In 2000, we were robbed. This year turn-out was the highest it's been since '68 and fraud was about as low as could be expected. However, this ends, it looks like loss is likely, but no matter how it ends, indicates that the Democratic party has serious difficulties ahead of it.
I think the serious problem is values. On most everything else we can fight evenly, in some areas we had a serious advantage this year.
This scares the hell out of me. Because to be honest, there's a lot of traditional values I don't respect. This is really hard for me. I've always had a certain amount of faith in America. Unless I'm misinterpreting (we'll see the after results, I might be wrong, I hope I am) then today's America isn't the country I've believed it is.
So what does this mean:
Long term, we need to expand our values base and/or we need to actively strategize to change the values of America.
Now, values issues can be trumped by economics issues and the like. A serious economic crisis like the depression did enable vast liberal change. But we don't want to have to count on that sort of thing. Similarly, if we run a good candidate with a good plan economics may seem more important, but we can't count on that happening regularly.
So, here's how the strategy can break down.
- Pick up more libretarians. (fiscally conservative; socially liberal, south-west)
- Pick up more traditional working class (fiscally liberally; socially conservative, south-east)
I think we should go with libretarians. This is because I basically find some socially conservative values utterly unacceptable. Now, I don't think we have the basis here for a winning coalition. However, it would help.
So, how do we handle the rest?
- Use federalism! Do the work to get referendums or legislative support for civil unions and the like. There are states we can win in.
- Rely less on the courts. They are necessary at times, and it's worth it on a lot of issues. But, we should put more of our efforts in legislative/referendum solutions. Victories in courts are not viewed as nearly as legitimate.
- We dominate in a lot of cultural areas. We should find ways to better use this advantage. We're getting blowback from some of the use of actors/actresses in some areas.
- It's about the kids. There is a culture war going on, we may well be winning among the younger generation. So, with each generation we should get stronger. (I've heard they turned out numerically better, not proportionally better. This would actually be a good sign, as it means this result is less reflective of the value of youths).
- Immigrants. They may have a sufficiently different value and interest set that if we go after serious immigrantion reform we can get long term loyalty. It's certainly happened before.
- Pick our fights with the view on the long game. Look at the long game, the pledge isn't worth our efforts. Having people get used civil unions of homosexuals is seriously worth our efforts. The pledge isn't going to have a big difference on the current, let alone future generations. Civil unions for homosexuals will.
This is not an overall strategy nor is it meant to be. But it's time to acknowledge that there is a cultural war and for the moment, we're losing (this should change with the next generation, but I'm not willing to wait that long). Making it up with strength in other areas is not going to cut it. Just treating these as a series of seperate issues and strategizing seperately isn't going to cut it.
So, am I sure about this strategy? No, I'm not. But unless the results on the after polls are very surprising we dang well need a strategy. It's time to get one.