Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What Happened to the People?

Time and again we constantly hear politicians at every level of the corporate bureaucracy that is the government, say “The American people want this” or “the American people want that.” Both claim to know the answer, however both say different things. What has become evident from these declarations of the wants of the “American people” is that politicians seem to no longer concern themselves with the interests of their constituency. There is very little dialogue between people and those they choose to represent them.

Things must change…politicians must listen and act! And by listen and act I don’t mean listen to polls and act accordingly. Politicians at every level should talk with their constituency more often; more town hall meetings, pull the Clinton/Gore strategy and travel around actually talking with people. Elected officials must also not do this only when the media is watching. You don’t need journalists to follow you to get the message out there. There is a very powerful too called “word of mouth” and it is extremely underrated. In every election you hear people say, “I can relate to this guy” or as in the last election “he’s too aloof.” If John Kerry were to have not concerned himself with the media and actually went around to small diners, not for photo ops but rather actual conversations, then he definitely would have been better received. The same goes for President Bush and his town hall meetings. If you actually want to know what “the American people” think then listening to possible dissent might not be the worst move.

Politicians, stop referring to the “American People” as if they’re some block of people who can easily be manipulated! Even if that is the case, it is the politician’s duty not to manipulate, but rather to genuinely care and fight for his or her constituents.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lost in Exportation

If there was one quote that best represents the failure of the current Republican Party agenda, it would have to be that of the late Edward R. Murrow:

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home."
This is a concept that has seen much debate over the years and has come to the center stage multiple times throughout the current administration's reign. It is important to remember here that it would be unfair to assume those in power have malevolent intentions or somehow hate the notions of democracy, for I do not believe this is the case. What is present, however, is that there seems to be two views at the head of this debate. The first one being those in line with Mr. Murrow's beliefs, that by going on this quest to spread democracy around the world we find the only possible way to do this is by abandoning some of those beliefs and ideals we are trying to promote. The other view (held by the administration) is that it is okay to relinquish some of these freedoms for the greater good - a sense of "in the end everything will work out fine."

While this latter view is arguably a solid one, and evidently good enough for many Americans, I feel that it is nothing less than irresponsible. The only consequence of sharing such a belief is that there will be no end in sight for what freedoms we’ll have to give up.

How can the United States claim to spread democracy and freedom to all corners of the world, but right here at home there are people in power trying to undermine the very foundations of our society? Similar to how Athens lost track of her morals and traditions during the Peloponnesian War, America stands the chance of doing the same. This is a track the United States cannot remain on for long. It is a track Americans must demand an end to.

The news constantly quotes people who say they would be willing to give up certain freedoms for security. The trouble with this is once we begin to relinquish some of these ideals we’ll find ourselves on a slippery slope. One day we’re allowing the government to lock people up without any representation the next we’re allowing them to monitor our phone calls, emails, and books we’ve checked out at the library. What next? They can break into our homes without a warrant! The sad thing about all these examples is they are either occurring right now or the administration is trying to make it legal. Way to go haters of big government! Way to go Republicans!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What is the "Better Way"?

People have praised Virginia Governor Tim Kaine’s response to the State of the Union as one that shows the character of the Democrats and perhaps even highlights a possible message they can use in this election year. I am inclined to agree with the former statement – it does indeed characterize the current state of the Democratic Party.

The character of the party was evident in that it was a great response to a State of the Union filled with misinformation and empty promises. Governor Tim Kaine exposed the fallacies of the Presidents statements and highlighted the realities of what is going on not only in the United States but also in Iraq and elsewhere. The problem with the speech, on the other hand, was not its content but rather its message – or lack there of. Yes it is true that “there is a better way” – everyone knows that – but the question on everyone’s mind is, “What is the better way?” And it is this point where the speech greatly reflects the character of the Democratic Party.

More and more the Democrats are being viewed as the party of complainers – and with good reason. There is constant harping from the left, but a serious lack of solutions and ideas – granted what is often glossed over by political pundits and the media is that the Republicans, too, find themselves with a similar lack of solid solutions. But this does not excuse the inaction of the Democratic Party. The Democrats must stop solely attacking the Republicans and highlighting the troubles in the US; yes that is an important strategy but it will only take you so far. With every attack made by the Democrats there must be a “better way.” Show the people that the Democrats are actually an alternative party, will get the job done (and do it well), will protect the American people, and are more than just 44 critics in the Senate. The Democrats must unify not just behind a message, because that will only get you so far, but also behind a strategy for success – not success simply for the party, but for the entire United States.

Democrats: stop worrying about a campaign slogan and start focusing on solutions!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Mission

As an American, I have become increasingly more concerned about the deterioration of our society, sense of community, and democratic values which we should all hold dear. As a Democrat, I am both frustrated and frightened by the lack of voice and leadership the party emits. This blog will discuss the news relating to the political situation in the United States, and to show those interested that (in the words of Gov. Tim Kaine) "there is a better way." But don't think this is a partisan liberal blog, for it is not. It is called the DemocraticWay because I believe in the institutions and beliefs which this nation was founded on and there are very few in any political party who I feel represent this.