Several Suggestions for the Democratic Party of California March 29, 2017
The Democratic Party of California has reason for complacency. It is the only state level political party of significance. It unites the majority communities of color with the creative class portion of the still powerful non-Hispanic white minority. The tensions in this should be obvious, and I admit that I pounce with great Schadenfreude on any and every sign of the inevitable tension between the East LA Democrats and the Hollywood–Silicon Valley Democrats. Their priorities are so different that it is some kind of a miracle that the party stays together. I suspect one force is that the Hollywood–Silicon Valley camp has virtually all the money and that the East LA Democrats have virtually no sources of their own.
First, the party should back off on the Divisive Social Issues. White Democrats may tend to have radically secular values, but Democrats of color do not. If they have ‘no place to go’, it is because the Republican Party increasingly abandoned its old values to become a white identity party. Not a good situation to be in when the ‘non-Hispanic whites’ are only 40% of the population and divided among themselves. [The polarization that we have been hearing about is a gavacho phenomenon.] There are actually two white cultures: I will call them the REI Whites and the Cabela’s Whites, from their different tastes in outdoor recreation. I think they really dislike each other more than they dislike people of other races! You will never get effective white nationalism from such a divided race.
Cannot the Democrats be consistent about being a Big Government Party? Why do they defend destructive ‘freedoms’ like abortion ‘rights’ for minors, ‘death with dignity’, and things of that kind? Can they not allow the religions (and their people of color tend to be religious) to define holy matrimony in their own communities by canon law?
Second, the radical left, in some spaces like the university and the workplace, has attempted to impose ‘freedom from speech’ in place of ‘freedom of speech’. The Democratic Party should take a clear stance for ‘freedom of speech’ in most situations. Workplaces and private universities can impose a stricter standard as to what can be said and not said, but the law should be made clear that they cannot restrict vague concepts like ‘racism’ and ‘homophobia.’ Rather, if it is desired that certain things not be said, a statement of doctrine should be adopted affirming what the institution specifically believes to be true and what ideas contrary to it cannot be allowed.
Third, the Party needs to teach its people that all levels of government matter, and not just the White House, and that there is no such thing as an ‘off year’ election. Some of the Party’s most important constituencies, people of color and young people, often fail to turn out when the White House is not at issue; and the Party basically takes it in the shorts. I don’t think the Party wants a presidential dictatorship, even when one of their own is President of the United States. Congress matters. States matter. Counties and cities matter. I have said elsewhere that your view of City Hall and even of your homeowners’ association is really your view of government, regardless of what you think about Washington, DC. The Democratic Party should affirm this [for that matter, so should the Republicans].