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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 07:15 PM
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How to move a political party ..... or not .....
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Certainly a party can be moved in a political direction. And certainly some on our side want nothing more than to see today's Democratic Party move. For some, that would be to the right. For most, that would be to the left.

I'm just one voter and have zero training in political science. But it seems to me that moving the party has to start with an acknowledgment of where the party is when the great move starts. I don't know how to judge that. Is it the average of the party's elected office holders? After all, they're the one's who are pretty much the de facto party spokespeople. But that assumes they represent the people. Some clearly do. Some, not so much.

So maybe its the people who make up the party's 'base'. And who are they? The people who are active in party governance? The people who self identify as such? The biggest contributors? Is there really a way to define 'the base'?

I think its fair to say that 'The Party' is all of them. An amalgam, not a homogeneous, monolithic bloc. There is no 'average' view or stance. Surely there's no average 'leftness' or 'rightness'.

And whatever the 'official' party position on any given issue, it is not the result of any formal polling of the 'base'. In many ways, its still developed in back rooms heavy with symbolic cigar smoke. It involves compromise and it involves concessions. All too often its strategy that trumps principles. It is surely never left enough or right enough for everyone's taste.

All that said, I still think the Party's general positions are generally a reflection of the base.

So, following on with that, the way to move the party is to move the base. It is an easily defended statement that the party's elected office holders reflect, generally, the base that elected them in the first place.

That would lead to a conclusion. And perhaps *the* best way to 'move the Party'.

Advocacy groups.

Media time for these same advocacy groups.

Celebrity advocates.

Media time for these same celebrity advocates.

If you think about it, that's how the repubs have been moved so far to the right.

Club for Growth
Rush Hannity and Bill Limbaugh and Sean O'Reilley
Ann Malkin and Michelle Coulter.
Heritage Foundation
American Enterprise Institute
Richard Mellon Sciafe
Faux Newz
700 Club

Years of consistent messaging from these groups and individuals have moved the Republican Party to exactly where we find it today. And in the process, they influenced our own 'base', pulling them rightward too. Not as far, but surely and inexorably rightward.

My conclusion?

If we want to move our party left (to me, that would be back to our traditional core positions - from FDR's days) we need just one thing.

Media access. We have everything else we need. The problem, pure and simply, is no voice.

We can argue about The CT 3rd party guy or the Greens, but that's just noise, really. What we NEED is a voice. A venue for honest debate that is heard by the teeming masses of voters - involved or disaffected. Only then will our party find its true base and its true position.

I started out saying I'm no political scientists. Poke all the holes needed in this thesis.
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