However, if the Democrats presented a strong alternative, they would have more of a voice.
Instead, Democrats offer a lot of "me-too" policies and soft support for core constituencies. Remember Obama's promise to "put on my comfortable walking shoes" for the unions? Yet when they could have used him in Wisconsin, he was nowhere to be seen. I do not mean to single him out, it's just one glaring example. Again and again, our Democratic politicians sell us out, and promote policies that are harmful to working men and women, such as the NAFTA treaties and the like.
Yes, the Democrats have better policies. But not enough better to really have some bite when they present their narrative. Their narrative is a lot like the Republicans' narrative. Oh sure, they would never propose trickle-down economics. At least not in those terms. But they have assured us all these years that things like NAFTA actually, really, lead to more jobs for Americans. No, really! At least so they assure us. When we can all see, plain as day, that the good jobs are being sucked away and we are being left with the so-called "service economy" and even the Democrats want us to work til we're 70 -- even though there aren't enough jobs to go around in the first place, even though in reality, with modern advances, everyone could work a 20-hour week and we'd all still have plenty -- if our society were structured in anything approaching a sane manner.
The Republicans have a narrative. It's anti-immigration, it's hateful towards liberals, it's trickle-down, it's the moral superiority of the rich, it's their brand of Christianity, it's anti-abortion (these last three can all be subsumed under "moral superiority"), it's security and defense, its big bidness.
The Democrats' narrative is, we don't want to hurt the poor and the middle class quite as much. But we're strong on defense too! Hey, we like business too! We won't punish the banks! Look, the DOW is high under our own fearless leader! And we do too believe in God!