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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Democrats need an improved image

On Election Day, the Democratic Party was dealt one of the most crushing political defeats in U.S. history. Not only did presidential candidate John Kerry lose by a large margin, but Tom Daschle was ousted in the first loss by a Senate leader since Vietnam. Now, the Republicans control Congress and the presidency. The Democratic Party hasn’t been this weak since the Civil War, which means that its leaders will have to find new ways energize the party or plan a mass migration to Canada.
What can be blamed for the Democratic Party’s drastic fall? Many conservatives would say the party is out of touch with mainstream America, a claim that might have a lot of truth in it. Yet, the problem is more serious than that, and there are many reasons the Democratic Party lacks power at the national level.
The biggest reason for the party’s downfall is the fact that its traditional voter blocs no longer see eye to eye. Hispanic voters – traditionally a stronghold for the Democratic Party – have many problems with the party on moral issues such as gay marriage and abortion. Catholicism (the primary religion for Hispanics) considers both of these things to be a sin, – all of which could have been factors for the 9 percent increase in Hispanic’s support of Bush this election. The party must ask itself if its holding on to positions that appeal to a small minority of the population (gays, feminists) is worth losing the support of the United States’ future majority.
Another reason for the demise of the party has been a weak marketing strategy. Democrats allowed the Republican spinsters to equate Christianity to Republicanism in the national conscience by simplifying morality into two distinct issues in which they are backed up by the Bible: abortion and gay marriage.
Because of these two issues, many Christians have a moral aversion to the party. For many Americans, saying you are a Democrat has become equivalent to saying you are atheist. This is a Christian country, and if one finds himself on what’s perceived to be the wrong side of God, he loses.
To fix this and keep minorities from bailing ship, the most important step the Democratic Party can make is to give up on feminists – a small voting bloc – and stop forcing all of their candidates to be pro-choice. If Roe v. Wade survives a Republican Federal Government for the next four years, then nothing will really make abortions illegal again.
Therefore, it is unwise to constantly align yourself with that ruling when many Americans are still uncomfortable with it. By stopping all the lip service for pro-choice, the Democrats will finally appeal to the 30 to 40 percent of voters who call themselves “born-again Christians,” according to slate.com. Even though this is the best plan of action for the party, it’s unlikely to happen. Though feminists are a small percent of the American public, they do a lot of the groundwork for the party.
Even if the Democratic Party refuses to drop feminists, there are still other ways they can help themselves. The party should act to fix the conception that it is weak on terrorism in a post-9-11 world. Future elections will have voters who may pick a candidate simply because he or she thinks that the candidate will decrease the likelihood of terrorist attacks. Democrats have somehow allowed the party whose leader failed to prevent the worst terrorist attack in our history to appear to be the party that will make the United States safer. Democrats need to change this by pushing their own military policies and presenting ideas such as using troops to defend the Canadian and Mexican borders.
In four years, we will know if the Democratic Party learned its lesson and changed its ways. If Hillary Clinton is its presidential candidate in 2008, the Democrats are basically admitting that they don’t know what they are doing and no longer want to be a powerful party. If the candidate is a moderate one, such as Barak Obama, then that will be strong evidence that the Democrats are willing to abandon the extremist liberals (such as the Michael Moores of the world) and work to get back in touch with the American voter. The choice is simple.

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