The Democrats have become the kid at school that no one really likes, the kid always trying to change his life to fit in with the popular kids.
“You like war on Iraq? Cool, so do I!”
“Tax cuts? Well, I know we’re in a recession and all, but what the hell! You’re only young once! Do you think I could come hang out at the budget meeting later?”
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Democratic Party has become an increasingly impotent force in national politics.
The party has no vision, and no real leadership.
There are currently nine potential Democratic candidates for the 2004 presidential election.
Contrast this with the Republicans, who stand united behind President George W. Bush, a leader who at least stands behind his beliefs.
The Democrats are abandoning their convictions in search of voters.
Take John Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts and one of the plethora of candidates for president.
Kerry fought in the Vietnam War and came back with a profound conviction that war is wrong.
He became a leading anti-war activist and went on to Congress, where he voted against the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
Fast forward to 2003, and Kerry is touting his record as a veteran with nary a mention of his anti-war days.
He also voted in favor of granting Bush war powers against Iraq last October.
Some Democratic leaders have recently criticized Bush’s tax policy, but the party is presenting no clear alternatives.
Few are publicly speaking out against war, fearing that it could be political suicide.
Many are choosing to say nothing at all, playing politics with the lives of millions of Iraqi civilians.
In the Feb. 23 issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer, an article stated that Republican Senator John McCain is against Bush’s environmental policy.
Good for McCain.
But what does it say about the Democratic Party, the supposed party of the people, which has a long history of defending environmental regulations, when the leader of the fight to save Mother Earth is a conservative Republican who once gave Friends an award for being obscene?
A lack of vision is what cost Democrats the election last fall.
Voters flocked to Republicans, who presented a unified front with a platform of security and economic revitalization (albeit through tax cuts for the wealthy).
The Democrats’ main message was: “Vote for us, ’cause we’re Democrats.”
With a war looming on the horizon that threatens the lives of Americans and Iraqis alike, as well as the prospect of severe economic damage as money pours into Tomahawk missiles and Predator drones instead of education and Social
Security, the Democrats have an opportunity to become a real opposition party.
Discontented Americans (all the polls show that their numbers are growing) do not have a party to turn to.
Americans would back a party that took a strong stand on the environment, labor rights and a solution to our economic woes besides tax cuts for the rich.
Sometimes, it’s better to be the smart kid than the popular one.
Brian White can be reached at email@example.com.