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!


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