Myths of the Democratic Party; Mobilization, Demography and Prescription Drugs

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 18, 2005 | Go to article overview

Myths of the Democratic Party; Mobilization, Demography and Prescription Drugs


Byline: Tod Lindberg, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

William Galston and Elaine Kamarck, two of the keenest observers of American politics and the fortunes of their Democratic Party in it, were co-authors of a 1989 analysis and strategy paper that in certain respects paved the way for Bill Clinton's triumph in 1992 as a "New Democrat," a candidate set apart from the left-liberalism that had come to dominate the party and to which Mr. Galston and Miss Kamarck rose in opposition. The two have just released a new study and strategy paper, "The Politics of Polarization," that hopes to galvanize Democrats' fortunes once again by directing the party back toward the electoral center.

You will not find a more astute political analysis. Unfortunately for Democrats, knowledge is not virtue, and a clear-eyed view of the political problem at hand, while a prerequisite for a solution, only begins the hard working of crafting a workable approach to the party's national problem of powerlessness.

Let's start with the basics: There are more voters in the United States today who call themselves "conservative" than call themselves "liberal," 34 to 21 percent, according to 2004 exit polls, figures that have held remarkably constant over time. To the extent that each party, in what the authors call "the great sorting-out" that has taken place over the past couple decades, have essentially become the sole home to one or the other of these two proclivities, the Republicans start out with an advantage: It is a shorter distance for them from the baseline outlook of the party to a winning percentage at the polls.

That leads us to "the myth of mobilization," the idea that by devoting their time and resources to catering to and turning out the party base, Democrats can fight their way back to victory. Such an approach will fail in the absence of an effective appeal to the center (an appeal the authors rightly understand the Bush-Cheney campaign made in 2004).

That's only one of the "dominant myths ... preventing Democrats from asking tough questions and making hard choices." Mr. Galston and Miss Kamarck point as well to the "myth of demography," according to which population shifts will inevitably return Democrats to power. The authors think this is not likely in the absence of more substantive change, and in any case will happen no time soon.

They also cite the "myth of language," according to which Democrats need merely to find better ways to talk about what they believe in - to envelop their policy preferences in a more compelling narrative. As the two see it, the problem is the substantive package Democrats present and unfavorable associations voters have made with Democratic candidates. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Myths of the Democratic Party; Mobilization, Demography and Prescription Drugs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.