Everybody around here — and in punditworld generally — is giving advice to the Republicans. But the electoral results suggest that the Dems are the ones who badly need guidance. I don’t read the numbers as a general rejection of the ruling class, and frankly I don’t believe that any serious Democrat can read them that way. The voters rejected THEM.
The best short take I heard on the radio last night (I do not watch TV very often, and the hour or so I saw last night was just awful; radio much better) had to do with the gubernatorial miracle in Maryland, but it applies to the whole night: The voters said to the government: STOP! You’re killing us!!’
Too much intrusion, too much government, too many taxes, the screwed-up health care scam, the IRS schemes, the NSA snooping on normal innocents. That’s gotta stop. Get out of our way, we’re smarter than you think we are. We can do it ourselves, we don’t need you as much as you want to impose yourselves on us. And we are sick and tired of being robbed blind by you guys, with very limited benefits, at least to those of us who want to work hard and claw our way up.
The other smart analysis, again via radio, pointed to the exit polls’ finding of widespread fear, including fear of Ebola, fear of terrorism, fear that their kids would be worse off than they, etc.
So you got a richly deserved thrashing.
National security was a big deal, which according to punditwisdom it isn’t supposed to be, even in presidential elections and certainly not in legislative off-year elections.
So I’ve got advice for the Democrats: repent and convert.
Repent of your failed view of the world. You’re still mouthing hundred-year-old slogans in pidgen Marxism, all that class-conflict garbage. It had some legitimacy in the 19th century, and in some Old World countries in the 20th, but it doesn’t explain much of anything any more. Start with the wisdom of an old Italian friend who once headed the Communist Party’s youth organization: “but there is no working class.”
That’s especially right regarding America, where the channels of upward and downward mobility are so spatious. We’re good at “empowering” talented or lucky people. You guys stink at it. Just look around you, notice all the dullards in your caucus and your staffs, and compare with good law firms, good startups, or the military services. So step aside, and do less.
Another Italian friend once proposed that members of Parliament get cash rewards for NOT passing legislation. You’re overrewarded now, but it’s a good thought for your future. And you can nicely adapt this approach to your “love for the common man” theme. Maybe you noticed that there was no small amount of criticism from your favorite minorities, along the lines of “they’ve been in charge for a long time and we still live in slums, but they have mansions.” Even those presumably uber-reliable Latinos showed you’re losing them. So instead of regulating them, get off their backs and let them perform.
Want icons? Try Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass. Jettison the reverends Wright, Jackson and Sharpton. Let freedom ring. Equal Opportunity was supposed to be a temporary cure for a terrible disease, not an industry. Reread Hubert Humphrey and step aside.
On national security, you’re already making some progress, thanks to our invaluable Iranian foes. The sanctions have been truly bipartisan and surprisingly effective. Here you have two outstanding models: Scoop and JFK. Scoop used to joke about “born-again hawks” suddenly tearing off their Peace and Love outfits to demand stern action against the Soviets. You can do the same, and it will only be embarrassing for a little while. Lots of us will praise you for seeing the light, and more importantly the country might have a chance to survive the current great peril. Don’t you want at least a positive footnote in the next generation’s history texts?
Americans love penitents and embrace converts. Steal a march on what is coming: death and destruction galore. It’s time to do butter-for-guns, time to stop funding corrupt Solyndras and resume the drive for fabulous weapons technology.
Repent and convert, brothers and sisters. Be born again. Sing along with JFK, remind us of the austere wisdom of Scoop.
You may even manage to win an election now and then. On your current record, you’re doomed. Surely you noticed that the good young talent is Republican, and that young voters are getting distinctly reddish?
You used to understand all this, but you got duped by McGovern, Alinsky and Obama. Time to head for the baptismal font.