I wrote how the article “Democrats lack strong voice amid Trump’s Russia investigation meltdown“ made me recognize how old the Democratic leadership had become. It also points to the lack of appeal the party of the ancients has to younger folk and why the Republicans control Congress and most state governor offices and legislatures.
As devastating as that is it does not account for an even larger problem in the Democratic Party. It just so happened that the last two paragraphs of the article address it. The writers of the article Annie Linsky and Matt Viser hit the nail on the head. (or as my wife would say “hit the head on the nail.”)
They pointed out: “Democrats will huddle this week in Washington at an “ideas conference” sponsored by the left-leaning Center for American Progress.”
It seems to me the last place the Democrats would want to go to for ideas is a progressive think tank. It was funded by George Soros and founded by Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta. Having seen the American people reject the ideas of this group why are they going back to them?
The article went on: “It will feature some of the names that generate the most enthusiasm from the party’s base, including Senators Elizabeth Warren [68-years-old next month] of Massachusetts, Cory Booker [48-year-old] of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris [52 year old] of California.” [my emphasis]
Warren is as old as Clinton. Chuck Shumer pointed to her along with Bernie Sanders as being people who keep tugging the party to the left. Booker and Harris are African-Americans. Booker has been in the Senate since 2013; Harris this year. They are of the right age (Obama was 47 when he became president) to lead but have yet to show leadership ability. Either one may rise to the top depending on their actions over the next two years. Leading will mean pulling the party back from the edge.
Then the article noted in the last paragraph the true problem the Democrats have aside from age: “But the venue for the conference speaks volumes. At a time when many are calling for more Democratic outreach to the working class, the gathering will take place at The Four Seasons Hotel. The party still looks to be reaching inward, rallying its base of activists, insiders, and wealthy donors, but unready to broaden its reach — and effectively take on Trump”
That has been the problem with the party all along. It is catering to a small group of activists who lean to the socialist idea for America. They seem to have the party in their grasp even allowing a socialist to masquerade as a Democrat. For some reason the traditional base like labor cannot seem to loosen those fingers. Until it does it will forever be a minority party for it offers nothing to the broad middle working class in our country.
It is easy to see where each party gets its votes. In 2016 the Republicans won every state north of Texas, under or adjacent to the Mason Dixon line and to the east except Virginia and states bordering the Atlantic above it, New England, Illinois and Minnesota. It lost 6 of the eleven states west of Texas including those bordering the Pacific, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. Normally the upper mid-West was a safe Democratic area including the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan. In 2016 they went red. Get them back and they get the presidency. They won’t get them back looking to advance more progressive ideas.
Pennsylvania is 82% white with 28.5% German, 18.2 % Irish; 12.8% Italian, and 9.6% African-American; Ohio is 83% white with 26.5% German, 14.1% Irish; 9% English; and 6.4% Italian; Michigan is 78% white with 20.6% German, 11% Irish; 9% English, and 8.4% Polish; Wisconsin is 86% white with 46.2% German, 10.9% Irish, 9.3% Polish, and 8.5% Norwegian; Iowa is 91% white with 35.7% Germans, 13.5% Irish, 9.5% English and 6.6% American.
These groups are not usually associated with progressive movements. It is these groups that the Democrats need to look to for its future. Address their needs rather than the desires of the Hollywood-type or the rich donors.