Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Why the Democrats are in trouble

Victor Davis Hanson has written an unusually good article -- even by his high standards -- regarding the Demos troubles in the modern world. I especially appreciated his discussion about the Demos tired, and irrelevant, attempts to raise the spectre of class warfare:

The old class warfare was effective for two reasons: Americans did not have unemployment insurance, disability protection, minimum wages, social security, or health coverage. Much less were they awash in cheap material goods from China that offer the less well off the semblance of consumer parity with those far wealthier. Second, the advocates of such rights looked authentic, like they came off the docks, the union hall, the farm, or the shop, primed to battle those in pin-stripes and coiffed hair. Today entitlement is far more complicated. Poverty is not so much absolute as relative: "I have a nice Kia, but he has a Mercedes," or "I have a student loan to go to Stanislaus State, but her parents sent her to Yale." Unfortunately for the Democrats, Kias and going to Stanislaus State aren't too bad, especially compared to the alternatives in the 1950s. A Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean, George Soros, or Al Gore looks — no, acts — like he either came out of a hairstylist's salon or got off a Gulfstream. Those who show up at a rally and belong to ANSWER don't seem to have spent much time in Bakersfield or Logan, but lots in Seattle and Westwood. When most Americans have the semblance of wealth — televisions, cell phones, cars, laptops, and iPods as well as benefits on the job — it is hard to keep saying that "children are starving." Obesity not emaciation is the great plague of the poorer. So the Democrats need a little more humility, a notion that the country is not so much an us/them dichotomy, but rather all of us together under siege to maintain our privileges in a tough global world — and at least one spokesman who either didn't go to prep school or isn't a lawyer.
Coming in a close second on the "I like it meter" is his take on the aged:
The Democrats won on the Social Security issue years ago. Annual cost-of-living increases and vast expansions to the program helped to ensure that we no longer witness — as I did in rural California in the early 1960s — elderly with outhouses and without teeth and proper glasses. In fact, despite the rhetoric of Washington lobbying groups, those over 65 are now the most affluent and secure in our society, and are on the verge of appearing grasping rather than indigent. They bought homes before the great leap in prices; they went to college when it was cheap; and they often have generous pensions in addition to fat social security checks. So ossified rhetoric about the "aged" in the social security debate — increasingly now not so much the Greatest Generation of WWII and the Depression as the first cohort of the self-absorbed baby boomers — is self-defeating.
The whole article is this good, so you should definitely take a couple of minutes to read the entire thing.