Sunday, June 16, 2019

George Will and Some Advice for Democrats

Practicality Versus Ideology!

In a recent column, George Will suggested that “sooner rather than later, even Democrats will come to suspect that denigrating people until they vote for you lacks a certain strategic plausibility.”  He’s talking about people like ME, who in this blog have repeatedly blamed the presence of an incompetent, failed, immoral, business cheat in the White House on the gullibility, if not the stupidity, of the American voter.

In this vein, I have frequently quoted the otherwise reprehensible H.L. Mencken who said that “as democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s delight at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

I guess this is not the best way to “win friends and influence people” and more importantly, to get them to vote for your candidates.

Will suggests, if you follow his sophisticated reasoning, that the Democrats had better nominate someone who will attract the votes of those for whom “government is more a practical than an ideological concern.”  Targeting African American voters as a crucial group, he mentions their concern with health care, employment and schools rather than impeachment, abolishing the Electoral College and other “gesture-promises” which to them “probably are distractions.”

Trump’s victory in 2016, Will points out was based on this kind of practical, rather than ideological, appeal when he went after the votes of “non-college whites” part of a faction which “felt itself a casualty of an economic dynamism that had most benefited people who admire this faction least.”

Will’s words are a caution to the Democratic Party, suggesting their candidate should be one who soft-pedals ideological reform and concentrates on what is practical for crucial voting groups.  Keep your eyes and ears open during next week’s Democratic candidates’ “debates,” which are not really debates but rather forums in which they will state their positions.  If Will is correct, polls in crucial states after the debates should favor those whose positions come off as the most practical rather than the most ideologically pure.

Jack Lippman

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