TCS Daily

How to Save the Democratic Party

By James K. Glassman - November 12, 2004 12:00 AM

Last year, Georgia Sen. Zell Miller wrote a book called A National Party No More, warning fellow Democrats that they had lost touch with America and -- unless they returned to their pro-growth, strong-defense, values-oriented roots -- they were doomed to permanent minority status.

The Democrats didn't listen. Instead, they ostracized Miller, who became the keynote speaker at the Republican convention in September.

Miller turned out to be right. George W. Bush won a stunning victory, and Republicans tightened their grip on the House and increased their margin in the Senate. But, incredibly, many Democrats still don't understand what happened to them. They blame their defeat -- which they incorrectly see as narrow -- on John Kerry's ineptitude as a candidate or the GOP's get-out-the-vote drive.

As someone who generally likes Republican policies, I'm faced with a dilemma. Should I give the Democrats serious advice -- as Miller did -- on how to get back into the political ball game? Or should I rejoice at their denial and keep my mouth shut?

I have searched my conscience and made my choice. So, here are 10 recommendations (with fingers, well, somewhat crossed) on how to save the Democratic Party:

1. Nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2008. A Northeastern senator will be a big advantage this time around as Americans tire of Southern hicks. Sure, her negatives are already 44 percent, but Hillary will resurrect government-run health care, a sure winner. Also, she'll get the support of the New York Times -- the key to the White House.

2. Be honest about the so-called terrorist "threat." As Democratic leaders know, it doesn't exist. If it did, then why hasn't there been another attack on American soil in more than three years? The platform should advocate disbanding the Homeland Security Department and banishing those screeners who make us get to the airport so early.

3. Fund a new Michael Moore documentary blowing the lid off religion in America. Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, hailed by Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle (whoops, soon-to-be former leader), nearly won the election for Kerry. The new movie will mock those kooky "born-agains," rendering them too embarrassed to show up at the polls.

4. Involve Hollywood more in the campaign. Kerry failed to make enough use of high-IQ stars like Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Ben Affleck. Whoopi Goldberg's brilliant speech at Kerry's Madison Square Garden fund-raiser galvanized America, but she dropped from sight. Use the woman!

5. Two words: "Gun Control." Why didn't Kerry emphasize gun control more instead of killing geese? Americans hate guns and understand that criminals do not shoot people, guns do. Ms. Clinton should push for a ban on the hunting of defenseless animals and a repeal of the Second Amendment, that antiquated guarantor of the so-called "right" to bear arms.

6. Reinstate the draft. America's military has become far too professionalized. Democrats understand that the best way to fight a modern war is with citizen soldiers. Also, do not hesitate to criticize our troops, who have botched the job in Iraq.

7. Bring foreigners into the Cabinet. The best way to improve relations with our European allies is to ask them to join the next Democratic administration. Jacques Chirac, for example, may soon retire as president of France. Why not ask him to become our next secretary of state? There's nothing in the Constitution that says he can't. Look it up.

8. Make George Soros chairman of the Democratic Party. Sure, it will be difficult to replace a genius like Terry McAuliffe (and let's not forget the help provided by Harold Ickes and Joe Lockhart). But Soros is a billionaire with a common touch, a rare ability to connect with Middle America (probably because he's from Mitteleuropa). He cleverly compared Republicans to Nazis and judiciously spent $24 million of his own money in efforts that came oh-so-close to beating Bush.

9. "Vote or Die." Use P. Diddy's catchy slogan, which turned out hundreds of millions of young first-time voters in 2004, as the main theme of the 2008 campaign.

10. Raise taxes across the board. Of course, fleece the rich. That's normal Democratic policy. But lower-income Americans will feel a stronger sense of community if they, too, contribute more to government. And, goodness knows, Washington could use the money.

Those are only 10 suggestions. I have a lot more for Mr. Chairman Soros. He should just ask.


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