Skip to comments.Why the Democrats Are Blue: How Secular Liberals hijacked the People’s Party by Mark Stricherz
Posted on 03/23/2008 5:09:20 PM PDT by shrinkermd
Why bother reviewing a book written by a liberal for liberals? There are two answers.
First, since 1968 the national Democratic Party has experienced a revolutionary change. Secular liberals hijacked the party. This book documents the what and how of these changes.
Second, secular liberal dominance continues. This means there are serious problems for the national Democrat Party; these problems influence the 2008 election.
The easiest place to begin is to quote Ramesh Ponnuru:
It would have required a lot of prescience to predict in 1965 that American politics, for so many decades based on economic divisions, would soon split over social issues and, especially, abortion. But not even a very prescient observer could have correctly predicted which party would take which side in the coming battles. On abortion, in particular, it looked obvious which way it would break: The Democrats were the party of Catholic Northerners and Southern whites, the party that believed in using the power of government to protect the weak; the Republicans were the party with historical ties to Planned Parenthood. >p>Somewhere along the line, the parties switched places, with consequencesincluding the Democrats loss of their durable majoritythat are plain to see. But how it happened still seems a puzzle, and, in his new book, Why the Democrats Are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the Peoples Party, Mark Stricherz has provided a crucial piece for solving that puzzle.
The author of this book opines in respect to what happened:
The wrong position that national Democratic leaders have taken is that of secular liberalism. They oppose extending any legal protection to an unprotected class of human beingsunborn infants. And they favor granting public benefits to homosexual coupes. Considering the national party was know as the-party-ofthe-little-guy and was led by Catholic big-city and state bosses, the post-1968 partys support for secular liberalism qualifies as a revolution not an evolution. (page 2)
The new deal, or Roosevelt coalition had included white Southerners, Catholics, union members, blacks and intellectuals. Under this coalition, the national party was a majority party, and its presidential candidates won seven of the ten elections from 1932 to 1968 . (page 5)
The McGovern Commission destroyed this old electoral alliance and replaced it with a Social Change Coalition led by secular liberals. The commission pushed forward through a rules change that required informal delegate quotas for women and young people this proposal had three major consequences. First, while the Democrat Coalition added feminists and secular professionals, it drove away blue-collar workers and Roman Catholics, many of whom became Reagan Democrats. Second, it broke the longstanding alliance with the Catholic Church. Third it reduced the number of Democrats According to the party strategists William Galston and Elaine Kamarck, only 21 percent of the electorate consider themselves as liberal, while 34% consider themselves conservative
The fourth(more minor) consequence reduced the clout of traditional Democrats..
The fifth (more minor) consequence of the McGovern Commission is that secular, college-educated professionals hijacked control of the party machinery and imposed their own secular educated agenda.
That this revolution in values and direction is real one need only look at Jesse Jackson and Senator Edward Kennedy. In 1976 Jesse Jackson delivered a passionate, faith based pro-life speech to the March for Life group. In the same year Edward Kennedy proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue to the states. Also not to be forgotten, is Joe Biden, Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, Richard Durbin, and Dennis Kucinich began their political careers as pro-lifers. Finally, in 1986 while governor Bill Clinton wrote to the Arkansas Right to Life organization he was "opposed to abortion and government funding of abortions."
So things really changed once the feminists gained political power.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Mark Stricherz carefully examines how these changes happened. His efforts are long in facts and short on general interest so I will just summarize them.
The change initially occurred when some old-time political bosses made an effort at having their party become more inclusive. David L. Lawrence, Governor of Pennsylvania, Mayor Daley, mayor of Chicago and John Bailey, boss of the Connecticut Democrat Party began this effort. They tried to compromise and include women and minorities, but their efforts were tepid at best. Other events were quickly overtaking the Democrat Party status quo.
The antiwar Democrats were marginalized in the 1968 nomination process; this resulted in Hubert Humphrey becoming the Democrat candidate. The antiwar Democrats under the guise of reforming the partys electoral process actually overthrew the bosses and replaced them with activists. .
Turning the party over to party activistsblacks and feminists primarilyneed not have happened. Hubert Humphrey in 1972 warned that, a single narrow, ideological, social or political elite threatened to capture the Democrat Party he said that since Franklin Roosevelt the Party has managed to put together coalitions which form majorities under the principle that the Democrat Party was the party of the average American working family.
