After President Obama, on the national level, the Democrats are a feckless bunch — meandering, blurred, a Party that cannot articulate a clear, direct set of interlocking, coherent policies. It would be a challenge for any opposing Party to be heard over the noise of the Trump age, but the Democrats seem particularly ill suited to mounting a distinct, plain-spoken set of alternatives. We have an idea as to what they oppose, but as to what they believe in ….? They give the appearance of having been focused-grouped to pointlessness, so careful are they to avoid giving offense to any potential voter, as if 35% of the electorate is not forever out of their reach even if Christ and Lincoln appeared on their Presidential ticket. Most importantly, they lack an ethos, a political and moral element that would serve as a guide and create an identity as in the Democrats are the Party of …. fill in that blank.
So fill in the blank with the word LIFE. The Democrats are the Party of Life as in human life, animal life, the life of the planet. As in the lives of children. As in the lives of human beings — not tribes, nor ethnic groups, nor religions, nor regions. As in taking steps to ameliorate the effects of climate change, to make sure that children come first in the allocation of dollars for health care and education. As in the preservation of public lands and wilderness and species. As in taking steps to reduce our stockpile of nuclear weapons and encouraging other nations through alliances and treaties to do the same. As in ending gerrymandering, protecting DACA, securing and expanding voting rights, actively combating discrimination and hatred — building the legal framework necessary to raise up the idea of justice as intimately connected to the defense of life.
You see where this goes. You see what it can accommodate.
It is a simple, easy to grasp conception. It appeals to both mind and heart. The details can be debated, but the broad course of action is there in the ethos of the idea. Perhaps in this idea, the Democratic Party, the only institution capable of restoring rationality and stability to the nation, can begin to reassert itself.