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Dems’ Gloom May Seal Their Doom

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The Democrats used to bill themselves as the party of unshakable optimism with jaunty, confident presidents like FDR or JFK,  “Happy Warriors” like Al Smith and Hubert Humphrey, or the “Man from Hope” himself, Bill Clinton. But a new Pew Research study shows the party of “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “High Hopes” is now the party of “Eve of Destruction.”

The percentage of Democrats who say they feel “little or no confidence in the country’s future” nearly tripled in the past two years – from just 12% to 34%. Meanwhile, Republican spirits have soared – with 59% expressing “a lot of confidence” in America’s future – up 19 points since Trump’s election.

In politics, optimism generates energy and attracts votes while panic and negativity tend to repel the electorate. In every presidential race in the last 90 years, the more cheerful, positive, ebullient candidate has prevailed. That suggests the Democrats’ current gloom will only serve to seal their own doom.

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  1. Ty  •  May 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Long term I am still optimistic, it's just demoralizing seeing conservatives elevate what's become a theology of government hatred to the point where they cannot be relied upon for moving the country in what we see as a positive direction.

    Trump clearly believes that a universal healthcare system is superior, but he can't go there with a republican congress whose highest goal is lower taxes for people like Prager and Medved. They see social safety nets and public assistance as both ineffective and immoral, because it takes from Peter to pay Paul. Questions about whether society as a whole might be better off with that trade in some circumstances are never even discussed because of the dogma against redistribution. Conservatism, after decades of talk radio, and treating everything government touches under the sun as the rough equivalent of a socialist/communist descent into the abyss has rendered an entire party useless when it comes to governance. All they desire, is to cut and cut and cut. Poor people on the margins problem is not that their tax rates are too high, it's that they do not earn enough money. But it does not matter to conservatives, because that reality is a "just" reality since it's their own damn fault they are poor and in a bad place financially. American is a land of opportunity, nevermind that the stats on the actual numbers of people that achieve upward mobility is lower than anyone should want, because it's possible for it to happen, nothing more need be done.

    Here, the liberals concern over actual end results, vs the conservative focus on freedom and opportunity yields an impasse. We just have to beat you, we can't work with you.

    Queue the Box Wars:


    Or the libertarian/conservative perspective (so macabre)

    That last image just about sums up what conservatives think of redistribution. Fragile creatures, they actually see it as some physical assault, even if they are still thriving, concerns over the well being of more than just themselves is limited to the free riding charity model.

  2. Aaron  •  May 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Morning in America… Hope and Change… Make America Great Again… Seems like a legit observation…

  3. Jeffery Goddard  •  May 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Sssh. This article might make the dems change their attitude and I rather have a stronger shot in four years. to keep the Republican in office.

    • Mike  •  Jun 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

      I agree. Let's keep Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters right where they are! Doing their best every day, to show why sane people vote Republican.

  4. Barbara  •  May 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Finally U have stopped ragging on Trump. He's the pres. and can hire and fire people he looses confidence in! There is so much crap out there that U give time to. Shame on U. So U think Trump should have acted differently. When did U and the libs. believe anyone is perfect? Why not stress how stupid Obummer was in some of his appointments (Sec. of State Clinton for example) and the other lying staff he approved????? Stop giving air time to the whining demos. and stress how much Trump has accomplished in spite of the libs????? WE are tired of listening to lame responses to stupid questions. Stop w/ all the predictions of the future if "Trump doesn't do xyz." And stop pushing your wife's book! There are a lot of very brave women who have gotten out of marriages that were toxic, dangerous and very bad for our kids. So don't tell us that we should stay in bad marriages!!!!! Tired of hearing about it!!!

    • Barbara  •  May 13, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      I guess you should stop listening to Michael Medved. It appears you only like to hear one side of every story. I prefer his common sense attitude and only wish there were more like him out there!

  5. Peter  •  May 14, 2017 at 1:59 am

    "In politics, optimism generates energy and attracts votes while panic and negativity tend to repel the electorate."

    Was Trump a voice of optimism, or negativity? He spoke of American carnage. He spoke of immigrants and minorities not as individuals seeking a stake in the American dream, but as expressions of danger and implacable enmity. He incited violence at his rallies. He threatened to jail his opponent. Has he lied and cheated his entire life, stiffing employees, contractors, customers, investors, and creditors. Has he trampled on such foundational principles of our republic as the independence of the judiciary, the freedom of the press, respect for election outcomes, and the rule of law. He has dog-whistled to racists, white supremacists, anti-semites, and neo-Nazis. He has insulted the leaders of ally nations and praised brutal dictators who murder journalists and their political opponents. He has sown confusion and chaos. He has put Steve Bannon in the White House, a man in thrall to a crackpot theory of American history that is deeply dark and pessimistic. Although Clinton's campaign was poorly managed and Clinton herself was a terrible campaigner, her message was upbeat and optimistic.

    Whatever the validity of the "Gloom and Doom" theory in general, it didn't hold true in the 2016 election. It would seem that other factors are at least as important. Trump won not because of his optimism, but because of his powers of demagoguery, and his ability to instill fear and incite hatred.

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