We read that the country is evenly split with about 41% registered Republicans and 42% registered Democrats and the rest registered as Other.
Why is this percentage so low for the Democratic Party?
Perhaps it is only me but I have always thought of the Democratic Party as a Party that represents the worker, the poor, the underprivileged, the minority, the absolute majority of the people of this nation. But times change and Parties change. The Republican Party has changed to more openly represent the wealthy, big business, and the monied class. They are an absolute minority but they are now even with the Democratic Party in representation of the people.
In my opinion, it is a false representation of where the American people are with their political beliefs. I understand what both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party purport to represent. Historically, the Democratic Party has done more to help the general population of this country than has the Republican Party. The "conservatives" have not passed legislation to take from the wealthy and give to the needy. They would never do that. Democrats have tried over time to level the playing field and make lives better for everyone in our nation and not just the very few.
Nonetheless, I cannot understand why our Party does not represent a larger proportion of the American voting public. Is it that the Republican Party has done a much better job than the Democratic Party at communicating with the people of this country. To me, it is close to an injustice.
1. How people register is not necessarily how they vote. For example, over 50% of voters in
Edited on Sun Jul-29-12 10:07 AM by No Elephants
Massachusetts are registered independent.
Yet our legislature has been over 90% Democratic for a long time and the only times since 1928 that Massachusetts went Republican for President were Eisenhower's two terms and Reagan's two terms, both special cases at the time.
I was registered independent myself, until 2004, when I switched registration to Democratic. Yet, I never voted anything but Democratic, with a single exception--and that was not to vote Republican, which I would never do.
Passing that, I think that Republicans gain and Democrats lose when Democrats get fearful about being too different from Republicans. Re
4. At one time there were Democratic Party principles.
These included an unshakable defense of the social safety net - social security and medicare, they viewed organized labor as a net positive -not something to get rid of, they believed in environmental standards, they believed in a strong public education. As the Democratic Party has abandoned these core principles, the number of people identifying as Democrat has fallen.
Beginning with the presidency of Bill Clinton and the advocacy of "third way" Democrats we started to see a watering down of the party's traditional values.
5. Mine too, though I would add that, going back to Lincoln's day and earlier.
Edited on Mon Jul-30-12 08:13 AM by No Elephants
The Democratic Party always had its less desirable side, especially among Southern white male Democrats. And many of the original DLC members were Southern white males, many of them with Presidential aspirations who needed to be able to get the electoral votes of at least their home states.
I am not saying that the original DLC members were racists or that all Southern white males of any Party are racists.
I am just saying that very conservative Democrats go back a long way. However, they managed to take over the entire Party starting in the 1980s and Clinton's election, touted by the DLC as the first DLC Presidential victory, did make that wing of the Party very attractive, especially to those with Presidential aspirations, for whom the popular vote simply is not enough.
6. You will agree that I can be a Democrat (Red diaper baby that I was)
with a lot more room to breath in my party, than any Republican can be in there's. And, I think that's been the case back to the days of Lincoln. I've been told I was wrong, & I've told others they were wrong, and no one said we, on either end of that argument, couldn't be Democrats.
7. Not sure what you mean, so not sure if I agree or disagree.
Edited on Wed Aug-01-12 03:36 AM by No Elephants
If my reply does not actually address the point of your post, it is because i am not sure what you meant. So, if I misunderstood, i apologize in advance. However, to the extent that i understood your point, it was that the Democratic Party leaves a lot of room within it for widely differing views. If so, I am not sure that is so.
I have seen plenty of posts on DU alone accusing people of not being Democrats (or "real" Democrats) if they think a certain way.
I have been accused of that myself because Democratic principles are my north star, as opposed to what the favorite Democrat du jour has just done. Moreover, I myself have accused politicians, of not being real Democrats. "DINO" means not really a Democrat and that is a term Democrats use (Republicans thinking that all Democrats are at least liberal, if not actually socialist)
The Teabagger phenomenon is intolerant at the polls of differences within the party, but Teabagger power is a relatively recent phenomenon and I am not sure it is more intolerant of more left Republicans than the DLC is of liberals within the Democratic Party.
I don't see a lot of room for the left to breathe within today's Party when the Chief of Staff refers contemptuously to the "left of the left" and liberal retards, then soon apologizes--only to Palin. And Rahm was only one of the White House higher ups dissing liberals. The President did it himself a time or two or three. Jawdropping, because I never heard a Republican President or Republican White House do anything comparable to either the right wing or the left wing of the Republican Party.
So that is this era, based on observable behaviors of both DUers and the party higher ups.
In the days of Lincoln, emotions about slavery, one way or the othedr, ran very high. A war was fought over them. In Lincoln's time, the Democrats and their kissing cousins the Dixiecrats, were the Klan members. I don't think they left people who opposed them a lot of room to breathe. So I am not at all sure there was plenty of room for anti-slavery Democrats, people of color, etc., especially in the South, which, of course, was a much bigger percentage of the entire nation than it is now.
On what facts are you are basing your statement about 1863 through 2012?
On the other hand, maybe you were not saying that the Party is tolerant of a large variety of views. Maybe you were saying that, from 1863 until the present, the Democratic Party has always had a place for conservatives. In that case, wasn't that pretty much what my post said? That the Democratic Party has always had a conservative wing that has now taken control of the Party? (And I do not see that as a positive.)
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