Freedom Fry

Look at that freedom fry! A collection of political hotlinks and original articles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

How to Make Friends and Influence People...

9:29 AM

Sesame Street Terror AlertFormer Democratic Senator, presidential candidate, and basketball player Bill Bradley recently wrote a column in the Times articulating the problem with the Democratic Party. I hear the groans already. People seem to be tired of the subject. It isn't uncommon for people to leave the room when I broach the subject, which makes me think, "Overkill already? But the problem isn't even solved yet!"

Bradley's piece is important on several levels. Most importantly it asks implicitly, "What it is to be a Democrat or a person from the left side of the bank?" That shouldn't be a tough question, but it is. Due to the lack of cohesion in the Democratic party and the liberal elements of the American public, no clear definition or agenda has come to light. If you ask me, that's pretty sad. If at the stage of national elections the Democratic party and its adherents can't come up with a vision, a plan (and the discipline, resources and courage to promote it), why bother staying together?

As you will see in Bradley's article the Republicans, and in fact, the entire conservative movement in this country, are playing according to a rule book that has, effectively, split the responsibility of developing, promoting, and enforcing a conservative agenda through a multi-layered structure. Each layer of the process is entrusted with different responsibilities and that's all each has to work towards. No such structure exists on the Democratic side. Is it any wonder the Republicans continue to clean house?

Bradley's article is an important reminder that the aim of the Democratic party should not be a star factory, churning out the next "Mr. Nice Guy," or even Bill Clinton. What it needs to do is consolidate its base, articulate a clear vision for the future, and then get the various limbs of the liberal movement—which as far as I can see has been correct in its opposition to the most controversial elements of the Bush administration—to work together to get that message/vision out into the public. It's not that complex, provided a degree of unity can be established in the Democratic party. Fractious elements and attitudes will only assist the entrenchment of the current party, which, in my opinion, is a waste of the democratic process.


Do you remember the color-coded threat level that used to constantly make itself known to all of us last year? Isn't it funny how post-campaign the threat level hasn't been advertised or elevated? Scare tactics anyone?


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