Humphrey failed in this effort.
In 1968 a young Eugene McCarthy aide, Eli Segal as well as Fred Dutton, Ken Bode and others decided hereafter to focus the majority of the Partys efforts to opposing the Viet Nam War. This meant diminishing the importance of average, working class Democrats and replacing their influence with political activists.
What this small group did as members of the McGovern Commission was to institute informal (at first) quotas for women and minorities. The feminists were an upper-class and secular group; they soon had 50% of the delegates to the Democrat convention. The result was efforts to establish a pro abortion plank at the 1972 convention. (Remember, Roe v. Wade happened in 1973). Blacks and other minorities were also represented according to their prevalence in the population.
George McGovern succeeded in his effort.
The reason George McGovern succeeded was he knew the national (presidential) party was now controlled by antiwar, feminist and minority activists. He ran accordingly; consequently, from sparsely populated state of South Dakota he triumphed over the big city bosses and other national candidates.
Of course this victory was followed by a crushing defeat at the hands of Richard Nixon but the party changes remained. In 1972 Richard Nixon won 59% of the Roman Catholic vote; exactly the same percentage as did in 1968. President Carter did win 1976 after President Ford pardoned Nixon. President Carter was swamped by Ronald Reagan in 1980.
The party became hostage to political activists. Since that time (1972) the national (presidential) wing of the Democrat Party has lost seven out of 10 elections. Only one DemocratJimmy Carterhas won a majority in becoming President
Among the political baggage eventually sinking the Carter was welfare. As seen by the ordinary citizen, the Democrat Party went from taxing the few to benefit the many to taxing the many on behalf of the few. Previously, the Party had applauded and supported in every way possible a general policy best stated by Hubert Humphrey: the goal of the Democrat Party was: to bring help to those in the dawn of life, those in the shadows of life, and those in the twilight of life This had been an extraordinarily successful policy.
The Democrats abandoned the downscale class (three fifths of the electorate); they also to championed homosexual marriage, hippies, rebellious youth, protesters, drug users, Hollyweird, and sexual immorality. This occurred primarily on the national level; many local Democrats tried to preserve allegiance to patriotism and family values.
In 2000 and 2004 President Bush won with weekly churchgoers, married couples and small town and rural voters. Al Gore and John Kerry won secular voters, singles and big city residents. While social conservativism has been pilloried in the press, it has proven to be a winner.
By ceding traditional values voters to the Republicans the national Democrat Party remains vulnerable. As some have pointed out most voters are unyoung, unpoor and unblack. Fred Harris, a former DNC chairman, once said this:
Though some of the best progressive voices in America are among the affluent and the most educated, and their supporters and ideas, as well as their energy and idealism of young people, are irreplaceable components in the construction or reconstruction of a Democratic majority, there simply cannot be a mass movement without the masses. And for the Democrats those masses necessarily include both lower-and-middle-income whites, blacks and brown people and other minorities. Without them there is no way to come up with a majority of voters.
In adopting a new agenda the Democrat Party decided to no longer to make economic inequality the chief focus. American workers by virtue of unemployment insurance, Workers Compensation insurance, subsidized health care and so forth were now less approachable to egalitarian arguments. Instead in 1972 and thereafter the Democrats focused on antiwar, post-civil-rights agenda of blacks and support for feminism as well as the byproducts of the cultural revolution.
WHAT TO DO
Mark Stricherz sees the necessity of a drastic remedy if the national Democrat Party is to resume its dominant status. The author gives three major and two minor recommendations. These recommendations are designed to reduce the power of the activists and special interests and create a new peoples party. They are:
In the last chapter of the book, the author fleshes out these proposals. Note, the first four are more or less Republican policy. I do note, however, that when John McCain kept winning primaries, there were many who decried the moderates were taking over the party. What they were angry about is the very thing that might permit Senator McCain to prevail in spite of a long war and stuttering economyappealing to the middle of the road moderates.
I am writing this review on 23 March 2008. At this time, Senators Obama and Clinton are in a desperate struggle where Senator Obama has garnered a sufficient lead thought to be unassailable. At the same time, the revelations of Pastor Wright and others on black liberation theology have upended the carefully crafted Obama campaign strategy of being the racial savior of our times.
Note the consequences of 1972. First, the two chief activist groupsblacks and feministsare now locked in political combat. It has been suggested that the dream candidate would be both on the same ticket. Perhaps. But the real problem is the rift has been opened and closing it will not be easy.
