As we await the outcome in the Senate race in Massachusetts, one thing is certain. The Democrats are failing to articulate their message to voters. Nationally Democrats have become complacent, allowing right wing Republicans and the so called Tea Party fanatics to define what the Democrats are about. One has to wonder where is the vision, where is the voice articulating a progressive future for America.
Democrats have allowed conservative voices to dominate the airwaves with outrageous claims and make Democrats the issue rather than the failed conservative policies that contributed to our current recession. They have allowed the Tea Party rhetoric to switch the blame for failed conservative free market and de-regulation policies to Democrats who are struggling to clean up 8 years of failed fiscal policies under Bush.
EJ Dionne in a commentary yesterday entitled Mass. Senate raises lessons for Obama discusses the Democrat’s problems:
“…the success of the conservative narrative ought to trouble liberals and the Obama administration. The president has had to “own” the economic catastrophe much earlier than he should have. Most Americans understand that the mess we are in started before Obama got to the White House. Yet many, especially political independents, are upset that the government has had to spend so much and that things have not turned around as fast as they had hoped.
It’s also striking that most conservatives, through a method that might be called the audacity of audacity, have acted as if absolutely nothing went wrong with their economic theories. They speak and act as if they had nothing to do with the large deficits they now bemoan and say we will all be saved if only we return to the very policies that should already be discredited. …
…the truth that liberals and Obama must grapple with is that they have failed so far to dent the right’s narrative, especially among those moderates and independents with no strong commitments to either side in this fight.”
Just winning the election was only 1 step. It’s like scoring a touchdown and then walking off the football field before the game is over. It’s like winning the first game of the season and then not showing up for the next game. You can’t achieve change if you’re not engaged in an ongong matter. And a big part of the game in politics is getting your message out there defining who you are and what you stand for and what you intend to do for the country; it’s not by letting the fringe conservatives, with no agenda except being in power, define who you are by outshouting you.
America’s free press is disappearing and real political analysis is being lost as polls, yelling and shouting replace political dialogue and serious discussion of the issues. Money exerts an even greater influence in driving politics as an independent press ceases to function and corporate conglomerates consolidate media power. TV, where most people get their news, loves a political circus with controversy. They love car crashes and political scandals more than hard hitting investigations and analysis of policies and programs that affect peoples lives every day. Not enough drama.
Citizens need to demand more from our media and more from our elected officials to engage the public in running our country. Democrats need to wake up and work for the future they want. No one is going to just hand it to them Let’s hope the Democrat’s in power wake up to this reality before the opportunity for real change passes us by again.