Monday, August 15, 2005

For Democrats, a Troubling Culture Gap



By Dan Balz
Washington Post


Dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, the economy and rising health care costs might spell trouble for Republicans, but a study by Democratic strategists warns that their party's failure to connect with voters on cultural issues could prevent Democratic candidates from reaping gains in upcoming national elections.

Democrats have expressed bewilderment over Republican gains among lower-income, less-educated voters, saying they are voting against their economic self-interest by supporting Republican candidates. But the new Democracy Corps study concludes that cultural issues trump economic issues by a wide margin for many of these voters -- giving the GOP a significant electoral advantage.

The study is based on focus groups of rural voters in Wisconsin and Arkansas and disaffected supporters of President Bush in Colorado and Kentucky. The good news for Democrats: All the groups expressed dissatisfaction with the direction of the country and with the leadership of the president and the GOP-controlled Congress.

Then came the bad news: "As powerful as the concern over these issues is, the introduction of cultural themes -- specifically gay marriage, abortion, the importance of the traditional family unit and the role of religion in public life -- quickly renders them almost irrelevant in terms of electoral politics at the national level," the study said.

Many of these voters still favor Democrats on economic issues. But they see the Democrats as weak on national security, and on cultural and moral issues, they view Democrats as both inconsistent and hostile to traditional values. "Most referred to Democrats as 'liberal' on issues of morality, but some even go so far as to label them 'immoral,' 'morally bankrupt,' or even 'anti-religious,' " according to the Democracy Corps analysis.

Democrats Karl Agne and Stan Greenberg, who conducted the focus group, said Democrats need a reform-oriented, anti-Washington agenda to overcome the culture gap. At this point, Democrats are in no position to capitalize if there is a clear backlash against Republicans. "No matter how disaffected they are over Republican failures in Iraq and here at home," they said, "a large chunk of white, non-college voters, particularly in rural areas, will remain unreachable for Democrats at the national level."

Why We're Democrats


ALTHOUGH DEMOCRATS ACROSS THE BOARD HAVE NO FREAKEN IDEA WHAT THEY STAND FOR AND EVEN PEOPLE LIKE SHARPTON AND JACKSON SAY DEMOCRATS HAVE “FUZZY IDEOLOGY”, HERE IS SOME INFO FROM A BLOG CALLED “SMART ASS” CLEVER AIN’T IT? THEY SEEM TO KNOW JUST WHAT THE HELL DEMOCRATS ARE "SUPPOSE" TO STAND FOR.
READ AND LEARN.
A DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC SERVICE POST FROM YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD NEGRO SNOOP.

The Democratic Party is right on the money when it comes to the issues that most affect students in this country and the values they care about, and that's why so many students have joined the CDA nationwide grassroots movement.

The Democratic Party believes that each and every American ought to have equality of opportunity in securing the American Dream. Democrats have a long and strong record of promoting opportunity for everyone by supporting public schools, strengthening federal education aid so everyone can go to college, and expanding access to health care.

The Democratic Party believes that America ought to be a nation of fairness and equality for everyone, and that we ought to be a nation where everyone feels comfortable living, working, and raising a family. Democrats have a long and strong record of promoting fairness and equality for all Americans, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

The Democratic Party believes that every worker ought to get a fair shake in our economy, and that we ought to provide safety nets for the most vulnerable members of our society. Democrats have a long and strong record of defending organized labor and supporting government programs to help society's most vulnerable.

The Democratic Party believes that every American ought to be able to breath clean air, eat safe food, and drink healthy water. Democrats have a long and strong record of protecting our environment and making sure the true costs of our actions are accounted for.

The Democratic Party believes that every American who wants a job ought to have one, that government policies can grow our economy in a way that benefits everyone, and that the government can effectively fix harmful skews in the market. Democrats have a long and strong record of strenthening our economy in a way that benefits everyone.

The Democratic Party believes that the government ought to protect a woman's right to choose and respect reproductive freedom. Democrats have a long and strong record of supporting a woman's right to choose and other important women's health issues.

The Democratic Party believes that the government ought to ensure the safety and security of its citizens through responsible, long-term strategies. Democrats have a long and strong record of strengthening our security by taking guns off the streets, hiring new police officers, and promoting our national interests.

The Democratic Party believes that the rest of the world does matter, and that we ought to work hard to promote a positive image of Americans abroad. Democrats have a long and strong record of reaching out to the rest of the world and showing that we not only welcome our membership in the international community, but that we can lead it responsibly.