The Dems' Ailment

Elizabeth Fuller
Peterborough, NH

When the Supreme Court voted to allow corporations to fund political campaigns, a commenter on these pages wrote in to say that this is what we get after President Obama appoints people like Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, proving Republicans have done an excellent job of convincing stressed-out Americans who don't have the time to read that they are the party of the common man.

I have stopped wondering why so many people continue to vote against their own best interests, believing that because they are busy and tired, they consume only sound bites, and the Republicans have been masters at writing the best sound bites. What I have continued to wonder is why the Democrats haven't taken the time and spent the money to compare political philosophies in a simple but non-condescending manner in order to point out that the deregulation of business sought by the Republicans is what caused all our retirement funds to shrink and raised interest rates to 29% on credit cards we signed on for at 5.9%. It has been inconceivable to me that they haven't done so.

Only recently has it occurred to me that it may be that the Democrats can't do that because they haven't been putting their money where their mouths are. This country has moved to the right, and if Democrats are going to convince the public their positions are more beneficial to the common man, they're going to have to show voting records that prove they care about those without power or money. They're going to have to drop the centrist label and proudly explain and claim more liberal positions-- positions that twenty years ago may have been called centrist. How many of them can now? Why haven't national usury laws been enacted or even seriously considered? If they can't back up their populist claims with real action, they're no better than Sarah Palin. Democrats--and I count myself among them-- need to grow backbones and proceed civilly, but with the courage of our convictions.

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