The Instigator
hcallega
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
Farooq
Con (against)
Winning
33 Points

The Democratic Party has abandoned it's roots and heritage in an attempt to pander to the far-left.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,823 times Debate No: 1316
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (14)

 

hcallega

Pro

It seems clear to me that the modern day Democratic Party has completely lost touch with its heritage and what made it great. The Democratic Party was founded on the belief that the government is their for its people. This originally meant small government and pro-farmer stands, as opposed to the pro-big business and pro-big government views of the Federalists/Whigs/Republicans. These views died off around the turn of the century when the Progressive movement of Woodrow Wilson and Bryan took over the Democratic Party. He believed in a government that helped the people while promoting classical liberalism (Free markets, personal freedom). These views then evolved into New Deal/Paleoliberalism. This ideology believed in a government that actively helped its people, especially the middle class. It also advocated a strong pro-humanitarian and anti-tyrannical foreign policy. It also embraced a wide array of social views, though many of its leaders were strongly Catholic or Evangelical.
All of these ideologies held one common thread, the belief in the government standing up for its people. That belief has been pushed to the back by the modern Democratic Party, which has instead focused on issues like Abortion, Gun Control, and Gay Rights. They have taken hard-left stances on each of these issues and thus have driven away many middle-class voters. For the Democratic Party to create a long term majority, it must return to its core issues: Protecting middle class jobs, helping re leave poverty, and providing affordable health care to just name a few.
Farooq

Con

First of all I would like to point out that I am not a Democrat, nor a Republican for that matter. Rather I'm not even American, and generally viewed as a conservative in my own country. But I interested in this debate anyways.

First of all let me remind you that historically the Republican party was formed as a party with progressive social policy, controlling economic policy, and aggressive foreign policy. The Democrats were their inverse. By the time WW2 had rolled around the GOP had become isolationists and fiscally conservative (though there social policy remained progressive) and once again the Democrats of FDR were the inverse, i.e. aggressive foreign policy, socially conservative, and economically controlling. Nowadays the Dems are as you point out economically controlling, war-shy, and socially liberal.

My point overall though this: parties and issues change. not having a name like "liberal" or "conservative" gives you Americans a lot of leeway in determining your party's polcies. Who knows perhaps someday the Republicans will be Statist and the Democrats Libertarian. Or vica versa.

As to your allegation that they are "trying to appease the far left" surely the way the polls are going show otherwise? Bush has polarized the political spectrum to the point where it's recoiling- the center is the new place to be (as people like McCain, Clinton, and Romney demonstrate) and any party wishing to rule America in 2009 will have to swallow. The polarization that happened during the Bush years is not permanent and likly in the future people will shy away from the center again to appease their base, this is a cycle.

By the looks of your profile you appear to be more of a Statist (big-government) type than a liberal or conservative. No doubt you would be happier with a Libertarian vrs Populist format of parties rather than America's current ways. lol
Debate Round No. 1
hcallega

Pro

I agree with your premise that party ideologies and messages shift over time. That is a fact in all countries and with all parties. My point is that throughout American political history a common thread has been the Democratic party's support for the "average" American vs. the Republican/Federalist/Whig Parties which have openly supported pro-business and pro-upper class policy. Another way to put this is that the Democrats have always been in support of the majority vs. the minority. This reached its apex during the New Deal, when the Democrats represented almost the entire population. It ended with the coming to power of the "New Left", people like George McGovern, George Soros, and others. At that point the Democratic Party decided to only embrace minorities while openly antagonizing the majority. The Republicans quickly swooped in and captured the majority of Americans by touting Christian Conservatism, and were able to build their first long term dominance since the 1920s. This would not have happened had the Democrats kept to their roots as the Party of the People. Now the Democrats seem to be the party of those who fit into a very small category and nobody else. Thankfully Barack Obama, who is touting a platform of unity vs. polarization, one in Iowa and is the new front runner. As far as your statement about candidates running to the center, that is true as far as the general election, but in the primaries it is all about pandering to the extremes.

P.S. I would like to see a more Populist vs. Libertarian political spectrum like it was in the old days.
Farooq

Con

As you said beofore, the Democrats once were beloved by most Americans and have mutated since into something pandering to gather up the extremists around the board. But if its heritage and roots is meant to appease the common-folk and help represent them, shouldn't America's changing vlaues be taken into account? The Democrats once supported slavery and later segregation, but no poltical party with that sort ideals could survive in the modern world. Isn't it best to be more revolutionary and abanadon obsolete values in sake of progress? International politics are also quickly changing, old threats like communism being mitigated and new foreign ones being born. Just because the Democrats were on the forefront of the crusade against Hitler doesn't mean they should be aggressive on every diplomatic stance today, and be prepared to become anti-war when the time comes. Change is not always a bad thing.

