Opinion: A Democratic lack of vision

Matthew Olienechak

Matt Olienechak

It’s clear that the Democratic Party is in shambles.

Not that anyone should find that surprising, considering the outcome of last November’s election and its aftermath.

Despite facing off against one of the most unpopular candidates to ever grace the political stage, the Democratic Party failed to win the presidency. They even lost both houses of Congress.

So, what happened?

Now, I could spend the rest of this column tearing apart the choice of Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate, but it has certainly been overdone by the media.

I think it would be a much better idea to focus instead on their complete failure to be in any way a compelling organization capable of building a voter base that believes in their message, not that there is much of a message to be had.

When they revealed their new rumored motto, “A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages,” I was honestly astounded that this was even an option despite it not being the officially chosen motto. And that was not just because it was reminiscent of something I would find on a Papa John’s box.

Even the lightest examination reveals a slogan completely devoid of any real meaning beyond the vaguest promise of better economic circumstances.

It offers no hint of how they’ll achieve this in the years to come, beyond the pandering allusion to the New Deal. And the inclusion of “Better Skills” itself is worrying.

Their focus on skills implies that the Democratic Party has yet to shake free of the harmful idea that a good standard of living comes to those who possess a certain level of ability.

Instead of trying to say anything truly groundbreaking, like championing the cause of a universal basic income, they cling to the notion that they can help those in need by better enabling them to compete in this capitalistic world.

Regardless of how noble their intent might be, it matters little when it comes to promoting actual change for Americans. Buying into the system and giving us more of the same is not going to fix anything.

That attachment to the status quo remains the Democratic Party’s deepest flaw, somewhat ironic for a political organization who once got into the White House on a platform of change.

They remain in bed with the establishment, all the while unable to comprehend how they could turn away the countless young adults who have become disillusioned with the whole political process.

They play it safe to avoid any risks that could hurt their chances when it is that very cautiousness that hurts them more than anything.

Perhaps in the coming months, the higher-ups at the Democratic National Committee will realize that they need to push for more revolutionary ideas if they are going to take back the government from the Republicans.

But given their track record, they’ll likely continue to stay on their path and continue to lose.

And then they’ll just rebrand again.

Matthew Olienechak is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].