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article imageOp-Ed: Midterm results reveal that Democrats need a new New Deal

By Calvin Wolf     Nov 6, 2014 in Politics
The Democrats lost big on Tuesday, losing control of the Senate, falling further behind in the House, and putting up a poor showing in the various governors' races. While the punditry debate why Dems lost and the GOP won, a look at the real reason.
The U.S. economy is out of the recession, but many voters do not feel that way. It is no longer news that income inequality is increasing in the United States and that the vast majority of the recession "recovery" occurred for the wealthiest earners and not the middle and lower classes. The stock market has rebounded, even setting records, but paychecks continue to grow slower than inflation. Voters are displeased with those in power, meaning Democrats, and Democrats lost big in the 2014 midterm election on Tuesday, reports CNN. Democrats have lost control of the Senate, fallen further behind in the House, and took a beating on the gubernatorial front.
The punditry are having a field day. President Obama is taking a mountain of abuse. Conservatives are abuzz. But is there a genuine political shift going on in America, or is this simply dissatisfaction with a dreary status quo?
Bandying about the blogosphere are many ideas for why the Dems took a nosedive. Conservatives are crowing about how voters are abandoning Obama and, thus, Democratic candidates as a whole. Liberals, examining their own losses, are acknowledging that they are lacking a unifying message, particularly on the economy.
Yes, the message is still as pertinent as in 1992: It's the economy, stupid. Voters are annoyed with the White House because the economy still sucks. And, while many pundits are blaming Democrats' midterm woes on refusing to tack to the political right and become more conservative, I agree with those who say that the Dems are suffering for failing to stick to the socioeconomic left.
Basically, Democrats need to be more Elizabeth Warren and less Hillary Clinton. The base is uninspired because, instead of arguing for a new New Deal, Democrats are squabbling about minor issues. Democrats are too busy focusing on identity politics and not enough on reining in corporate welfare, raising the minimum wage, and fixing the dadgum economy.
The economy trumps identity politics, and Democrats have either forgotten this fact or have become too uncomfortable with the possibility of being called "socialists" to make much noise about income inequality. Either way, I agree that it is costing them. As a political moderate, I have not found much in the Democratic message in 2014 to rally around.
Frankly, as a white male, I need more focus on money and less focus on identity politics. While some may be aghast that I have uttered such a thing, it does represent a political reality: Liberals need to get back to the core and stop focusing exclusively on various groups. If Democrats want to win in 2016, they need to follow the money.
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The Republicans, despite being the recalcitrant "Party of No," have stuck to the money issue. Although they are responsible for the Washington gridlock, they have made it appear that they care more about the economy than do Democrats. It is misleading advertising, but it reveals the importance of focusing on the economy, and economic woes, rather than identity politics.
Democrats, if you want to win again, you need to hearken back to the New Deal and develop a unified call for economic reform, one with a bit of steel. Advocate for real change for all Americans. Go big or go home.
Elizabeth Warren, I never thought I would say this, but you're right on track. You go, girl!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about 2014 midterm elections, Politics, Congress, Elections, 2016 presidential election
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