September 12, 2010
-- by Dave Johnson
The only thing "moving to the right" accomplishes is to keep the people who were going to vote for you from bothering to go to the polls. It doesn't win you a single vote from the right - they were never going to vote for you.
Every Dem Politician please read at least this paragraph from Daily Kos: Rock bottom, at long last?
What was unanticipated--at least by some--was the conspiracy-minded zealous insanity of the conservative base, as well as the utter unwillingness of Republican politicians to compromise in any way for the good of the country. The Democratic response--outside of an utter sense of disbelief at just how radical the right had become--was to try to protect its most vulnerable members against accusations of being too far left by avoiding a push for transformational policies that would have provided a tangible sense of accomplishment and motivation for the Democratic base. If the goal was indeed to convince the conservative-leaning voters in swing districts that the Democrats were not in fact socialist Muslim Marxist fascist Stalinist homosexual terrorist sympathizers, it didn't work. The conservative base was just as motivated, while the Democratic base felt that they had absolutely nothing to vote for. The end result? A massive enthusiasm gap, and the largest generic Congressional ballot difference in the history of the Gallup Poll.
Moving to the right doesn't stop them from calling you a "socialist." It doesn't win you a single vote. All it does is keep the people who were going to vote for you from bothering to go to the polls.
Posted by Dave Johnson at September 12, 2010 10:53 AM
As an Australian, all I can say is the American Democrats are lucky you have a plurality voting system. The voting system here in Australia (Alternative Vote in the House of Reps, STV-Proportional Representation in the Senate) means independents and minor parties like the Greens have a shot and there's no such thing as a wasted vote. While Democrats can always rely on the fear of Republican rule, down here that doesn't apply and so have a hung parliament and PM Gillard only has a single vote majority after convincing 3 of 5 independents and the Green not to vote for the (conservative) "Liberal Party" leader Abbott.
The only reason for either of the major parties to move to the right or the left is because the electorate has moved. If you think about it, the minimum distance from the most voters is in the center. If you need a plurality to get elected (as we do in the US), then both parties are going to hit the center as hard as they can.
Don't think that the Republicans are gaining whatever the Democrats lose. Anybody currently voting for Republicans are holding their nose -- because the Republicans are slightly less worse in their view than the Democrats.
I mean, if you're a peace voter, you can't vote for either Republicans or Democrats this year. Both parties have demonstrated that they're war parties. Have to go looking at the Libertarians or Greens to find someone you can vote for with a clear conscience.
Posted by: Russnelson at September 13, 2010 10:14 PM
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