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It's not possible for the Democrats to be in the "middle"

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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:00 AM
Original message
It's not possible for the Democrats to be in the "middle"
Because the "far left" is defined by the right (and reported by the media) as wherever the Democratic party happens to be! Furthermore, the DLC crowd will always see the "middle" as halfway between wherever the Democartic party is now and wherever the Republican party is now! Trying to get to the middle is like trying to find the end of a rainbow. It moves as you move. I am of the opnion that the Democrats would do much better if they just decided what they want to stand for, stand for it, and don't apologise for it!
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proudbluestater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. If we were in Europe, the Liberals would be Moderates
That's how badly we've fallen in the world. Our liberal is moderate everywhere else.

I'm with you, pick an agenda, any agenda, and stick with it. I think the "liberal" label came from the Rep. attempt to pain John Kerry as another "Massachusetts Liberal" like Michael Dukakis.

I don't even consider Kerry a liberal. It's a Republican game, anyway, take every good, descriptive term and demonize all those who consider themselves one.
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eurolefty Donating Member (163 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. No. In Europe socialists are moderates.
We even have moderate communists... :evilgrin:

The political spectrum is much wider here.
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psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. We can thank the BIG DAWWWGGGG!!!! for the Dem's absurdly right position
Well, he is who I would blame, but there is plenty of blame to spread around...the mass media, the voting public, organized rightists...
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. the Big Dawg was painted as...
The Big Dog was framed as a radical, tree hugging, dope smoking, draft dodging Commie by the RW propaganda machine.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Hi proudbluestater!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sadly, I think your message falls on many deaf ears
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 05:18 AM by Selatius
There are many who simply do not want to admit that the present strategy is a failing one. They note the successes of Clinton, while seemingly ignoring the losses that went on under Clinton, such as NAFTA or the Telecommunications Act of 1996, not to mention the loss of Congress in 1994. To be fair, the problems the Democrats had under Clinton originated a few years prior, but they certainly weren't addressed when they should have been in the 1990s.

The DLC is an incredibly powerful force now within the Democratic Party, and it looks to be that way for a long time to come. They advocate economic policies that I don't agree with, and that may be due to the fact that they take corporate contributions from Fortune 500 companies as well as rightwing think tanks such as the Bradley Foundation. Their message of "moderation" is what makes it hard for Democrats to distinguish themselves from the Republicans.

Kerry was better than Bush, but when it comes to his economic policies, I don't think he was really on the side of the poor people and the workers of America. I just don't believe his wholehearted support of NAFTA is good for workers. If we're going to be the party of the workers, then at least we should be consistent about it, not paying lip service to them and going in the opposite direction. Dean and Kucinich were better on this issue than Kerry. If we're going to trade with the rest of the world, at least have the common sense to have a seat reserved for the workers and environmentalists at the negotiating table the next time an agreement is signed.

I just think it's disasterous that we have so many Democrats who are taking corporate cash and ditching the American people in favor of more power and control. Those who advocate moderation for ulterior motives (i.e. paying back favors to big business financiers) are threatening to split the party in half between themselves and the more progressive-populist Democrats.

I mean, look how far Kerry's economic policies are to the right. That's considered "left" in America?

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Sandpiper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:25 AM
Response to Original message
3. They're going to paint us as liberal elitists no matter what
Bill Clinton had the most humble, everyman beginnings of any President since Abraham Lincoln, and they managed to convince people that HE was an elitist even though his opponents were a Connecticut blue blood (Bush 41), and a career politician (Dole).

They're going to call us that no matter what, so there's no point in running away from it.
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Right! No candidate is immune from a Republican smear.
"They can't paint John Kerry as weak on terror! He's a war hero!" "They won't be able to call Wes Clark as weak on terror! He's a four star general!"

Of course they can. Just because it's untrue doesn't mean they can't say it. They will say it! They'll say it so many times people will believe it! So why waste effort trying to get behind a candidate who we think the right can't smear, when they'll just go and smear them anyway?
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OETKB Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
6. What Do We Stand For?
The argument where someone stands politically goes on forever, and since the right is fairly consistent in what policies they stand for without compromise, it is time to put a face on a true opposition and stop beating around the bush:

As a progressive liberal, here is what I stand for:

Single payer universal health care
Unequivocal protection and renewal of our environment
Cooperative and peaceful negotiations with the rest of the world in the context of international law
War is not an instrument to bring peace but ensures the opposite
We should strive to be a nation among nations and not strive for superiority in military and economic might.
There is enough resources in this world to eliminate hunger, support diversity, educate every citizen, and ensure their health as much as possible
We only advance when we help the most needy among us. Going without basic resources, such as decent health and education only produces citizens who can not give their fullest talents to their society.
Political rights must be protected as a single priority
Taxes are the people's support for government to ensure their well being through a discussion of our representatives
Accurate, thorough, and open information in its most public forums is a necessity in a democracy

Our candidate wishy washed on these principles, even when he may have agreed with them. The policies he proposed were only luke-warm approaches to these issues. I am not so naive to think that these positions involve political risks, but if you start from a more watered-down position you end up with little change for the better. It was a painful process for many citizens, not as well informed as just about everyone on this blog, to try to figure out what the differences were. If you are proposing changes, the people who are going to deal with those changes will ask: What's in it for me? The arguments proposed were used mainly to humiliate the opposition, not a clarification of the benefits of what is being proposed. This is a losing set of circumstances every time.
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I sign up for all of those
and once we have unflinching belief in a set of principles, then we need a leader who can inspire belief in others in those principles with some stirring rhetoric. I think that then the undecided voters would come flocking, and not be turned off at all.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. These principles work
It's just that our leadership simply sucks at staying consistently on message. Bush stayed on message to a fault; it was simple talking points in response to real problems, especially during the debates, but it worked because it gave the impression of being resolute and consistent even though he was either dodging the issue or was wrong. He sounded like a broken record, but he repeated it enough to where people got it stuck in their heads. I just dub it "message flooding," repeating the same message over and over again until it enters public discourse as a given.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. One small problem - Those aren't principles
They are POSITIONS on ISSUES.

Principles are "Equal rights is a good thing". Principles are used to form our positions on the issues, but the positions are not the principles themselves.
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. OK.
So, principles first. Then positions, that are consistent with those principles. Then stirring rhetoric to get people into our positions. Then win elections!

(OK I can dream, anyway).
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Precisely
We don't need to spend gobs of time figuring out what our positions are. We KNOW what they are, and we KNOW that the majority of Americans agree with US.

What we need to spend time on is figuring out how to link our values to positions, and how to talk about both in a way that makes it clear that we have both values and positions, and the majority of Americans agree with OUR values and OUR positions.
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OETKB Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. One More!
I wanted to add:

Ensure a living wage for all those who work and to honor these citizens as crucial to a democratic society.
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
11. Shameless bump!
:bounce:
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
12. I am liberal AND progressive.
I get really frustrated with labels on this forum. I don't like the DLC's corporate sellout and abandonment of the working class. I embrace many progressive ideas. I will not abandon being liberal.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
16. yup.
Kerry was widely perceived as not standing for anything.

This is really a reflection of the Dem's post-Clinton attempts to run to the middle. You are dead-on right. It is a fruitless pursuit. they just end up chasing the repuke agenda around and around.

Dems need to find the three or four or five key things they stand for, reduce them to easily-digested soundbites, and hammer tha message home relentlessly.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. Thank you. Only Republicans use the term "far left".
Even those Republicans who pretend to be Dems.

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