Today, the Democratic Party sits in a difficult spot. They are minorities in both federal houses. They don’t hold the presidency. They have fewer state legislatures than in the past 50 years. Why is this? I think the biggest reason is the liberal media.
The media has softened the Democratic Party they love so much. In the past few decades, the increasingly liberal media has scrutinized everything the Republicans have done, while giving the Democrats carte blanche. They have simply glossed over anything a Democrat says, while making Republicans back their plans with facts. Thank you, media. You have hurt your own party and created one of the strongest conservative bases in history.
Democratic strategists are shaking their heads in complete bewilderment as Fox News Channel gets the highest ratings every night and conservative talk-radio attracts tens of millions of listeners. People saw through the liberal bias in the media and got sick of it. These other outlets were a breath of fresh air for everyday Americans. People were sick of hearing the gloom and doom of NBC Nightly News and sick of hearing about how horrible our country is on CNN.
Liberals want to start a liberal radio network. The fact is that no one would listen to it. They have tried for years to get a talk show host to catch on, and it just doesn’t happen. They complain about how the right wing of the Republican Party is taking over media. They cite the Washington Times and the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal as conservative publications. They mention Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and, of course, Fox News on TV. But, they seem to forget the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the others too numerous to count. They forget about the network news, as well as CNN and MSNBC.
It isn’t that their liberal ideas aren’t being heard; it’s that they aren’t being heard. They were so used to their message being “mainstream” that they are now lost, screaming from the back row. They need to reinvent themselves. They need to define themselves as more than just anti-Republicans.
How can the Democrats win this uphill battle? The first thing is to stop their continuing slide to the left. It goes against the very important aspect of most elections — winning the “swing voters.” These voters are the ones they need. They need the union worker who votes Republican because he is an NRA member. They need the young couple that votes Republican because they simply cannot afford to pay more taxes.
It is not Howard Dean who can attract these voters. It is not John Kerry. The Democratic Party needs to find a candidate who is not afraid to be “Bush Light” and who can sell their plan better.
As a conservative, I don’t even know why I am sending this message. I want the liberals to nominate Howard Dean. I want them to keep going after those Green Party votes, fighting for the teachers’ votes.
Americans are sick of hearing that our country is always the bad guy. They are sick of hearing Democrats blast the President for things they voted for in Congress. But the media has let this go for too long. It pains Tom Brokaw to admit that his objectiveness has turned into bias. While Republicans have built a strong platform and good public policy, Democrats have been allowed to rely on issues of the past and policy that is far from progressive.
Liberals do not need to speak louder or find more places to speak from; they need to get in touch with the average people they claim to represent.
Matt Seaholm(email@example.com) is a junior majoring in political science.