Democratic political strategy simply assumes that people know where their economic interest lies and that they will act on it by instinct. There is no need for any business-bumming class-war rhetoric on the part of candidates or party spokesmen, and there is certainly no need for a liberal to actually get his hands dirty fraternizing with the disgruntled. Let them look at the record and see for themselves: Democrats are slightly more generous with Social Security benefits, slightly stricter on environmental regulations, and do less union-busting than Republicans.This is exactly what I came away with when I attended a couple of local democratic functions, including hearing DNC chair McAwffle.
"But why should I vote for you? Why should "I" care if you win? What is the party's goal? What are 'we' going to do, when 'we' win?They just sort of stared at me blank faced, like I was a little slow child and didn't understand adult politics.
The true lesson for liberals in the Kansas story is the utter and final repudiation of their historical decision to remake themselves as the other pro-business party. By all rights the people of Wichita and Shawnee should today be flocking to the party of Roosevelt, not deserting it. Culturally speaking, however, that option is simply not available to them anymore. Democrats no longer speak to the people on the losing end of a free-market system that is becoming more brutal and more arrogant by the day.Yeah. It often does seem to be the party of pussies vs the party of bullies. Geez.
The problem is not that Democrats are monolithically pro-choice or anti-school-prayer; it's that by dropping the class language that once distinguished them sharply from Republicans they have left themselves vulnerable to cultural wedge issues like guns and abortion and the sneers of Hollywood whose hallucinatory appeal would ordinarily be far overshadowed by material concerns. We are in an environment where Republicans talk constantly about class -- in a coded way, to be sure -- but where Democrats are afraid to bring it up.
Otter: Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons. But that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.Vote Ted Turner in 2004.
Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.
"Sociologists often warn against letting the nation's distribution of wealth become too polarized, as it clearly has in the last few decades. Societies that turn their backs on equality, the professors insist, inevitably meet with a terrible comeuppance. But those sociologists were thinking of an old world in which class anger was a phenomenon of the left. They weren't reckoning with Kansas, with the world we are becoming.You know, I am wondering who will eventually rise and become the voice of the masses. It will happen if the parties fail to address the problems. I see neither party offering hope. I see neither party offering a goal, a vision for how our society should look in four years (unless it's supposed look like war torn Beirut or something), much less ten or twenty years down the road, unless it's global corporate feudalism.
Behold the political alignment that Kansas is pioneering for us all. The corporate world -- for reasons having a great deal to do with its corporateness -- blankets the nation with a cultural style designed to offend and to pretend-subvert: sassy teens in Skechers flout the Man; hipsters dressed in T-shirts reading 'FCUK' snicker at the suits who just don't get it. It's meant to be offensive, and Kansas is duly offended. The state watches impotently as its culture, beamed in from the coasts, becomes coarser and more offensive by the year. Kansas aches for revenge. Kansas gloats when celebrities say stupid things; it cheers when movie stars go to jail. And when two female rock stars exchange a lascivious kiss on national TV, Kansas goes haywire. Kansas screams for the heads of the liberal elite. Kansas comes running to the polling place. And Kansas cuts those rock stars' taxes.
As a social system, the backlash works. The two adversaries feed off of each other in a kind of inverted symbiosis: one mocks the other, and the other heaps even more power on the one. This arrangement should be the envy of every ruling class in the world. Not only can it be pushed much, much farther, but it is fairly certain that it will be so pushed. All the incentives point that way, as do the never-examined cultural requirements of modern capitalism. Why shouldn't our culture just get worse and worse, if making it worse will only cause the people who worsen it to grow wealthier and wealthier?"