Lagging behind their Republican counterparts in all major polling, Democratic Party leadership has elected to switch gears less than a month before the upcoming midterm elections. According to numerous sources within the Party, from now until Election Day, Democratic candidates across the country will be humming a new tune: “Our nostalgia is better than theirs.”
The tactical shift comes on the heels of the Party’s breakthrough realization that no one is selling any new ideas in the upcoming election cycle.
“For two damn years, we’ve been laboring night and day trying to win support for the new ideas that we campaigned on,” said David Axelrod, Democratic message guru and senior adviser to President Barack Obama. “It seems like Americans aren’t that interested in creative problem-solving. I guess they like shouting at each other way more.”
As proof of Americans complete reluctance to proactively and progressively addressing problems, Axelrod cited Democrats’ recent efforts to expand health care coverage, cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses, fairly tax the wealthiest 2% of Americans, reform the student loan industry, and revise the framework for financial, consumer and environmental regulatory protections.
“Well, you know what I realized: We can either keep thinking of new ways to invest in our society and improve our economy, or we can try to win an election,” Axelrod said. “Our opponent sure as hell isn’t selling any new ideas this November. So if they’re dusting off their 80s playbook, we are too!”
According to Axelrod, come next month, control of Congress will boil down, in essence, to a war of nostalgia, two competing notions of an America that never really was and certainly never will be again. On the one hand, he says, Republicans are selling a reactionary vision of 1950s “family values” America, the age of the white picket fence, sprinkled with language promulgating the prosperity of 1980s Reaganomics. In response, Democrats will now sell its backwards-looking “made in America” vision of the country returning to its role as the world’s capital of heavy industry, with blue collar grit and good government making the U.S. the global engine of exports.
“Does it matter to Republicans that their ‘family values’ era is largely a historical fantasy? That in reality it was a time when racism was broadly institutionalized in this country and when women had virtually no career opportunities? Of course not! Just like it doesn’t matter to them that there’s no evidence that Reaganomics did anything but balloon deficits, increase the gulf between the rich and poor, and create a surefire Savings & Loan crisis,” Axelrod protested. “But, at the same time, does it matter to us Democrats that the industrial, labor-intensive jobs we’re promising are already gone and never coming back? No way! Do we feel guilty that we harp on the success of government programs from our New Deal and Great Society glory years without ever mentioning that they are currently spiralling down unsustainable paths towards bankruptcy? Hell no! If I’ve learned anything in American politics, it’s that the only thing that matters less than the truth is intelligent, good ideas!”
Meanwhile, for those voters looking for a substantive discussion of how America should best finance needed investments in infrastructure and education to propel innovation in critical 21st century spaces like green technologies, Axelrod says the next month’s election will leave you wanting.
“If you want an intelligent policy exchance of ideas, go down the University of Chicago and audit a class,” Axelrod said. “But if you’re like most Americans, and you’re afraid to confront today’s problems, we invite you to get trapped in an ideological swirl so detached from reality that you won’t have to give any serious thought to any serious topics.”