Is America one big con game?
By Neal Gabler | July 13, 2017
Political pundits have been intoxicated lately by explanations as to why Democrats always seem to be behind the eight ball — never mind that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote; that liberal positions on issues like health care, climate change and income inequality are held by a majority of Americans; or that Republicans are more unpopular.
The idea, promoted in The New York Times with three different op-eds in the past month alone, is that Democrats don’t plug into traditional American values the way Republicans do, and it’s those values that swayed the last presidential election, especially in the Rust Belt, and in the recent special congressional elections, Trump’s general unpopularity notwithstanding.
Daniel K. Williams, a religious historian, attributed the Democrats’ recent loss in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to the fact that the party had become too secular to appeal to religious minorities and baby boomers, too removed from America’s religious traditions.
Democratic pollster Mark Penn and former Manhattan borough president Andrew Stein penned an op-ed in which they called for the Democrats to reject the “siren calls of the left” and move to the center to attract working-class voters “who feel abandoned by the party’s shift away from moderate positions on trade and immigration, from backing police and tough anti-crime measures, from trying to restore manufacturing jobs.” In short, Republicanism lite.
And then there is the analysis of Times columnist David Brooks, inaptly titled “What’s the Matter With Republicans?” because it really was aimed at what’s wrong with Democrats, since in his view nothing really seems to be wrong with the GOP. Republicans subscribe to traditional American values forged on the frontier, things like self-reliance and self-sufficiency, independence, loyalty, toughness and virtue; Democrats seemingly do not.
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