How many times have I heard this in the past three weeks: "How could so many Americans be so stupid?" This phrase is used to reference hordes of irrational evangelicals voting against their economic self-interest in order to elect a president who agrees with their moral values on the the subject of guns, God and gays. Sometimes I get so frustrated with my fellow democrats. I am personally far right of left on many issues and thus not entirely politically correct on all liberal sacred cows. So I have also felt the sting of being inferred stupid or ill-informed by rabid left wingers (only on e-mail, never face to face). We do not do the Democratic party any service by calling Bush voters stupid, or chanting "dumb, dumber, dubya." If we are to learn anything from this election it must be that eastern, intellectual power elites are anathema to the American public in the modern era (JFK not withstanding). We must go back to our roots in order to appeal to the values that made our party and America great: Justice, Equality, Community. We must look to our great hero: Thomas Jefferson. "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." notice that he didn't use any pseudo intellectual phrase there, like "a priori" "...that all men are created equal." We must appeal to fair-minded moderates that Democrats believe this. That even if people are simple, or haven't gone to college, they can still have a warm spot in our party. Amazingly, the Republicans even stole this from us in the last election: Dick Cheney saying "all Americans are free to engage in relationships of their choice." Talk about big-tent politics.
The truth of the matter is that many very intelligent, very well-informed and highly intellectual people voted for George W. Bush in this last election. The Democrats need to parse their platform and strive to appeal again to the spirit of what makes our party great. Why do we love it? Why do rich Democrats love it so much that they vote against their economic self-interests? Those are the questions we must ask ourselves.