Voices from Russia

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Democratic Party Seems to Have No Earthly Idea Why it’s So Damn Unpopular

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A troubling new poll showed that the Democratic Party is significantly less popular than both Donald Trump and Mike Pence are. My gut tells me that Democrats will ignore this poll, or blame it on bad polling, and continue down the same course they’re currently on… funded by lobbyists and the One Percent, straddling the fence or outright ignoring many of most inspirational issues of the time, and blaming Bernie Sanders for why they aren’t in power right now. As a rule, the Democratic Party doesn’t listen well and struggles to hear the truth about itself. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Republicans now control the House, the Senate, the presidency, and the overwhelming majority of state legislatures and governorships. This new poll from Suffolk University illustrates just how that’s possible. Here are the base results of the poll with favourable/unfavourable ratings.

  • Pence: 47 percent/35 percent
  • Trump: 45 percent /47 percent
  • GOP: 37 percent /48 percent
  • Media: 37 percent /50 percent
  • Dem Party: 36 percent /52 percent
  • Hillary: 35 percent /55 percent
  • Congress: 26 percent /52 percent

In other words, the Democratic Party has a favourability rating 11 points lower than Pence, 9 points lower than Trump, and even 1 point lower than the GOP. Their unfavourable rating is 17 points worse than Pence, five points worse than Trump, and four points worse than the GOP. This is a disaster. At a time when Donald Trump is the least-liked President ever measured at this point in his first term, the Democratic Party found a way to be even less liked than him. This is how Donald Trump wins a second term. This is how congressional Republicans win the next midterm elections. This is how conservatives not only maintain their current power from coast to coast but also expand it.

The Democratic Party is deeply unpopular… period. It’s a fact. Don’t look away. Don’t call me a Bernie Bro. We must seriously address this problem. Not a day goes by when I don’t have people reach out to me and ask if it would be worth it to start a credible alternative to what the Democrats are offering. Most people, I believe, would also be open to a brand new way of business for the Democratic Party, but core leaders seem hell-bent on doing the same old crap. When good people frustrated with the Democratic Party express their genuine concerns, I see them being told to shut up and unify. They tell them, “Now isn’t the time for public complaints. We must all work together”. However, what this apparently means to the people who are calling for unity is getting behind the corporate, suit-and-tie, lobbyist-driven establishment agenda.

Nevertheless, let me break it to you… the establishment has almost no grassroots momentum. People outside of the Democratic Party establishment fuel virtually every progressive grassroots movement in America right now and this is a huge reason why the party is so outrageously unpopular. Huge grassroots movements, made up of millions and millions of people, fuel the fight for a 15 USD minimum wage, fight back against fossil fuels and the Dakota Access Pipeline, fight to end fracking, fight to remove lobbyist money from politics, fight to end senseless wars and international violence, fight for universal healthcare, fight for the legalisation of marijuana, fight for free college tuition, fight against systems of mass incarceration, and so much more. However, mainstream Democrats aren’t really a central part of any of those battles, and, to be clear, each of those issues has deep networks, energised volunteers, and serious donors, but corporate Democrats virtually ignore them.

In the past two months, I’ve spoken in a dozen states around the country and thousands of people show up. On Wednesday night, in the freezing rain, a line wrapped around multiple city blocks to attend an event I was hosting at a local Seattle high school. We literally formed the event a few days ago on Facebook and didn’t spend a single penny putting it together. When I see these crowds, I don’t see them and think, “Wow, I’m so popular”. I see them and think, “Wow, people are hungry for change, and insight, and direction”. When I see those crowds, those polls showing how outrageously unpopular the Democratic Party is frustrate me even more. It just doesn’t have to be this way. People show up in huge numbers for my events, or Bernie’s events, or for events put on by the organisers of the Women’s March, not just because we all want to stop Donald Trump. That’s a gross oversimplification of who we are and what we stand for. People are showing up, by the thousands, by tens and hundreds of thousands, because we have many of the very same beliefs, and passions, and preferences for how America can improve and be a better place for all of us.

The Democratic Party isn’t a fiery Barack Obama speech away from being popular. He may be beloved and mobs of screaming fans may follow him all over the country, but the party he represents simply doesn’t have that same type of support. Moreover, they won’t if they don’t do some serious soul searching about who and what they truly stand for. Recently, I’ve asked the crowds where I am speaking two key questions about the Democratic Party. The response that I get is always the same… mass laughter or audible frustration. The first question is:

If I asked you, in just a few sentences, to sum up what specific policies the Democratic Party stands for, what would you say?

People have no genuine idea. They know some things the party stands against, but it’s genuinely hard to be sure of what they stand for. The other question is:

What exactly is the strategy of the Democratic Party to take back the government from conservatives across the country?

That one always gets the most laughs. Nobody has any idea. Not once has somebody stood up and said, “Hey, I know the strategy”. Hell, I don’t know it. I don’t think one exists. Whatever the strategy was this past election, it didn’t work either. Again, I don’t just mean in the presidential election. Democrats lost all over the place in national, state, and local elections.

Losing is hard. It sucks. I hate losing. However, this much I know… if the Democratic Party doesn’t come to grips with why it’s so wildly unpopular, many more losses will be on the horizon.

9 March 2017

Shaun King

New York Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-democratic-party-doesn-unpopular-article-1.2993659

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