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How Democrats Can Win Elections


The argument that the Democrats need to become “more moderate” (generally defined as giving up the more idealistic goals that some in the party have advanced) is being fought on the wrong grounds. Every article about it is about how to get people to vote for Democrats in the fall. What the Democrats need is a vision. Visions are, by definition, not safe.

What do we want the country to look like? A time period has to be attached to that, because we have to get there from here. And so there has to be a path to that goal, also to be laid out. Both of these can be unifying and can also educate the public on what politics requires.

Republicans have long had a goal: a God-fearing country, with lots of money for its donors, the second goal dressed up as money for everyone via “free enterprise” or whatever they are calling it this week. It’s worked for forty years.

Democrats’ goal could be something like “opportunity for all,” which would include voting and good schools. Maybe even freedom from the pandemic and the fear we will be gunned down at the shopping mall.

There’s a lot wrong with the polling obsession, and I hope to go into that in later posts. I’ll close with a quote from Ruy Teixiera from a long New York Times article that fails to show what “Democratic moderates” are about.

The thing about moderates today is I don’t think they have a worldview. They’re just reacting to what A.O.C. and the Democratic left are doing. But what’s their alternative? I don’t think they have an alternative. ‘Don’t do dumb stuff’ is not a worldview.

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