Why Is Democratic Political Leadership So Poor?
There was another Democratic debate last night. Does anyone watch these anymore? What a snoozefest. The best part was a Daily Caller tweet that had a promotional photo of the six Democratic debate participants and asked: "What's the name of this album? Wrong answers only." (Find it. The boundless creativity of commenters will keep you laughing for hours.)
CNN commentator Van Jones admitted after the debate, "There was nothing I saw tonight that would be able to take Donald Trump out."
But why? Do Democratic voters -- especially those living in cities or states run by Democrats -- ever ask themselves why their political leaders do such an awful job?
Here are a few reasons for some of the failures of modern Democratic political leadership:
1. They do not learn from history. Case in point: Some of the most prominent national Democrats are actively pushing socialism, despite the abject failure of statist regimes. No matter how many countries' economies have struggled or collapsed under communism and socialism, we have Democrats claiming, "It will be different this time." No, it won't.
2. They have no sense of economics. Democrats act like they can tax limitlessly. They ignore proof that the money can and does run out. Furthermore, the financial projections for their pet projects are always wrong. Yes, always. And by a huge margin. Medicare. Medicaid. Social Security. Obamacare. So when Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren promise you that the government can pay for college or health care for all Americans (and for every immigrant who crosses the border), and that it won't cost middle-class families a dime, you can bet that dime -- and everything else you own -- that that's an error of monumental proportions.
3. They do not understand business, and they demonize all business as "big business" (as if "big business" is, in and of itself, a bad thing). But most business in the United States is small business. There are about 29 million small firms in the U.S., and about 23 million of those firms have no employees, only owners. Of the remaining 5 million or so that do have employees, 80% employ fewer than 20 people! And most companies -- even those that are incorporated -- are family-owned or family-controlled.
This kind of ignorance matters, not only because we depend upon business for products and services and employment and tax revenues but also because it is wrong to try to turn Americans against their fellow citizens for personal political advantage.
4. They push policies that cater to tiny minorities of people, willfully oblivious to the impact those policies have on the vast majority of people affected by them. Consider the push for transgender bathrooms and participation of transgender athletes on sports teams. By even the most generous calculation, the percentage of Americans who identify as a gender other than their biological sex is a fraction of 1%. And yet millions of people who do not have this issue are supposed to embrace trans bathrooms, locker rooms and other private spaces, as well as the clear unfairness of biological males competing against biological females.
5. They tackle minute issues and leave major problems unaddressed. California can ban plastic straws but cannot seem to do anything about the urine, feces, vomit and used needles on its sidewalks and streets.