With furrowed brow, I’ve watched my beloved party of milquetoast sad sacks transform, slowly but surely, into a party on the verge of having ideas. Candidates who run on ideas get votes, and votes are a necessary precursor to winning. This is simply not the party I know and love.
Being a Democrat used to mean something — sorry, used to mean nothing. Once upon a time you could shuffle onto a debate stage with all the charisma of an updated iTunes user agreement and ramble off a policy platform that would put a colicky infant to sleep. No systemic injustice was too daunting for us to not pay lip service to, no international crisis too alarming for us to not shake our heads in bewilderment. We were Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but every other senator in that movie besides Mr. Smith.
And now? Young upstarts, led by a certain fetching socialist from the Bronx, are destroying everything we’ve worked so mediocrely to build. If you want their vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on Joe Lieberman’s face forever. Actually, don’t picture that; focus group testing has demonstrated that that image really resonates with voters across demographics, something we most certainly do not want.
Now don’t get me wrong: we all want the best for our country, we just have different ideas on how to get there. I believe that everyone in America should have the possibility of accessing the opportunity to afford a reasonable monthly payment to a privatized medical debt collector in order to get insulin for their child. I believe we need to confront the growing threat of climate change, even if it means fully transitioning from incandescent to LED light bulbs. I know that the coloring on those things makes everything feel like an airport bathroom, but the time for action is now.
The American voter does not want bold solutions or radical change; they want a practical, balanced candidate who will concede an election with elegance and grace. Better to stay meek and humble, lest the splendor of our victories renders us haughty and boastful. After all, it was none other than Jesus Christ who once proclaimed that the meek shall inherit the earth, and what could possibly be meeker than a marginal interest rate adjustment on existing student loan debt?
In face of a Republican party hellbent on squeezing every last ounce of racial resentment from the fetid bowels of white America, we cannot be afraid to stand up and declare, “how dare you, sirs!” When the profiteering executives sitting high in their penthouse suites scheme of more and more devious ways to funnel gobs of stolen cash into our electoral system, we mustn’t shy away from asking that they save a little of that cheddar for us too.
Politics is the art of the possible — I heard this on an NPR show once — and I am increasingly alarmed by what some consider to be within the realm of possibility these days. Do we really want to live in a country where the children of the rich pay taxes on their multimillion-dollar inheritances? I, for one, loved watching The Simple Life, and I will continue to support protecting hilariously out-of-touch heiresses from having to part with a portion of their riches.
We used to be a party that wasn’t afraid to barely scratch the surface of a problem, and I fear that those days may be behind us. Youth today are too coddled with their unpaid internships and lowered life expectancies to understand the importance of having a mealy-mouthed voice at the table. If today’s Democrats insist upon winning, you can count me out.