And what makes you think its the Democrats that going about doing the pandering to the far corners of the political spectrum? Might it be more accurate to assert that is the big-buisness funded GOPers that are a trying to attract strategic voters by seducing social conservatives and the pro-milatary types in an alliance? With th Republicans pushing so far on the social/foregin right can you really blame the Democrats for, rather than going even further right (which would be too extreme for getting votes) are picking up the leftovers by filling allying themseleves with the social/foreign left, thus furthering the cause of their orginal economic goals?
Debate Round No. 2
hcallega

Pro

Once again you make intelligent and well-formed points. My point is not that the Democrats should evolve. Instead i am stating that instead of merely evolving, the Democratic Party has lost its roots. Slavery and segregation were never the core beliefs of the Democratic Party. Neither was the belief in an aggressive foreign policy. The roots of the Democratic Party have always been a support for the middle-class and those struggling to get by. I agree that the Republicans have done the same thing by pandering to the Far-Right (Big Business, Neo-Cons, and the Christian Right). That is why you see so many debates about how Ron Paul is so great and what a true conservative is on this sight. However that does not excuse the Dems from abandoning their roots. Thankfully they seem to be realizing this now, albeit because they are so desperate to win. I am a Democrat and I hope that we not only embrace the populist economic ideals that we are beginning to do now, but that we also accept social conservatives back into our party. The Democratic Leadership does not need to become more conservative, but it must realize that a return to at least economic populism is in our parties best interests.
Farooq

Con

Are you trying to assert that the Democrats aren't even economically populist at this point? Intitives like like universal healthcare or complaning about the cuts to the capital gains tax would connote otherwise. Economic populism is the theory that the middle and working classes should be represented because they make up the majority of people, as opposed to the wealthy and poor. Some people beleive this to be doen through tax cuts, others through social programs specifically catering to them like say, unisversla healthcare. Certianly they represent economic populism far better than the GOP is. The socialist sympathizers like Kucinich have compeltly been ignored in caucuses so far, and show no serious attempts to tkae the presidency, if what polls say is correct.

In conclusion than we should ackknowledge that the major Democratic leadership hopefuls like Obama, Pelosi, Edwards and Clinton are doing their best to serve to better represent the middle and working classes and aren't even thaat liberal socially, if Giulani wins it is possible one of these may even start playing as a Social-con.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SirJDKnightCroix 9 years ago
SirJDKnightCroix
My baddd my badd i forgot to quote Ron Paul at the end.
I don't normally do that' but I remember reading this a few weeks ago and it seemed aptly appropriate.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
I had to vote con on this one, simply because I think you're being a bit cynical of the party, hcallega. You kept saying that they have abandoned their roots of people-power and cite as evidence that they have championed minorities and gay rights. How do those two not qualify as Democratic roots? Everyone deserves protection under the law and a government that protects their rights, not just the majority. It is Democrats that have championed this idea. Furthermore, it was the Democrats that opposed Bush's tax cuts for the rich, but there wasn't much they could do with Republicans firmly controlling every facet of the government. The Democrats are much closer to their roots then you might think, because their roots are manifested in may different ways.
Posted by partizan246 9 years ago
partizan246
After looking at te compass posted my point exactly! lol Thanks teaansscarvs
Posted by partizan246 9 years ago
partizan246
some good points by both debaters. Although I think that the democrats don't really pander to the far left. Look at most members of congress and the executive branch. Mot are pretty wealthy. Also historically both parties have had agressive militaray actions. (democrats during vietnam, the balkans of the 90's, nixon with vietnam and cambodia. Reagan with Afganistan and Granada. The Bushes with Kuwait and Iraq.
Both parties intervined militarily. Also if you look at the po;icy of free trade both parties are toe in toe. Clinton passing Nafta and Bush Jr. with Cafta. Both parties are funded by big buissness. It's hard to disseminiate who is acutually populist.
Posted by killa_connor 9 years ago
killa_connor
Nice copying and pasting a a passage from a Ron Paul article and passing it off as your own thought.

I hate it when people do that! Type out and articulate your own beliefs!
Posted by SirJDKnightCroix 9 years ago
SirJDKnightCroix
The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth. To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away. But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such "freedom" for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others. In other words, government claims on the lives and property of those who are expected to provide housing, medical care, food, etc. for others are coercive-- and thus incompatible with freedom. "Liberalism," which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government.

The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength. Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state-- but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism. Unlike the Taft-Goldwater conservatives of yesteryear, today's Republicans are eager to expand government spending, increase the federal police apparatus, and intervene militarily around the world. The last tenuous links between conservatives and support for smaller government have been severed. "Conservatism," which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity.
Posted by SirJDKnightCroix 9 years ago
SirJDKnightCroix
And I'd like to point both the present day Democratic and Republican Parties are Statists. Call the former Socialists and the latter Fascists.
Posted by SirJDKnightCroix 9 years ago
SirJDKnightCroix
Democrats used to be Libertarians. One day...we shall return to those days...freedom, free markets, sound monetary policy & civil liberties!

It was by a Democratic President that the Second National Bank was destroyed, and it shall be by a Democratic President that the monstrosity of the Federal Reserve shall fall to its knees!

The Democrats and the Republicans have to return to their roots:

Preserving liberty and limiting gov't.
Posted by hcallega 9 years ago
hcallega
I'm a Democrat bud. Plus, I understand that the Republicans pander as well, but none of the leading Dems embrace what made our party great: Populism, standing up for the little guy, and strength abroad. They are better than in 04 or 2000, but still not that good.
Posted by SolaGratia 9 years ago
SolaGratia
I refuse to vote. This was as stupid debate. The Democrats say this about the Republican Party, and the Republicans say it about the Democrats. Each side paints the other as extremists. There's no truth to either side, in my opinion. The "leftward" or "rightward" shifts of the parties reflect socioeconomic changes, not pandering to the extreme elements of the party.
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Vote Placed by cmrnprk07 8 years ago
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