The Democratic political platform has for the past 50 years, been rooted in altruistic and long term projects with hard to define timelines to completion: women’s rights, civil rights, equal representation for gays, a fix for the environment, protection of domestic jobs, etc.
The problem with this as a political platform is none of these ideas or problems can be solved within the next political cycle. Equal pay for equal work for women will not happen within the next four years.
Republicans have consistently defined their platform by expeditious platitudes, lower taxes, defense of marriage, free trade. These are issues that often can be addressed with the flourish of a fountain pen within the first couple of months in office. Or they are issues that do not require proactive work but a strategy to do nothing. Without the burden of creating something i.e., civil rights, cleaner air, etc, the republicans can take credit for fulfilling agendas by doing nothing or blocking the something.
In today’s world of hyper-gratification, fast food, 30 minute TV shows, credit applications done in 15 seconds, and 7 minute abs, Americans have come to expect that everything should resolve quickly. We don’t have the tolerance to wait ten years for anything good, no matter how good, valuable or morally defensible.
When we get close to Election Day we start to think about how our paychecks will be affected by new tax laws days after the election ends. It is hard to quantify how the ozone could be affected within the same time period.
The recent gains made by democrats in Congress were not a validation of Democratic platforms or policies, but a rejection of current Republican missteps. When both houses of Congress swung to the left they struggled to organize an agenda or work on the big issues such as Iraq and the economy and nothing got done. The current houses of Congress received a dubious 11% positive approval rating last month.
The next couple of political cycles will be the Democrats to lose. Why? Not because they have improved their platform but because the Republican leadership strayed from the philosophy that worked so consistently and often, and got involved in a war that didn’t, couldn’t resolve quickly, spent more money than we thought possible, ruined our national reputation, and America fatigued, even the Republicans.
America will not wait to see what happens. The Republicans will swing back to tested ways of doing business. Do the Democrats see this?