Second, note by intent or luck Senator McCain has wide appeal to moderates and independents. Presidential elections are usually won with moderate votes.
Third, the Democrats have shown very little interest in securing Roman Catholics, Evangelicals and other members of the faithful. Indeed, supporting homosexual marriage and seeing those not leaping to the Obama bandwagon as typical white persons is apt to alienate many middle-of-the-road Democrats and independents.
Fourth, in spite of a long, unpopular war and a economy on the verge of a recession, polls suggest Senator McCain leads or ties both Senators Obama and Clinton.
Fifth, as in 1972 the underlying, hidden wish of the overclass Democrats is defeat in Iraq. To achieve this they have supported Senator Obama over Senator Clinton because she initially supported the Iraq war.
Conventional political wisdom is a Democrat will win in November. Even Rush Limbaugh opined Hillary has an 80% chance of winning. In spite of this doom and gloom, the polls suggest this is not 1976 (a close Carter win) but, rather, 1972. (a blow out Nixon victory)
The book was published by Encounter Books in 2007. There are 245 pages of text, 5 pages of Acknowledgements, 46 pages of bibliography and endnotes. The index is comprehensive and easily used. The book is written such that it can be appreciated by both a general and a professional audience.
The writing is clear and concise. I paid $15.50 for my copy. Anyone interested in the strategy and tactics of the National Democratic Party will find this book worthwhile and a good purchase.
Not a hijacking at all, just the logical outcome of Dimmycrap “principles.”
I am going to get one for my Catholic dad who wouldn’t vote for a Republican if it was the last person on earth.
Hubert Humphrey in 1972 warned that, "a single narrow, ideological, social or political elite threatened to capture the Democrat Party... he said that since Franklin Roosevelt the Party has managed to put together coalitions which form majorities under the principle that the Democrat Party was the party of the average American working family."He also complained on one of the Sunday morning interview programs that "I believe a party should *stand* for something."
Yes, but there are still a lot of people who will vote Democrat no matter what.
I don't think any cars should be granted public benefits, but I wouldn't recognize a homosexual coupe if I saw one. Is there something about the color or decoration that gives it away?
Neither one of these parties are worthy of the true Roman Catholic vote and I predict that will become increasingly true in the coming years. Both of these parties have lost their soul.
Here's some recognition help:
Think of a 2002 Thunderbird in “Thunderbird Blue” and you’ll have it. :)
My experience has been that the Miata is a very gay car.
The new Volkswagen Beetle, the Mazda Miata, the Chrysler PT Cruiser (that name says it all, no?), and Chevy’s look-a-like HHR are all gay cars. Other are Leftist-mobiles, and might be driven by a gay, or at least a gay supporter, like the Yugo, Prius, Honda Civic, and any Volvo.
You never heard of a “Gay DeVille”?
The Democrat elite have also lost their so called elite media. The big three, the newspapers are all dying and neither conservatives nor young read, listen or watch.
So the party becomes an even more echo chamber of leftists.
Rush withdrew his earlier projection about Hillary having an 80% chance of winning a LONG, LONG time ago.
He doesn’t see either Hillary or Obama as winning, given the outstanding success of “Operation Chaos”, and neither do I. Our side will win in spite of our candidate. (I just ordered my “Operation Chaos” T-shirt, ball cap and bumper stickers at Rush’s web site today.)
I can’t wait to see the cat fight between Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. It will go down in history.:)
Thanks for a good review.
Now, the old Chrysler Sebring convertible was definitely a gay owned car while the old VW Golf convertible was definitely a Lesbian owned car. Look it up. hahaha
That being said, my next car is either a 2009 Camaro or a used 600SL. Still giving that some thought. The dealer markup on the Camaro I want is outrageous.
The party was hijacked in 1963, it just took five years for the old guard to get blown out and the changes to surface.
the problem with this topic is that the analysis myopically focuses on the ‘secular’ side of the dims ‘progressive-fascist-marxism’ and, under the breath, would readily excuse their economic marxism if they - the dims - were not so anti-religious
among many ‘social conservatives’ in and out of the gop, is a willingness to use big government, if only for the ‘right’ purposes
Out this way that fits pretty well.
Don't know about the others but Land Rover has absolutely gone from guy to gay.
(there are some pretty nice Volvos on the freeway, but then again, I'm old.)