Have a discussion with anyone in the leftmost regions of the Democratic party and eventually they will invoke “the base,” a mythological group of liberals who are the “true Democrats” and of which he or she is “obviously” a part of. The “I’m a real Democrat and everyone else is a heretic” mentality exhibited by the blogosphere betrays a misunderstanding of the term “base” in regards to a political party. Simply put, “the base” is the single most reliable block of voters. Period. It has little to do with ideology.

Writer Will Pitt (whose stripes change depending on what Democrat he’s working for), said it best during the 2004 Presidential election.

I hear a lot of stuff … about anti-war left-wing types being the base, and Kerry better not piss us off, or Kerry better court us, or Kerry has already pissed us off, so screw you guys, I’m going home.

I hate to break it to you, but anti-war left-wing types are not the base of the Democratic party.

Union members are the base of the party, particularly in the northeast and Pacific northwest. Women are the base of the party, particularly in the northeast, far west, and portions of the midwest. African Americans are the base of the party all across the country.

Anti-war left-wing types are the single most unreliable voter group in America. Unless you are simon-pure, you are unworthy of support from that group. As no politician in 21st Century America (with a snowball’s chance of winning a national election) is simon-pure, they are not likely to (work) to get anti-war left-wing support.

Anti-war left-wing support, by the way, is buried by the aforementioned real base. Yes, anti-war left-wing support can swing an election, but because of the aforementioned unreliability problem – anti-war left-wing voters will bolt at the first sign of impurity, even in a tight race (See: 2000) – it is too often a hopeless exercise to try and court that group with any real vigor. The real base outnumbers anti-war left-wing types 10-1. That’s where the focus goes.

So all you anti-war left-wing folks should probably stop referring to yourselves as the base of the Democratic party. Don’t feel bad; I’m a anti-war left-wing type, too, and so I’m out of the fun as well. We were close to being the base, but blew up in 1968 because we couldn’t stand it anymore. The party looked at us and said, “OOOOkay…let’s look elsewhere.”

See, the base of the party are working class men and women of differing races and levels of “liberalness.” Many are regular church goers and many shop at Wal-mart.

Rank and file Democrats are not one issue voters. Our base – our most reliable voting block – are only aware of the “progressive” crutch of “corporate malfeasance” from news reports about Enron.

Who is the “base?” Democrats get most of the homosexual vote. Democrats get most of the black vote. Yet more blacks than whites DISAGREE with gay marriage (a Pew research survey found 43% of African Americans didn’t rank gay marriage an important issue with 60% opposing it.) African Americans also more likely to oppose abortion according to an ABC news poll.

Who is the base? Blue collar union workers – often very religious, often anti-abortion. Women, most concerned with health care, education, their children, jobs and the economy.

The base is a hodgepodge of beliefs that conflict with the “progressive” mindset displayed so often in the blogosphere. Parts of the base are religious. Some deeply religious.  Parts are anti-abortion and pro-gun rights. Parts are anti-gay marriage. Yet the base consists in part of women and gays.

If the base was “anti-corporate progressives,” as often floated in the netroots, corporations would not be flourishing as they are in blue states. With the country pretty evenly split, I don’t believe only Republicans are doing business with corporations.

To state it bluntly – if anyone within the Democratic party IS NOT the base, it is the “progressive” types. They voted third party against Harry Truman in 1948, would not support John Kennedy in 1960, sat out the 1968 presidential election, led the party to ruin in 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988. In effect, “progressives” look at politics the way they do Indie music. In their mind, they have superior music tastes and everyone else is a sell-out.

But politics is not pop music.

(For Centrist news and opinion, visit DonkeyDigest) 

Be Sociable, Share!