How the socialistic rebirth of the Democratic Party may be shortsighted

In 2004, I watched my first full speech by Barack Obama at the DNC, then an Illinois state senator.  I, like many people, was amazed at how powerful this speech was.

Looking back fourteen years later, it's still easy to understand why, even if it's hard, after witnessing his presidency, to imagine that he ever spoke the words within.

He celebrated America as a "magical place" that "shone as a beacon of opportunity to so many who had come before" his father's coming here.  His father, a goat-herder who "went to school in a tin-roof shack," was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to study in this magical place only due to, specifically referenced, his "hard work and perseverance."

He invoked his religious fervor and God repeatedly throughout the speech.  He even invoked the Declaration, saying it embodies "the genius of America, a faith.  A faith in simple dreams, an insistence upon small miracles."

Then, of course, you remember his most famous words in the speech:

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America.  There is not a Black America and a White America and a Latino America and Asian America – there's the United States of America.

You may not, however, remember the powerful words that followed that resonated strongly with me:

We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and don't like our federal agents poking around in the libraries in the red states.

It was incredibly unifying speech that considered positions of both the political right and left in terms of content and delivery at the time.

And yet, by 2008, he was promising to "transform" everything about the country he described in 2004.  By 2009, he was trekking around the world apologizing for how terrible a place America has been throughout its entire history.  At the DNC in 2012, the political congregants in attendance emphatically booed the inclusion of God in the party's political platform.  Perhaps most telling, Obama offered his now infamous quip of "you didn't build that" in order to suggest that "hard work and perseverance" of the individual are not the defining factors determining success, but that only by government intervention do Americans achieve success.

One could convincingly argue that the Democratic Party Barack Obama left in the wake of his presidency is nothing like the party that embraced him in 2004.  It hasn't served Democrats well.  By 2008, they had won the presidency and both chambers of Congress.  By 2016, they had lost all of that power.

So why do they continue rushing along the path toward radical socialism, with ever more open and reckless abandon, that Obama began in 2009?

It is because they, much like the Democrats of the 1960s, have become convinced that the emotional redistributionist fervor seemingly sweeping the country signifies some Hegelian wheel of destiny toward the future they imagine.

But can everything that has defined America be erased and reshaped in fourteen years?

In 2004, Obama offered to Americans the idea that America is a place where "small miracles" have, under the guiding hand of Providence, led to our collective success.  Millions of Democrats, and even conservatives like me, found common ground in Obama's message in 2004 suggesting that America is indeed a "beacon of opportunity" worthy of reverence in the scope of human history, that Providence has much to do with its success, and that individual accomplishment is central to the cultivation of collective success.

Today, just fourteen short years later, Democrats openly argue that a government with the power to direct large collective miracles at the expense of certain individuals who've become too successful, and even at the expense of God, is our only path to salvation.

Whether this rapid ideological reversal will yield future electoral success for Democrats is yet to be seen, I'll admit, but it certainly seems that their message is drawing fewer radical congregants to a smaller tent.  To cite what is perhaps the most prominent example, Democrat support among Millennials in the past two years has dropped by nine percentage points, from 55% to 46%.  According to Investor's Business Daily, increasing opportunity in an economic environment of decreased regulation is wooing Millennials away from the Democrat platform, and this problem is exacerbated by Democrats' "increasingly radical positions on health care (single payer), immigration (amnesty), gun control (more of it), welfare (vastly expanded benefits), and taxes (repeal Trump tax cuts)[, which] are likely to drive even more of the massive, rapidly maturing millennial generation out of their camp."

You see, as Millennials (a voting demographic larger than the Baby-Boomers) age, they begin careers, they buy homes, they have families, they strive toward individual success and achievement, and they realize they prefer that to pursue happiness unfettered by an oppressive government looking to sluice and arbitrarily divide their wealth as they do so.

In short, Millennials seem to be doing everything the aging hippies did after the young hippies' heyday of the 1960s, only to later grow up and have the masses among them usher in the Reagan era, which fostered the quarter-century of politics leading to Obama (reluctantly, I'd now argue) offering his optimistic vision of an America guided by God and determined by individual accomplishment in 2004.

To put it bluntly, Democrats may think they're playing a long game in courting America's socialistic impulses today, but they may find that doing so is shortsighted.

Support among blacks for Donald Trump has nearly doubled in the last year, which has to be troubling for Democrats, given the near unanimous support they've enjoyed for decades among that demographic.  Trump's approval ratings, in spite of a media onslaught against his administration, continues trudging upward, now surpassing 50%.

But rather than expecting Democrats to pivot back toward the center, as might be prudent for a political party that wishes to represent larger swathes of Americans, watch for them to more aggressively push for amnesty as the only way to shore up the numbers among their prospective voting blocs, as if they never noticed that Donald Trump won the presidency railing against illegal immigration and amnesty as a central issue.

In that sense, their continued shortsightedness (blindness?) will be most welcome.

