Reasons for Democratic downfall
Views 24 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 2 - 28 - 2017 | By: Grant Gardner
Seven years ago, when the 111th Congress took session, the Democratic Party had its dream: increased majority control in both houses of Congress and control of the White House. With this, the Democrats had free reign to pursue their political agenda while the Republicans were essentially helpless. Fast forward to today, and the tables have turned completely. The GOP now has that same control, and the opportunity to shift the balance of the Supreme Court. How did this dramatic shift come to fruition?
One of the primary factors of this demise is the polarization of politics. With the move towards a politically correct culture, the Democrats have accordingly shifted further left. They have become the party of acquiescence, rushing to jump in front of a camera to support a fringe cause because they do not want to offend anyone. Instead of appealing to a wide variety of voters, they have zeroed in on groups that make up small percentages of the American population. This has led to the disenfranchisement of the independent and Democrat-leaning voters. While Clinton did win the popular vote, she lost electoral states that have consistently been Democratic, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
Another key contributing reason to the Republican rise is the lack of quality candidates. While the Republican ticket was also one of the worst in history, Clinton is perhaps the most failed presidential candidate in history. Not only did she lose to the unqualified Donald Trump, she also could not beat a young, also unqualified, senator from Illinois in 2008. Now that the Clinton era is over, there is opportunity for a new wave of fresh Democrats to rise up. However, there are no viable candidates waiting in the wings for 2020. For instance, some of the leading candidates are Joe Biden and Cory Booker. Biden will be 78 and on his third presidential run. Booker has little experience and lacks the professionalism of a typical establishment candidate, exemplified by his historic testimony against Jeff Sessions. While there is time to develop new candidates, they have to make their case soon.
It is common knowledge that for an organization to be successful, it must have high quality leadership. The last year or so has shown has poisonous the Democratic leadership has been. From the unethical advance sharing of debate questions to top-down bias against a presidential candidate, these leaders have set their party back dramatically. Emails have also shown the contempt and arrogance of party leadership, which led to the resignation of the party chair and a tainted reputation for the interim chair. On the other hand, Reince Priebus guided the Republicans back from the failures of 2010-2012 and mitigated many crises. Perhaps the election of Tom Perez as party chair will usher in a new era.
After this 2016 election cycle, the Democrats have many fires to put out. They will be forced to become the new party of no, while attempting to build a grassroots movement to retake Washington. However, the new leadership will have to bring the party back to center, otherwise they will continue to lose independent votes that are crucial to winning elections.