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American Tribalism

The Democratic Party has to do some major rethinking — and it has nothing to do with going to the Left or moderating on issues.  It is waking up to the reality that we have no partner in governing, no partner willing to compromise, no partner to partner with in the interest of our nation.

We’ve had a Democrat in the White House for eight years who worked hard to be bi-partisan and to reach across the aisle.  He executed many GOP ideas over his two presidential terms, from a healthcare system first implemented by Republican Mitt Romney in his term as Governor of Massachusetts, to being willing to be branded “the deporter in chief” of undocumented workers in unprecedented numbers.  I believe that he deported huge numbers of the undocumented in an attempt to show the GOP that he could be reasonable, and isn’t an ideologue but a pragmatic leader.

Obama offered to the Congressional GOP a trimming of the so called entitlement programs, that Dems support, in a package that included tax reform that the GOP claims they want.  The Grand Bargain. The Republicans walked away from the deal because they couldn’t bring themselves to support anything that Obama offered, even if it was what they also wanted.

The more Obama offered to compromise, the further to the Right Congress went.

And, now the lesson of the candidacy of Hillary Clinton:  Hillary enlisted the support of most of the high level Republicans in her general election effort;  she reached out to moderate Republicans in the media; and she appealed directly to the rank-and-file members of that party.

Here’s my conclusion:  Both Obama and Clinton reached out to try to unite the country, by not being ideologues and by expressing a willingness to work with the Republican Party.  And in the end, in both cases, the Republican Party could not bring itself to work with a Democrat.  In the end, the moderate Republicans voted for Donald Trump; in the end the GOP would not deal with Obama — because when all is said and done, the Republican Party tribalism beats pragmatism.

The GOP sticks together with its other members of the tribe — no matter what, and THAT’S why the Democratic Party has to rethink strategy.  It’s time to realize that the GOP doesn’t want to work or play with others and their philosophy is “my way, or the highway.”   The only option left to the Democratic Party is to work our asses off to win and win BIG.  It’s time to make a long-term plan for the hearts and minds of American citizens.

The Democratic Party needs a new strategy, because without a partner in compromise the nation just stays stuck, and being stuck means falling backward.

 

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