William Sullivan can be followed at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

In 2004, I watched my first full speech by Barack Obama at the DNC, then an Illinois state senator.  I, like many people, was amazed at how powerful this speech was.

Looking back fourteen years later, it's still easy to understand why, even if it's hard, after witnessing his presidency, to imagine that he ever spoke the words within.

He celebrated America as a "magical place" that "shone as a beacon of opportunity to so many who had come before" his father's coming here.  His father, a goat-herder who "went to school in a tin-roof shack," was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to study in this magical place only due to, specifically referenced, his "hard work and perseverance."

He invoked his religious fervor and God repeatedly throughout the speech.  He even invoked the Declaration, saying it embodies "the genius of America, a faith.  A faith in simple dreams, an insistence upon small miracles."

Then, of course, you remember his most famous words in the speech:

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America.  There is not a Black America and a White America and a Latino America and Asian America – there's the United States of America.

You may not, however, remember the powerful words that followed that resonated strongly with me:

We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and don't like our federal agents poking around in the libraries in the red states.

It was incredibly unifying speech that considered positions of both the political right and left in terms of content and delivery at the time.

And yet, by 2008, he was promising to "transform" everything about the country he described in 2004.  By 2009, he was trekking around the world apologizing for how terrible a place America has been throughout its entire history.  At the DNC in 2012, the political congregants in attendance emphatically booed the inclusion of God in the party's political platform.  Perhaps most telling, Obama offered his now infamous quip of "you didn't build that" in order to suggest that "hard work and perseverance" of the individual are not the defining factors determining success, but that only by government intervention do Americans achieve success.

One could convincingly argue that the Democratic Party Barack Obama left in the wake of his presidency is nothing like the party that embraced him in 2004.  It hasn't served Democrats well.  By 2008, they had won the presidency and both chambers of Congress.  By 2016, they had lost all of that power.

So why do they continue rushing along the path toward radical socialism, with ever more open and reckless abandon, that Obama began in 2009?

It is because they, much like the Democrats of the 1960s, have become convinced that the emotional redistributionist fervor seemingly sweeping the country signifies some Hegelian wheel of destiny toward the future they imagine.

But can everything that has defined America be erased and reshaped in fourteen years?

In 2004, Obama offered to Americans the idea that America is a place where "small miracles" have, under the guiding hand of Providence, led to our collective success.  Millions of Democrats, and even conservatives like me, found common ground in Obama's message in 2004 suggesting that America is indeed a "beacon of opportunity" worthy of reverence in the scope of human history, that Providence has much to do with its success, and that individual accomplishment is central to the cultivation of collective success.

Today, just fourteen short years later, Democrats openly argue that a government with the power to direct large collective miracles at the expense of certain individuals who've become too successful, and even at the expense of God, is our only path to salvation.

Whether this rapid ideological reversal will yield future electoral success for Democrats is yet to be seen, I'll admit, but it certainly seems that their message is drawing fewer radical congregants to a smaller tent.  To cite what is perhaps the most prominent example, Democrat support among Millennials in the past two years has dropped by nine percentage points, from 55% to 46%.  According to Investor's Business Daily, increasing opportunity in an economic environment of decreased regulation is wooing Millennials away from the Democrat platform, and this problem is exacerbated by Democrats' "increasingly radical positions on health care (single payer), immigration (amnesty), gun control (more of it), welfare (vastly expanded benefits), and taxes (repeal Trump tax cuts)[, which] are likely to drive even more of the massive, rapidly maturing millennial generation out of their camp."

You see, as Millennials (a voting demographic larger than the Baby-Boomers) age, they begin careers, they buy homes, they have families, they strive toward individual success and achievement, and they realize they prefer that to pursue happiness unfettered by an oppressive government looking to sluice and arbitrarily divide their wealth as they do so.

In short, Millennials seem to be doing everything the aging hippies did after the young hippies' heyday of the 1960s, only to later grow up and have the masses among them usher in the Reagan era, which fostered the quarter-century of politics leading to Obama (reluctantly, I'd now argue) offering his optimistic vision of an America guided by God and determined by individual accomplishment in 2004.

To put it bluntly, Democrats may think they're playing a long game in courting America's socialistic impulses today, but they may find that doing so is shortsighted.

Support among blacks for Donald Trump has nearly doubled in the last year, which has to be troubling for Democrats, given the near unanimous support they've enjoyed for decades among that demographic.  Trump's approval ratings, in spite of a media onslaught against his administration, continues trudging upward, now surpassing 50%.

But rather than expecting Democrats to pivot back toward the center, as might be prudent for a political party that wishes to represent larger swathes of Americans, watch for them to more aggressively push for amnesty as the only way to shore up the numbers among their prospective voting blocs, as if they never noticed that Donald Trump won the presidency railing against illegal immigration and amnesty as a central issue.

In that sense, their continued shortsightedness (blindness?) will be most welcome.

William Sullivan can be followed at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.