Because the next conservatism seeks to restore the American republic, it should want a Democratic Party that offers a viable alternative to the Republican Party. No political party can remain in power for long without becoming at least somewhat corrupt and also losing sight of its agenda. In fact, as I will argue in my next column, our political system needs third parties as well as two serious major parties if our republic is really to work.
At present, the Democratic Party does not constitute a viable alternative, as many Democrats recognize. While it criticizes President Bush, it has virtually no ideas of its own to offer. Even on the war in Iraq, an adventure which many conservatives criticized from the outset, the Democrats’ voice has been muted and incoherent.
As someone who has observed and participated in national politics for four decades, here is my prescription for reviving the Democratic Party. What I recommend here does not necessarily reflect my own views on specific issues. In effect, I am playing the role of “political doctor,” offering what I think would work for my “patient,” the Democrats.
First, if the Democratic Party wants to be able once again to appeal to a majority of Americans, not just a collection of special interest groups, it needs to dump Political Correctness. Political Correctness, which is really the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School, condemns whites, Christians, men and non-Feminist women. They represent a majority of American voters. So long as these people know the Democratic Party sees them as enemies, they will not vote for it, which means that even if bad times get the Democrats in once, they will soon be out again. Political Correctness condemns the Democratic Party to long-term minority status.
Then, the Democrats need a new platform, one that amounts to more than whining about the Republicans. I would recommend their new platform include the following planks:
A realistic foreign policy based on interests and prudence. With the Republicans adopting Wilsonianism and the war in Iraq not going too well, the Democrats have an opportunity to appeal to a majority of voters by opposing adventurism in foreign affairs.
- Military reform, which looks not just at how much we spend on defense but what the money actually buys and whether it is relevant to future wars.
- A policy of long-term financial soundness for the federal government. The programs Democrats favor, like Social Security and Medicare, depend on this. Republicans’ imprudence on government spending opens a door for the Democrats here.
- A pro-growth economic policy, but one that focuses on jobs rather than Wall Street’s profits. The quality of new jobs, which means whether they pay enough to raise a family on, needs to be central. That in turn means the Democratic Party should become the party that works to restore America’s industry and manufacturing. If that brings free trade into question, so be it; the Democrats can leave free trade to the Republicans. Most Americans would rather have fair trade than free trade.
- A pro-growth policy on population also, which means the Democratic Party would once again favor large families. On abortion, the Democrats would say abortion should be legal but rare and mean it. The best way to do that is adopt the “95/10 Plan” promoted by Democrats for Life, which says that within ten years we should provide alternatives to abortion in 95% of all cases.
- Restrictions on immigration and also on out-sourcing jobs overseas. Immigration and out-sourcing are the two biggest threats to jobs middle and lower-middle class Americans need.
- Instead of the “multi-culturalism” demanded by Political Correctness, the Democratic Party should once again become the party of racial integration, which means acculturating blacks and immigrants into standard middle-class American values. That is the only way blacks and immigrants can hope to become members of the middle class economically. Movements such as that to make English America’s official language should be welcomed and supported by the Democratic Party as ways to help its minority constituents.
Again, the fact that I am recommending these positions to the Democratic Party does not mean I agree with all of them personally. I strongly believe that abortion should be against the law.
But I think that a platform like this could make the Democratic Party a potential majority party once more, so long as it is coupled with showing Political Correctness the door. That will be the toughest challenge for the Democrats, because so much of their party’s money comes from elites that hate traditional American culture and the Christian religion. The Democrats face a choice: that money or the votes of average Americans? I doubt they can get both.