The special election in Georgia should be a slam-dunk. That there is still a lot of nail-biting as to whether the Democrat, Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, will win, means that the Democrats still do not have a coherent message. They still lack a narrative of their own. We know the Republican message: tradition, religion, values, sanctity of life. That they are hypocrites or outright fascists in implementing these values is a different matter. But try and rattle off the values that Democrats stand for? I’ll help you. Here’s one. Tolerance. How has that one worked out?
Tolerance means that we need to be respectful of the rights of others. Nice sentiment. Should we tolerate ISIS? Is beheading an alternate style of expression? Of course we should not tolerate that. What about Charles Murray. Should he be allowed to present his warmed-over eugenics at the local college? What about Richard Spencer, who is clever enough to rework the spirit of Hitler’s Mein Kampf for an American audience. Should we tolerate his view?
The problem with tolerance is that we don’t know exactly where to draw the line. In the case of ISIS and beheading, that one is obvious. It might even be obvious in the case of Richard Spencer. Charles Murray might be a more difficult one. We don’t want to stifle academic freedom and the free flow of thoughts. It’s often said that the antidote to hate speech is more free speech. Present the facts and the truth will rise to the top. But I remember when Murray published his other eugenicist tract, The Bell Curve. I was taught, as a good liberal, to understand his argument so that I can speak against it. In fact, many academics spoke against it. The result? He’s still creating new versions of eugenicist theories.
Democrats believe in the free market. So Bill gave us NAFTA and the end of Glass-Steagall, effectively handing us a market with insufficient regulations. Obama gave us a slightly more regulated version of the market. During the campaign Hillary spoke about the need for more entrepreneurs. However, do we really need more titans that destroy industries under the banner of efficiency and disruption, while supposedly empowering consumers? And let’s be frank. Tr/mp has brought in “great” business minds. Though they may not know how to run a government, they do know how to extract wealth. So what were the Democrats offering instead of unregulated capitalist kleptocracy? A regulated kleptocracy?
Bottom line: the Democrats lack vision. While the Republicans are the Party of No, the Democrats are, on a good day, the Party of Maybe. In fact, we’ve always been a country of “maybe.” Maybe one day everyone will be able to vote. Maybe one day everyone will be treated equally. Maybe one day we’ll erase the legacy of racism. Maybe one day our laws will prioritize people’s rights over corporations. “Maybe” has given us what we have a today. “Maybe” doesn’t get people excited. “Maybe” lacks spine, courage, conviction. Maybe it’s time to go beyond “maybe.”