Thursday, March 30, 2006

When Splinters Build Majorities

A few days ago I was speaking with a family friend about the Democrats chance to win big in 2006. I am hopeful but we were both waiting to see which issues the party will push as we move towards elections.
The republicans have been very good at picking issues on which their base is fairly steady and independents and dems are split, like gay marriage. We need to use wedge issues more effectively. The primary split in the GOP is between the evangelicals and business, though of course there are lots of other groups. Immigration is a good example of how to split them apart.
  • Business tends to want freer immigration and doesn't mind illegal immigrants as both lower labor costs.
  • The non-business parts of the party, especially lower income whites, seem to have a heavy anti-immigrant bias. This appears to be racist.
  • Hispanics have been wooed by the Repugs for about a decade and the racist immigration policies pitched by people like tancredo turn them off in a major way.
What are some more issues like immigration, that dems can hold our caucus together on while fracturing theirs?


At 3/30/2006 , Anonymous alan said...

David Brin made a good point that for years conservatives have been working on pitching their tent wider, convincing all sorts of groups with little in common (like free-marketers, christian evangelicals, neo-con hawks, paleo-con anti-immigrationers, pro-lifers, etc.) that they are all "conservatives", even by virtue of a single political opinion, and should all vote the same way.

Liberals have been shooting ourselves in the foot by not pursuing the same strategy, and in fact pushing away individuals who might be strong supporters of liberal candidates by rejecting people who diverge from "the party line" on single issues. For instance, a person who is pro-lgbt rights, pro-environment, pro-worker, and anti-globalization will often be made to feel unwelcome in many liberal circles if they oppose abortion, even if they are in agreement with all other "liberal" POVs.


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