Lawrence Lessig picked out a comment by adamsj that resonated with him: “I’m going to spend time these next few days looking for the America in my heart. It may be a while before I see it anywhere else.”
The response was strong and swift. The first few comments were highly critical, even personally critical.
John‘s comment seemed to sum up the Republican view:
You may also find it in the scores of millions of voters and nonvoters in between Manhattan and San Francisco whom the Democratic Party has repeatedly mocked, ridiculed, called stupid/ignorant/intolerant, and excluded for the past 30 or so years. It’s the self-righteous intellectual elitism of the bi-coastal left that has alienated these voters. The Democratic leadership and their army of academics in our colleges and universities need to look at themselves in the mirror this morning, and ask not what has happened to my country, but what has happened to my party.
Another commenter, eden, responded to the rash in words that almost brought me to tears:
I have never, ever understood this truly odd indictment of the Democratic party – as if the party was standing on the wrong side of the aisle, criticizing and bringing low poor, helpless folk just trying to do their best to make their way in the world. A truly misleading way of spinning what is truly going on in this Country’s politics.
The only thing the Democrats can be charged with is a firm commitment to civil rights and the equality of all. If this offends the “values” of red America, that’s really neither here nor there, at least not from a moral point of view. The Democrats have not alienated these people. These people have alienated their own capacity — regardless of whether that capacity is a a moral or intellectual one — to see through the liars.
George Bush is a fantastic liar. A prevaricator who hides his deception behind a warm smile and a firm handshake. And we have fallen for him.
Adamsj, who’d penned the line that started the Lessig story followed up with an important reminder: America is divided. It was a divided race, even in the Red center of the country, and both parties could be accused of being out of touch with half of the voters.
Please note, John (from NYU!) who thinks the Democratic Party is a creature of Manhattan and San Francisco: I was born and grew up in Oklahoma, spent the majority of my adult life in Arkansas, and have been on a long-term assignment for nearly four years in Alabama and Georgia.
A fairly large number of people — well over forty percent — here in the part of the country you talk about happen not to agree with you. They’ve been voting for the Democratic Party and against the GOP for some time now. My southern home state of Arkansas has two Democratic senators.
Elsewhere, former Governor Howard Dean, reminded us:
Our party does have values, but we don’t generally talk about them. Values like standing up for people who need help. Republicans always bring up gay rights and abortion, but they never bring up doing for things for people outside the mainstream, the poor and disenfranchised.
Like Adamsj, I’ll need a few days….
Until then, I’ve got Cat and Girl.