Democrats are past the time when the party has the luxury of focusing on war. Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not proven fruitful, as the rise of ISIS reiterates fears of terrorism. Likewise, promoting a supposed war on women among Republicans may have been somewhat effective in the 2012 election, but is unlikely to hold up through the 2016 campaign. Focusing on war, whether real or imagined, must stop among Democrats.
Leaders in the Democratic Party need to realize that citizens, in general, want to win wars. They do not want to participate in a battle that cannot be won. Some call this the aftertaste of Vietnam, but the American public wants the country to be seen as a strong, respected winner.
President Barack Obama’s repeated statements that terrorists are on the run and Osama Bin Ladin is dead cannot carry over to the next Democratic candidate. Since the president made those statements in 2012, there have been five attacks against the United States, including the Libyan embassy in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, and the Boston Marathon bombing. There have also been more indications of sleeper terrorists in the United States and high-level security breaches in the nation’s capital.
The argument in which Republicans are participating in the war on women is equally ineffective. Sixty-four Republican women were voted into office across the country in 2014. The Democrats’ view on women’s rights revolves around two key components: free birth control and equal pay. The birth control issue draws the most interest from younger, sexually active women, with many other more conservative women opposing it based on personal responsibility arguments. The lack of female outrage in the media coverage of retail store Hobby Lobby’s fight to eliminate abortion pills from their mandated insurance coverage, also indicates many women are not buying into the Democrat-crafted allegations regarding Republican’s views on women’s issues. Equal pay is a more legitimate issue, but the Democrats promoting this argument have not provided any real data showing that a woman, in any given job, is truly making less than a man in the exact same job, with the same exact education and experience.
The voters are no longer accepting political rhetoric as they once did. The digital age, with all of its alternative news sites and opinions, has thwarted attempts by political parties to effectively spin stories in their direction and create political drama with repeated rhetoric. Democratic Party leaders, and the party’s candidates, will have to answer with substance if they want to stay ahead of voter opinion. Voters are that smart.
The key to success for Democrats is action that makes the average person more profitable than they were four years ago. While the economy is slowly recovering, the average American is still sustaining injuries from the 2008 market crash. Until “Average Joe” is doing well, the Democratic Party will be seen as hypocritical and out of touch. Democrats also need to learn the definition of the term “doing well.” The term does not mean federally-subsidized gifts, but a genuine opportunity a person can use to generate income for themselves and their family.
Middle class citizens and their prosperity cannot be accomplished until Democrats stop their focus on war and put it on opportunity. They need to quietly maintain a position to protect this country, but focus public attention on creating more jobs. Only then can the party that Franklin Delano Roosevelt once dominated can rise to its original prominence and purpose.
Opinion by Melody Dareing
National Federation of Republican Women
Photo courtesy of Caitlin – Flickr License