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  •  Democratic Party culture of careerism (18+ / 0-)

    vs. Republican political culture which celebrates outsiders and is suspicious of career politicians. I think this is a big part of the reason why the Democratic Party is becoming the conservative party (according to the traditional meaning of the word conservative, i.e. safe, sane, moderate, risk-averse, pro-establishment) and the Republican Party is becoming more of a radical/reactionary party.

    I think the culture of Democrats believing in the idea of "working your way up the ladder" of political office is a huge part of the problem. Because the longer you're climbing that ladder, the more immersed you get in the establishment political culture and the need to suck up to move up, rather than "crashing the gates" and actually changing the system.

    Many Republicans nowadays loathe the idea of career politicians and want outsiders like businessmen to come into the government from the private sector and change things, not being committed to sustaining the existing "way things are done" because they didn't rise up the ranks within that set of assumptions and people who subscribe to them.

    I think progressives should take a page from the Republicans in this regard and get away from the career politician model of doing politics, and instead run candidates with careers in science, engineering, academia, non-profit sector, etc. We need outsiders. We need to stop playing the existing political game as ladder-climbers within a thoroughly corrupt establishment. We need to overthrow the establishment from the outside, like the Republican base is trying to do and having some success on their own side of the political divide.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:25:27 AM PDT

    •  In military strategy (19+ / 0-)

      you don't condemn your opponent for winning a battle. You learn from it and adopt it.
        Only in politics do you reject everything about it.

        There was a diary recently saying that progressives needed a "tea party" element of their own.
        The writer of the diary was roundly condemned for suggesting it.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:40:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the real issue is that different things (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, elwior, jbsoul

        motivate conservatives than motivate progressives and liberals.

        It's far too easy to motivate people who respond best to Fear. Just start telling them all the shit that will scare the beejesuz out of them, and watch them get all energized and run around telling other people to watch out for the boogie-man, too.

        Motivating people who want change and a better life for everyone? A bit tougher, in lots of ways. First off, the mass media only loves what sells, and that as you well know is "disasters and danger". In other words, there is a REASON why we keep seeing 1000 year old and 1.5 feet in the grave John McCain on the Sunday talk shows. His sole refrain is "Warning Will Robinson: Danger! Danger!"

        Next is that it easy to get lots of 5 second or shorter soundbites of the fear-mongering on TV reports by the (purported) News broadcasts, because it only takes 2.3 seconds to say "Watch out for..."

        It takes more than five minutes to talk about a program to reduce "accidental gun deaths" by instituting state level laws which require yearly certification in safety classes and mandatory insurance policies for all gun owners.

        The reason Elizabeth Warren is a freaking superstar isn't that she's accomplished so much so far (although just getting that FCPB Agency enacted and funded and headed by Richard Cordray was, to be honest, a herculean task)... it's because she talks like a regular person in regular language and in short, simple phrases for the most part. It doesn't hurt that she's smart as a whip, either. Something lacking in most of our elected politicians these days.

        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:01:33 PM PDT

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    •  Some of our best politicians have come from (14+ / 0-)

      academics and science. Think Paul Wellstone.  And unfortunately retiring Rush Holt from New Jersey. The former was in academics,  the latter a scientist and both standing up for populism and environmental protection.

      •  Elizabeth Warren is also from academia. (16+ / 0-)

        And one of the best politicians we have today. Seems to be a pattern. Scholars and scientists tend to be systematic thinkers, rather than blowing with the wind of whatever often poorly informed dogmas happen to be trendy with VIPs at any given time.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 11:01:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and COMMUNICATORS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Stetson, Angie in WA State

          Obama and Warren were both university professors. What do university professors do? They spend hundreds of hours communicating with large groups of people, who may care very little about the topic, in brief blocks of time, and getting them to understand things they didn't understand before.

          A critical skill for a candidate. It doesn't matter how right you are on issues if you can't WIN.

          Win or lose, I'd love for Warren to run and move the Overton window leftward. It would be great for the Dem party, and great for the USA.

          I hope she changes her mind.

          Warren 2016

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:55:25 PM PDT

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    •  One Problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, StepLeftStepForward

      That sounds great....to us.  As in the self-selected readers of Daily Kos.

      The problem is that doesn't work both ways.  In red America, a rich businessperson (heck, a rich anything) is great.  The fact that they have NO experience in government but in running a business is just what they want.  On the other hand, those from academia and non-profits are suspect and have no "real" experience.

      In the supposed middle are moderate/independent voters and the media.  They've bought the lie that a CEO-type is great for running things, and that's a totally fine background for a candidate (for the most part).  Enough of the time they buy the lie that those from academia are "out of touch" and those from the non-profit world "haven't done anything."

      In other words, the part of the electorate that is up for grabs agrees with the right on their outsiders, but doesn't necessarily extend the same feeling to ours.

      Not to mention those right wing "outsiders" are often ex-CEOs that won't take a penny of campaign donations....because they have millions in personal wealth.  On the other hand, our outsiders would be hard pressed to give up work to campaign.

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man may be king.

      by Bring the Lions on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:08:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Georgia resembles that remark... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bring the Lions

        The Senate race in Georgia has boiled down to the GOP corporate CEO vs. the Dem charitable CEO.

        Neither has previously held elected office. Career politicians need not apply.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:57:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes, but not necessarily. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbsoul, Bring the Lions
        those from academia and non-profits are suspect and have no "real" experience.
        Yes, that's how many Americans perceive things. That is a severe problem with current American culture and reflects a decaying civilization. Higher education in the liberal arts and sciences, and charitable institutions for the public good, are by definition some of the key features of enlightened civilizations. The fact that American culture now often scorns people in such careers shows that we are inhabiting a civilization in its death throes, in the process of reverting to barbarism unless there is a major cultural shift back towards enlightenment in the near future.

        However, if a person with an academic or non-profit background also is a good communicator and able to connect with ordinary people, then they can still be popular. Case in point, Elizabeth Warren. The combination of these qualities seems to be fairly rare. We can only hope that more of these rare type of people will run for high political office.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 02:29:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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