Recently, I wrote about the GOP’s odds of taking over Congress and enacting its agenda of turning America into a hellish zone of desolation and despair.
OK, I’m just kidding. The GOP has no coherent agenda.
But the desolation and despair? Yeah, that part is true.
In any case, the best chance that the Democrats have for retaining control of Congress is to convince Americans that their party is strong and capable of effective governance.
Unfortunately, that is the exact opposite of how Americans view the Democratic Party.
You see, a recent survey revealed that most Americans believe the word “weak” is what best describes Democrats. And just one-third picked the word “effective” to describe the party.
I’m not sure where people get the idea that Democrats are weak and ineffective. Sure, many Democrats are clamoring to pardon Trump rather than anger his supporters. And Biden has scaled back his program to forgive student loans, because it offended too many Republicans who want people to suffer. And Democrats are constantly bowing down to the white working class in the hopes that one percent of them will not vote Republican. And the Democratic Party is led by obsequious moderates who are constantly begging for hugs from right-wing hatemongers that would gladly throw every progressive in jail.
But besides that, why would anyone say that they are weak?
Clearly, the Democrats don’t exactly project strength—and it isn’t just a marketing problem. There is a frailty “that runs to the core of the Democratic Party.”
Perhaps it is because Democrats have been told so often that they are wimpy bleeding-heart cowards. The result is that they are “convinced that they do not deserve to govern, and so they bend over backward to get Republican support.”
But no matter how hard they try to win over conservatives, Democrats just “get kicked in the head, every time.” Until the Democratic Party can somehow grow a pair, “there is no chance of serious progress on any of the issues they claim to care about.”
To be fair, some Democrats are well-known for their pugilistic approach. Say what you will about AOC, for example, she doesn’t beg Republicans to like her.
Also, Democrats are now less likely to hem and haw over “controversial” issues that actually have wide support. Indeed, many Democrats “now believe it’s easier to win culture war fights than run from them.”
All that is progress, but too many Democrats are still saying “pretty please” to the GOP and then smiling when they get punched in the face. These old-school Democrats believe they can debate traditional policy issues from a conventional conservative-liberal perspective. But this has not been true for years.
Consider also that a recent study analyzed Americans’ attitudes toward race, and it found that white Republicans were the group most likely to hold racist beliefs.
By the way, the second-most bigoted group was “Republicans of other races.”
Also, a majority of Republicans say immigrants make America worse and that white Americans suffer more discrimination than Black Americans. So yes, racism is an inherent feature of the GOP.
Finally, keep in mind that up to 70 percent of Republicans do not believe that Biden actually won the 2020 election. Of course, many of them don’t think Trump really got more votes than Biden. Instead, they believe that “democracy itself has betrayed America by allowing the ‘wrong’ people to take charge.”
These are not people who are ready to make nice.
Republican leaders have made no secret of their desire for unchecked power. They are proclaiming, loud and clear, that they have no interest in debating anything with Democrats or proposing any ideas that improve America. They are out for revenge.
Americans know this. Going back to that poll that showed Democrats are associated with weakness, we discover that the word most Americans use to describe Republicans is “extreme.” In second place was the word “hateful.”
The poll further shows that Americans are “more likely to see the Republican Party as fighting for white people” and against the interests of Latinos, African Americans, LGBTQ people, and women. Again, that’s not liberal agitprop, but the opinion of most Americans.
So what will Democrats do with this information? Will they go on the attack against bigots and perhaps show a little spine for once?
Or will they roll over and try to appease xenophobes and misogynists?
No matter what happens, one thing is clear: When you’re fighting extremists, you can’t be weak.
Featured image by M Kuhn/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0