Via Instapundit comes a round of links to Leftwing blogs indicating that this election may prompt some critical self-examination.
Unfortunately, reading both the blogs and their comments doesn’t inspire much hope. The major theme is best represented by The Poor Man.
“People don’t respond to complicated ‘on the one hand, on the other’ arguments about policy, and they don’t respond to lengthy word problems about the economy. People respond to good vs. evil narratives, whether it is America vs. terrah, or Godly people vs. Massachusetts liberal faggots”
Translation: “The American people are too stupid to understand our sophisticated arguments. We lose because we’re too smart. We need to dumb our message down. We need to trick the American people into voting for what we think is good for them.”
Apparently, the ownership society, free trade, charter schools, privatized social security etc., are simplistic, whereas a cradle-to-grave nanny state and eat-the-rich redistributionism is the height of intellectual attainment.
Leftists spend so much of their time congratulating themselves on being smarter and more moral than everybody else that they never stop and actually ask themselves if maybe they’ve got something wrong. They spend so much time telling each other that they represent the “progressive” and “future oriented” segment of the political spectrum that they never realize that the American Left has not put forward a new idea in the last 30 years.
Look at John Kerry’s health care plan. It’s just an extension of Medicare/Medicaid which is itself a 1930s-era program implemented in the 1960s. Social Security: Not a problem, the same system that worked in 1935 will work in 2035. Education: Keep the same system we’ve had since the 1920s but spend even more money on it. Oh, and more federal decision making. I could go on.
The first step in the revitalization of the Left will come when they realize that they are progressive only rhetorically. Just as an experiment, every leftist should pick a problem like health care, Social Security or education and ask, “How does the existence of the Internet fundamentally alter how individuals could receive or manage this benefit?” If you can’t think of anything in response then you should stop referring to yourself as a progressive.
(See: Dotcom Democrats for related thoughts.)