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.