Over much of this primary season, if there’s one constant I’ve seen from various self-identified young people (under 30), it’s that the Democratic Party needs to reach out to them, to do what they want before they’ll consider voting for Democrats. There usually follows a laundry list of demands, along with saying that the party should select candidates who would “excite the base,” or more properly, excite them. They even have reasons why the party isn’t doing that, things like “corporate control,” “the Establishment,” and of course the ever popular “Blue Dogs.” The reality why the party isn’t reaching out them is what they don’t realize or want to admit: They have it backwards.
Tag Archives: pragmatism
Today was primary day in New York, and over lunch, I went and voted. Yes, as the title said, I voted for Hillary. That I voted in a primary is not unusual, I vote in all of them. There’s another one in September for state offices, and yes, I wish they’d change that. I regard voting as a duty, one that goes with my rights as a citizen. As I’ve said in a previous post, it’s not often I’m “excited” about any candidate. Mostly, I take a look through what their platforms are, review their records and qualifications, and pick the one I think will probably do a better job than the other one. Sometimes, it’s really “flip a coin,” in that both are good and you can’t lose either way. This year though, I couldn’t wait for the primary day to arrive so I could vote. Not because I was excited, but for a reason that hasn’t happened to me before.
Over on the People’s View, there’s a post looking at Bernie Sanders “free college” plan. One can assume that it’s the same as a bill he proposed along those lines. The idea of “free college,” although it’s really only tuition free college, has caught on with number of people, particularly the younger generation of current (or soon to be) college students. It’s not a bad idea, except for the problems. As I said about the healthcare plan, it’s another “alligators in the swamp” problem. That is, it’s not that the general idea isn’t laudable, it’s the details where things get tricky. Matthew Yglesias over at Vox has a couple of articles about the problems, and reluctantly concludes that it’s unrealistic. In looking through the legislation, not only do I agree it’s unrealistic, it’s not going to be “sellable” even to “solid blue states.”
In my last post, I talked about how the Republican Party’s establishment has been watching in horror as their formerly (badly) hidden encouragement of racism and bigotry has exploded in their face. While true, and definitely attention-grabbing, it’s distracting from their other big problem. Three years ago, I talked about how the Republicans needed to “check their assumptions,” and sadly, they haven’t. The end result is that their basic philosophy of government has been a complete failure.
Back in my military days, we used to have a saying which drove the perfectionists nuts: “Close enough for government work.” What that meant was that whatever the project we were working on was completed, and while it may not have been pretty, it was not worth spending the time and effort at the moment getting to perfection. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t things that had to be exact, but for those things where exactitude wasn’t important, it wasn’t the best use of time getting there. I’ve said here in the past it’s experiences like that, that made me a pragmatist. In politics, it turns out to be much the same thing. The idealists have a “perfect.” Depending on what issue you’re talking about, they have an ideal solution for it, and they want it implemented. The problem? If they don’t get it, or it isn’t on the current agenda, they walk away.