Tuesday, November 09, 2004

What the Democrats need: A vision thing

One of the most depressing things I've seen in the last week has been the way some Democratic Party operatives have begun hand-wringing about the need to court religious or "values" voters. This seems to me entirely wrongheaded: in the same way that the Republicans will never win the black vote as long as they have the policies they have, the Democrats will never win the fundamentalist vote as long as they support the first amendment and, more abstractly, the primacy of science over superstition. (And quite aside from the strategic folly, it's disgusting to pander to anti-gay, anti-science and often racist bigots.)

Rather, what the Demos need to do is to articulate their own distinct vision of America. What Kerry lacked, at bottom, was the vision thing -- even now, can you say what his idea of America really was? People never understood what kind of America Kerry wanted to create, what he wanted to be President to do.

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