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Politics for Dummies – and Democrats too!

Lee Walton

Robert Behre’s Sunday Palter and Chatter article, “Dems’ party ‘on life support”’, was unambiguous proof that South Carolina Democrats have chosen the weapons of their own destruction by embracing a pragmatic, left-wing political ideology and ever-increasing intolerance for dissenting opinion within their midst. Over the past half century, the state Democratic Party has chosen the same self-destructive path as its national counterpart by adopting an absolute lack of tolerance for conservative opinion. Try as it might to read political mischief or corruption into the tealeaves remaining in the cup served them this past November 2nd, it still doesn’t get the message – center-right voters are simply not buying its message.

The center-right, formerly silent, albeit now vocal Tea Party aligned, majority of this state and nation is simply not buying the ideologically progressive message Democrats are selling. In the open market of political ideas, while professing to be the most tolerant of political diversity, the Democratic Party has become the least tolerant of conservative opinion. To successfully compete in today’s information oriented and Internet dominated political environment, Democrats must either purposefully migrate toward the political center or risk becoming further irrelevant with each election.

Over the past decade their liberal, far left of center ideology and lack of tolerance for dissenting opinion has become so politically burdensome that few, if any, local Democratic candidates and office holders have been willing to openly identify themselves as members of the Democratic Party. Recently defeated SC House Representative Anne Peterson Hutto was a perfect example; she would rather have been branded with a hot iron than admittedly wear the Democratic Party label.

Currently, the greatest dangers to the remaining remnants of the State Democratic Party are the dogmatic, and in one local case, literally foaming-at-the mouth, self-appointed pragmatists who speak for the party. As a spokesman for the local Democratic Party, Waring Howe made an absolute fool of himself on a local TV station the night of November 2nd. His uncontrolled temper tantrum exemplified just how out of touch he and his party have become with the average politically unaligned voter. In just a few seconds, he did more damage than the weeks of his party’s campaigns of personal destruction and mud slinging running up to the election.

Likewise, the perennial progressive and Democratic standard bearer Phil "No-Bull" Noble, in claiming that “any Democrat running in South Carolina begins at a 55-45 disadvantage”, demonstrated his total disregard for the predominantly center-right conservative ideology of most state voters. Well Duh! What made them think that way? There has to be a clear message there somewhere if you’re willing to look for it. Again, “No-Bull”, the voters of this state are simply not buying what you and your party are selling. It’s not their fault or the Republican Party’s fault; it’s lack of credibility and tolerance in your party that drives the voters away.

Pogo, in the famous old comic strip that bore his name had it right - “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Democrats, particularly the movers and shakers in the state party, would do well to learn this simple, timeless lesson.

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