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March 30, 2005

Comments

Roxanne

I'm glad you bring up, if only in passing, Latinos. Real leadership vacuum there, as NCLR does not provide the same role as the NAACP does for African-Americans. So, who leads them? The Church?

The focus for far too long has been on the Boomers, because they were an easily identifiable psychographic group. They're also a BIG group.

The problem with the Echo-boomers (roughly your age group) is that they're a moving target. Forgive me for generalizing, but they aren't reading newspapers and they're not watching TV --and that's how the parties are used to communicating with their non-influentials. So, how do you get to them? Text-messaging? Videogames? Movie theater advertising?

TM

None of the paths they formed were particularly novel, at least not once they started forging them. But Democrats never really tried to counter the conservative radio presence (at least not until Air America), never tried to figure out our own framing, never attempted to pack the courts (not since FDR, anyway) -- but none of this stuff was exclusive to the other side, it was more our lack of interest that gave offered them such massive returns.

Something about this analysis seems very ex post - after the fact it is easy to point out what the Right did right, and what the Left did wrong.

But it would be more convincing if it pointed out failed inititatives by the Right, and successes by the Left.

As an example of successes, thik about the change in cultural attitudes towards cigarette smoking, or gays (not to get inflammatory here, I'm just saying).

Maybe cig smoking is not a great symbol of a left/right divide, but one might want to reflect on how that change in attitude ocurred.

And I think most polls would show greater acceptance of gays today than 20 years ago (the debacle of the gay marriage referenda notwithstanding).

Why might that be, and do liberals deserve any credit for it? And if they do deserve credit, what did they do right?

And could they repeat that in other areas?

Kagro X

Democrats, despite supposedly being the "nurturing" party, don't nurture their young. They eat them. Meanwhile, the "strict father" party provides gentle guidance (and robust job placement) for theirs.

Young conservatives are encouraged to write articles and intern at think tanks and blossom in a thousand ways, under a thousand banners. Young progressives are encouraged to stuff envelopes in the boiler room of the local HQ.

Yeah, I wrote about it, too. And if I'd been a conservative blogger, I'd be better off for having done so.

By the way, Roxanne, one answer to your question: porn. Or at least, it once was an idea. The dude got shouted down and he deleted the text of his diary, but that doesn't mean you can't still draw some entertainment value from the idea.

B

Welllll...I think Bradley's pretty much got the part about the present state of both parties right, but I'm leaning much more toward Yglesias's interpretation in Tapped today. Bradley is just wrong on his GOP history. Conservatives really haven't won the ideological war. The purely hackish think tanks like Heritage aren't working, except insofar as they allow talking heads to back up outright nonsense with a "think tank" source when they talk about policy. But the whole conservative project to establish a big beachhead in academia failed entirely--that's why they're still bitching about liberal professors today.

Most of where the GOP has gotten today is purely because of branding and other skilled marketing techniques. They have to hide most of their true domestic positions (or rely on voter ignorance about the issues) to get people to vote for them. Once they hit an issue that voters know a little bit about, like Social Security, everything starts turning to shit despite one of the most formidable misinformation campaigns we've ever seen.

randomliberal

Nobody targets us, the youth, because we don't vote in consistently large numbers, and we don't have a whole hell of a lot of money to donate. We're not all that valuable of a constituency.

Boethius

So the Dems can't even run their own party well. Do you still think their capable of running the country in that case?

BTW Which group would gain from SS reform? The young.

Doozer

Back in the late '60s, the Democrats felt strongly enough about the Youth Vote that they got the voting age lowered to 18. OK, now what?
Myself, I think the only thing that'll get the kids away from the frat party, over to the Democratic Party--"tilt" aside--is mandatory voting. Adult non-voters will laugh off the fine a lot quicker than the perennielly financially-strapped Youth of America. The Aussiea have got it right; if you value your greater freedoms, you'll gladly give up this little one. Or pay a few bucks for the privilege.

TJ

No, B. The group which would gain from SS reform? Stockbrokers and mutual fund managers.

willie

doozer, in the late 60's there was a draft. nothing gets us younguns riled up like a draft. lacking a draft, i gotta agree with randomliberal's assessment.

and boethius, we may be young, but we're not stupid.

Rebecca Allen, PhD

The young don't get any attention from either party because, while they're young, they don't vote much. Obviously building party loyalty in this group for the long haul would be a good idea, but that would require a long-term mentality, something that as you've already pointed out, the Republicans are much better at than we are.

James E. Powell

There are a lot of good points in Bradley's Op-Ed, and quite a few more in these comments. I have been harping on that Powell memo since Jesus lost his lighter.

But the One Big Thing no one wants to address is that the Republicans have the Fuck You Money that the Democrats don't.

And I don't mean the Republican Party and its surrogates, I mean the large corporations that either own the mass media outlets or control its content because they are the largest purchasers of air time. Just check the ads that sponsor your local news. Check the sponsors of the Sunday morning news shows. PBS is now as much a slave to the corporate dollars as any other media outlet.

The advertising and public relations muscle of the corporate ruling class relentlessly pushes a worldview that supports the Republican Party. There is no Democratic or liberal counter to this, nor will there ever be.

Boethius

TJ

Better stockbrokers than government beauracrats and if they make me richer than otherwise why shouldn't they have their cut?

I am not a stockbroker or suchlike BTW ;-)

TJ

Come on- no employee who relies on a government salary- and follows the law- is in any danger of entering Scrooge McDuck territory.

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