are a big part (though certainly not the only part) of the US political dialogue and why it's so seemingly insurmountable to deal with in a civil discourse.

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