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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Strange Politics

Posted Monday, August 6, 2012, at 8:45 AM


In Tennessee, a man by the name of Mark Clayton won the Democratic primary election for U.S. Senate by a wide margin in a seven-candidate race. Clayton received twice as many votes as the next best candidate. But the Democratic Party declared that they will not support him in any way.


Mark Clayton is a flooring installer who has only once previously run for public office. Mark Clayton is a conservative with libertarian views. He is a Christian who supports the Boy Scouts. He opposes a national identification card and NAFTA, which he believes sucked jobs out of the U.S. However, the two straws which broke the party's back are that he is pro life and supports the traditional concept of marriage being between one man and one woman.

How shockingly outrageous! How dare a candidate in the most populous political party, the party that stands for "the people," hold positions supported by not less than 60 percent of his state's voters?

The party leaders are openly calling their own candidate "a hater" and state the only option they are not taking off the table, regarding his nomingation, is refusing to support him.

Being a Democrat used to mean being an ardent supporter of free speech and an open exchange in the marketplace of ideas. Is that still the case?

Apparently gone are the days when Roosevelt could say, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Gone are the days when Kennedy could say, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country, " and "A rising (economic) tide raises all boats." Gone are the Democratic candidates like Hubert Humphrey who thought that cursing was wrong and gambling immoral.

It used to be said that the Republican Party was the party of special interests. But now it seems that the Democratic party is captured by the abortion rights and gay marriage constituencies. Transgressions there apparently result in political death.

When I was young, the Republican Party had to prove that they were inclusive and had "a big tent." It was automatically assumed that anyone could be a Democrat. But apparently, that is no longer true. Not even if a sizeable majority of voters support you.

What happened? How did the national Democratic Party get to the point where they refuse to support today people who are like their superstars of yesteryear?

Roughly 95 percent of black voters vote Democratic. This is the largest, most solid, voting block in recent political history. However, roughly 60 percent of black voters are adamantly opposed to gay marriage. The Democratic party leaders plan on adding a plank to their party platform at the national convention stating that they actively support gay marriage.

If the Democratic Party truly wants to be the party of the people, they may want to take a long look at themselves, examine their prejudices, see where the American people are, and start standing for what the voters want.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

They support "gay marriage", and they support abortion. Leave them alone, and they will become extinct. No big deal.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Tue, Aug 7, 2012, at 9:02 PM

Dear Sir -

Thank you for the opinion piece. Unfortunately/as usual you completely misrepresent the situation in Tennessee, but worse you try to pass it off as a symptom of deep illness in the Democratic party, whose party leaders won't have any one but Nancy Pelosi reincarnated added to their ranks. "Woe unto reasonable people from Middle America!!" This is crass nonsense deduced from a crude misrepresentation. You utterly fail to mention that Mark Clayton is *not* a run of the mill democrat, despite your best efforts at spinning him that way. Nor are Democrats obsessed with ideological purity. In three brief points,

1) Clayton is easily a fringe figure, someone whose beliefs span talk about the New World Order, an alleged NAFTA superhighway, and FEMA prison camps. Almost secondary, after all that idiocy, is his association with Public Advocates USA, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a bonified Hate Group, that has viciously fought against "the gay agenda" as a whole. He's not just wacko and "anti-gay marriage," a less-and-less common but still respectable position among many Democrats - he's wacko and "anti-gay people", which is *not* a civil position to take in today's society. (Unless you're a homophobe, and you should know the research on the tendencies those folks often have privately..) Clayton's election appears to be an Alvin Greene type situation - he did no campaigning at all, and folks voting for him had no idea who he was, but he was the first name on the ballot and somehow got the votes to win. Clayton is not representative of political views among folks from Tennessee, so the party wants him out, even if they haven't had a democrat in that district for 20 years or so.

2) That said, Democrats are absolutely less obsessed with ideology than republicans are - note, for instance, the Americans for Tax Reform pledge against raising *any* taxes, including on cigarettes, gas-guzzlers, etc etc that basically every Republican in Congress has signed off on. Taking all options for revenue-raising off the table is no way to govern, but then again these are not Eisenhower's Republicans: they're ideologically charged obstructionists bent on keeping an unrealistic promise. On the other hand, SW Indiana has had its fair share of Blue Dog Democrats, representative of quite a bit of diversity in the Democratic party - Brad Ellsworth was definitely pro-guns, and *not* prochoice or pro gay marriage, but he was not run out of the Democratic party. He was just voted out of office by republicans in District 8.

3) At the same time, Conservative Dad, opposition to/support for gay marriage and abortion tend not to run along political lines - instead, they run along generational ones. So really, we're waiting on y'all to go extinct. Sorry, but all polling trends on this issue over the last 20 years do not support you. So go ahead Conservative Dad, eat some more Chick-fil A. I'm sure its really good for your heart. ;-]


-- Posted by NorvalJrJr on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 4:59 PM

Given recent events, possibly, just maybe, the Southern Poverty Law Center is the real hate group.


-- Posted by Charles Hear on Sun, Aug 19, 2012, at 2:44 PM

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