The Myth of the Center

elections

 

The Democratic Party lost its way trying to find the center in American politics. As Hillary’s presidential campaign wore on, she tacked to the right, presumably hoping to attract Republicans disenchanted with Donald Trump.

But when the time came to vote, the disenchanted Republicans held their noses and chose Trump after all.

Tim Kaine was one of Hillary’s most obvious concessions. Kaine is a nice man, a good man, but he is no progressive. Choosing him as her running mate conflicted with the party’s platform, which was more in line with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren.

The Republicans did not compromise. They stuck to their guns and voted for their standard bearer, no matter what.

I hope Democrats will now abandon the notion that any political party can please all the people all the time. They must decide what the party stands for and stick with that message in good times and in bad.

There is no center in politics. While your vision might seem attractive to some voters, it will surely be rejected by others. The trick is to please the most voters – and to get them excited enough to vote.

Bernie had a clear and simple message of economic reform. Trump, although confusing and contradictory, managed to convey a promise of change. But in the end, what voters got from Hillary’s campaign was an unfocused message and the prospect of business as usual.

I know, that might seem unfair. Hillary had a lot of good, progressive proposals to offer, but you had to visit her web site to learn about them. Her campaign ads and speeches seemed – to me anyway – to be all about bad boy Trump.

And it seems that’s just what many of Trump’s supporters wanted – a bad boy to wreak havoc in Washington. It will be up to the Democrats to figure out how to pull this nation out of the wreckage that’s sure to result from Trump’s presidency.

More on the Democrats’ loss