Some Observations on Being a Democrat -- Part III
The following reflects my feelings about how our party should try to emphasize what we have in common rather than things with which all members do not agree. I wrote it on my blog shortly after the November 2, 2004 election:
Although I wish I could say that everyone in our party heard the same message on Nov. 2 as I did, I know this is not the case.
Many remain in denial. Others seem to think being "right" is all that matters, with of course those doing the thinking also determining what they deem to be right.
I know that the leadership of the state party, official or otherwise, recognizes that the Democratic Party of Georgia has lost some its luster and former glory as evidenced by the results of the November results in 2004 for a reason.
And this leadership also recognizes that perception is important, sometimes more so than the actual facts themselves. And such leadership recognizes that our party suffers from perceptual problems, serious perceptual problems.
This leadership also knows that the political pendulum is always swinging, and that if we awaken from our pre-Nov. 2, 2004 slumber, we are a long way from becoming a dead-end organization and joining the ranks of the Federalists and the Whigs.
This leadership knows that remembering from whence we came will not interfere with our being flexible, innovative, and above all, inclusive of all, including new and accomodating ideas and platforms.
It seems that in the past anytime Democrats met, the first order of business was to divide us into our party's various caucuses as we identified ourselves. There was the black caucus, the Hispanic caucus, the lesbian and gay caucus, etc.
But what happens in the future when I try to bring one of my high school buddies back into our party's fold? He will not be accustomed to going to Democratic meetings and having to be identified as being in one of several of our party's constituencies?
In such a situation you know what this white male voter is going to immediately wonder -- where do I fit in? Where's the white guys' caucus?
For these and other reasons, we are into a very different mode now. We are now in the process of rebuilding, and as such we are far less interested in black caucuses and white caucuses and Hispanic caucuses. We want Democratic caucuses.
And in this process of rebuilding, we are far less interested in liberal caucuses and conservative caucuses. Again, we want Democratic caucuses.
And along the same line, I will tell you that my buddy shares something in common with millions of farmers, factory workers, waitresses and just plain ole regular good people in Georgia and across our country. He ended up voting -- utterly against his own interest -- for Republican candidates. We are going to address and take care of this between now and 2006.
And since ours is the party of hope and dreams, the party of the people, the party of inclusion, we think there is room in our party for beliefs that we share with most Americans, those who hold middle-of-the-road positions on abortion, guns, taxes and other issues.
We are beyond letting the forces of evil continue to outmaneuver us. We are reflecting back on how we operated when we were the big tent party, and how we can tolerate opinions and positions divergent from perhaps a majority of the party.
It is not our intent in our post Nov. 2 mode to be put on the defensive. We recognize that Karl Rove, Inc. wants to force us to defend taxes and lawyers, gay rights and unfettered access to abortion.
We're not going there. We're going to the Governor's mansion and the White House, and will remember and look after those who help get us there, just as President Clinton did when he was elected in 1992.
And we do appreciate the majority of our party, the party faithful. It is our base, and we know that in order to win future elections, we must we expand our base and appeal to other voters without alienating our base, the party faithful.
If we are to remain a relevant party, we must come together and stay together. As I stated in my 12-13-04 post:
"'A house divided against itself cannot stand,' said Abraham Lincoln, paraphrasing the Master's words found in Matthew 12:25. 'And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.'
"Words of wisdom for all ages, and especially appropriate for us to remember in the challenging days as we recognize and accept that we no longer are a majority party; that our base is now only 42% or less; and that we must expand on the base while being sure to keep our base."