Some tips for liberals to avoid more election disasters

Sam Smith

Lay off white males

It’s  just as racist to lump all white males together as it is to do the same thing to blacks and latinos. Attack individuals and groups that deserve it, not whole genders or ethnicities.  Remember that the number of whites in poverty in America is actually 42% of the total black population. The number is also 78% larger than the number of blacks in poverty.  It doesn’t help to complain about these folks’ “white privilege.”

Do something for whites who need it

If many whites feel they are being left behind, the logical political response is to do something about it. But liberals have lost interest in major economic reforms over the past few decades and have paid a big price for it. Some of the reforms that would appeal to all ethnicities -we have suggested include:

– During the recession we proposed an equity sharing program in which the government prevented foreclosures  of homes by becoming an equity partner to a varied extent.  If decent houses were selected, the beauty of this is that the government ultimately could make some money off the program.

– Ending the enormous waste of money in failed foreign wars and spending much of it instead on badly needed public works program (with early employment favoring veterans). Remember that – although our accounting doesn’t show it – worthy public works create public assets, not deficits. Our wars have been nothing but deficit.

– Banning usury by credit card lenders by limiting their interest rates to single digits (which is where they were in the 1980s)

These are just a few examples of programs that would appeal to a far broader range of Americans than liberal policies do today.

Stop annoying gun owners

For liberals to annoy so many gun owners at a time when the murder rate is at a 50 year low is about as politically masochistic  as you can get. A good basic rule:  don’t press any gun legislation without some hunters’ organizations supporting it as well.

Forget the Confederate flag

Resolve the issues that cause folks to stick them on the back of the trucks and the flag will go away. As a general political rule, don’t attack symbols. Cure the substance and the symbols will take care of themselves.

Think local not global

TPP was one of the one of the great flaws that helped to elect Trump, and it was representative of an emphasis on the global that liberals have been pushing for a long time.  Global agreements are fine unless, as TPP did, they start to emasculate powers of our nation.

Instead, liberals need to rediscover the local. In the 1960s it was called devolution of power and progressives liked it. But as the liberal gradocracy grew, the message was that only the federal government can do it right. This is not only wrong, it is dumb as Americans have greatly higher regard for their local than the federal government.

In fact, some of the agencies of which Americans have positive views, owe a portion of this feeling to their direct involvement a the local level. Some examples:  the National Park Service, your mail carrier, the US Coast Guard. And although you don’t hear much about it, it is also true elsewhere, as the Senate’s own website notes:

Throughout the nation’s history, appointments to judicial posts below the Supreme Court have generated little controversy. This has been due in part to the large number of such appointments and to the tradition of “senatorial courtesy,” which defers to the preferences of senators belonging to the president’s party who represent a particular nominee’s home state.

A good way for liberals to think about it is found in the old Catholic philosophy of subsidiarity, namely that government is best carried out at the lowest practical level.

Avoid legal disasters like Obamacare

Obamacare has some fine elements but these were emasculated by thousands of pages of law including the undesirable and the legally debatable. You don’t have to oppose Obamacare’s good provisions to admit that it was a terrible piece of legislation for which Democrats have paid a high price. There is no way a Lyndon Johnson would have proposed a measure so vulnerable to attack, but in today’s tone deaf gradocracy, currently led by Harvard attorney Barack Obama, it is assumed that what the brightest say is the best. Politics doesn’t work that way.


Organize by issues not by ideology


Some of the most effective organizing has been accomplished because it reached across cultural and political lines for unity on a particular issue. Try it. It works.

Listen up

One of the biggest losses in Washington is that of politicians who knew how to listen to ordinary people. As liberals have become more educated and wealthier, this skill has faded amongst a group that only represents, at best, a quarter of the public. To get anything done, you have to listen to the rest of the country and figure out how to respond to their decent concerns.

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