Several weeks ago, the Clinton campaign tried to tell off Senator Obama for acknowledging that Ronald Reagan was a galvanizing political figure. Hell, he even had the nerve to say that Reagan and some Republicans had a few creative ideas as well, the damn traitor. thus, I arrived at a mental fork in the road.
Part of me is sick of wading through pools of Reagan-induced drool whenever I happen to catch a G.O.P. debate. As my knee-jerk passes and I clear my mind, however, I realize the Democrats’ discourse is teetering on the edge of the neo-con bickering that so many have grown to dislike, and it does not seem to bode well.
I understand the American political bureaucracy is not always a highly respected institution, but I absolutely refuse to accept that my United States government should be run like my junior-high basketball games: the crowd disengaged yet herded into muttering hokey clichés at the bleachers on the other side.
People are tired of this bullshit, but you probably don’t need me to tell you that. Just look at the candidates the United States electorate has thus far resoundingly rejected (think Romney, Giuliani, etc.); they’re the ones who packed and peddled corny jokes about those pesky “lefties” that were good for a forced laugh, but left a hollow, desperate aftertaste.
These empty one-liners and the played-out politics they symbolize have left a lingering hunger rumbling in the masses of the American people.
The Democrats realize that they have the de facto opportunity for satisfying this hunger. On a larger and more important scale, they are also slowly starting to realize, rightfully, that they cannot simply rely on the self-destruction of the Republican Party to get elected.
They learned this by bitter experimentation in 2004, when they ran a candidate with that same-ol’ Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) poll-tested, empty-vessel demeanor that we’ve come all know (and in my case, hate). They essentially tried to cast the election as Bush vs. [Not Bush], and much to their disappointment, the public saw it more like Bad ideas vs. [No ideas].
I know I could win a lot of bets underestimating the foresight of the Democratic Party, but something tells me they’re not going to let it happen again this November.
We can observe this with the rejection (albeit slow and narrow) of these extreme-centrist, DLC-groomed candidates like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
The Democratic Party finally recognizes that before it will be able to authoritatively take back the White House, it must fundamentally reincarnate with a new and more importantly pure (liberal) political vision, garner a new American majority of voters and have enough backbone to stand on its own principles.
They also have the benefit of going against a party that was already counting on casting a Hillary Clinton vs. [Not Hillary Clinton] election, and now it looks as if they won’t even have that going for them.
Again, one of the harshest realities the Democratic candidate is going to have to wrap his or her mind around, however, is although Americans are tiring of the excesses of fear and bitter partisanship associated with the W. era, they know simply putting a Democrat in the White House will not fix all their problems.
They want a strong yet open-minded leader capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve genuine progress and prosperity. something they haven’t gotten as opposed to a different flavor of what they’ve already got.
Americans are sick and tired of corporatist partisan-hacks of either persuasion bungling issues at the federal level. This is to say (and you just might have heard this phrase lately). They want change, and it looks as if right now the Democratic Party may be able to surf this wave of change and hunger to political greatness.
Let them not forget, as Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”
Jake McGowan is a political science sophomore and a new Mustang Daily liberal columnist.