I hear lots of talk about how “values issues” trumped nearly everything else in this election, including Islamic craziness and Iraq. Perhaps so, at least for enough people to make the difference.
If you’re mystified as to how the sight of same-sex couples parading through San Francisco City Hall to memorialize and celebrate their mutual union can motivate people in flyover country to get to the polls, whereas the sight of murderous crazies crashing B-757s into skyscrapers may or may not get them out, then I’m with you. Baffles the hell out of me, too.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of the democrat self-immolation in the leftie blogs and MSM. Essentially, it all boils down to the same thing: ‘we’ve got to look more like republicans and be steadfast and consistent about it.’ ‘We’ve got to be genuine.’
Well, I’ve got news for you, Democrats. As Radley Balko points out in this post, you are never going to beat the Republican on “values issues,” at least not in keeping with what makes you Democrats.
So, my advice—again, for what it’s worth—let the Republicans have their same-sex marriage bans, their abortion bans, their creationism as “science” in schools, their expansion of the drug war, their “pornography” crackdowns, et cetera, et cetera. Then, loose the class envy, the race card, and the biting the hand of corporate America that is the stock-in-trade of the increasingly irrelevant private-sector labor unions. Become deep tax cutters, deep government (cost and coercion) cutters, and champions of science and industry on an international level. Champion what truly made this country great: individualism, capitalism, and free trade in goods, services and labor. Then, vow to defend it to the death; and mean it when you say it.
Look at it this way; you are already mostly individualists when it comes to the non-economic side (at whose expense?) of social issues. Take the next step. Ditch the collectivism in social economics and fiscal governance. Become individualists there too.
Then you’ll see how far the Republican “values issues,” take them, which, incidentally, are themselves nothing more than social collectivism of a different sort, i.e., the insistence in one set of “proper values” for everyone that must be imposed by force to create a “great society” of a behavioral nature. Give a guy the choice of paying out-of-pocket to ensure his neighbor doesn’t get an abortion, watch “dirty” movies, or smoke pot—verses a hefty, hefty (HUGE) tax cut and a promise to be left alone—and see who ends up with the political power.
This is a winning combination, in my view. I’ve always believed that in the end, the pocketbook trumps almost all. Of course, you first have to convince yourselves that Joe Average will be better off without your failed, miserably divisive socio-economic engineering of the last many decades, but that’s really easy to do if you first understand that taking such step will make you better off politically. Of course, I realize that I’m preaching pure pragmatism and consequentialism here.
It would still be a long shot from what I’d advocate, but who listens to me, anyway?