The American electorate will always prefer to vote for bullies over voting for cowards.

democratsAmericans don’t go for cowards much. Voters don’t come out to support the gutless. When you turn tail and run from a loudmouth bully, you lose all respect. The Democrats have only themselves to blame for their lack of support at the polls.

Everyone knew the Republicans would march lockstep to vote in the Midterms. This very site has been saying just that for months. This very column has been a series of pieces on why progressives and liberals will all need to get to the polls. All for naught.

As a boy, I was bullied frequently. I was small for my size and my family moved around a lot, so I was always a target. Know what other kids do when bullies are after you? Nothing. I had to find a way to fight back.

Only when I tried to stand up to them would I get any form of support from others. Maybe not every single time, but nobody ever helped me if I begged and pleaded for them not to hurt me. In fact, that made things far worse. I’d take a beating anyway, but now there’d be an audience, laughing and jeering.

You can’t ignore bullies. It’s a badly written myth that they’ll go away if you do. They always circle back around on you. Even if you beat them, they’ll come after you again. Especially when they have unlimited dark money poured into their voter-suppressed, gerrymandered campaigns. Election Day proved that.

Democrats failed to stand up to obstructionist bullies. Running away from their President and their successful policies painted them as cowards. And what do you know, voters stayed away. Nobody wanted to support someone screaming “I’m not with Obama! Don’t hurt me!”

The Midterms are historically bad for Presidents, yes. And certainly the media was already in the Republicans’ corner all year building up to Election Day, convincing voters, intentionally or not, that this race was already run. But the biggest factor was who wasn’t voting. Americans have become hugely apathetic about that right.

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsHow apathetic? This writer composed two different articles about the importance of voting in the Midterms. One for this site, one for another. Neither piece found much traction. I had to beg colleagues to help share them.

The second publisher wouldn’t promote the voting piece on the grounds their audience would ignore it. That speaks directly to the issue. And they were right to ignore it as well. Why push an article that your audience isn’t going to click on? That’s bad business.

And so, after the election, memes and articles began popping up, chiding Americans for not voting. That was absurd. If people didn’t care enough to vote, there is absolutely no point in lambasting them for not voting. They won’t care about that either.

Hell, they won’t even see those memes regardless. Anyone who doesn’t give a shit about politics isn’t following the Facebook pages posting that stuff. It’s pointless and whiny and it’s just giving conservatives something to laugh at.

Americans, the majority of them, do not care about voting. This isn’t changing anytime. And they sure aren’t going to start caring if the choice is between a screaming Republican and a Democrat screaming, “Not in the face!”

None of us are perfect. We like to think we always do the right thing, but we don’t. We don’t stand up to bullies when we see them in action. We just keep our heads down and hope not to get noticed.

But here’s the thing; bullies count on you feeling intimidated. It’s a crude crowd control technique. To snap others out of it, you need to show them how to not be afraid. It’s a tough step to take, but it needs to be done. And when one person speaks out against bullies, others will follow, like a pebble starting an avalanche.

To inspire voters, you need to stand against your opponents. You cannot run from them, and you sure as hell can’t run from who you are. Show pride in yourself. Show spine. Resolve. Courage. These are the qualities that inspire voters to not only support you, but to turn out in droves. It will solve the issue of “messaging.” It will lessen the media stacking the decks against you. It will make opponents screaming lies and shifting blame less threatening.

Besides, look how quickly Republicans squeal when you hand it back to them. Rand Paul runs away from immigrant advocates. He actually runs away. When Paul got called on his widespread plagiarism, he whined and cried about wanting to duel people. The Democrats let him get away with it.

Chris Christie got kept on the ropes for months over Bridge-gate until Democrats wandered away. Christie was then found innocent by people working for Christie.

Republicans tried to smear the administration with a manufactured scandal about Benghazi, aiding terrorists in spreading fear and dividing America for 20 months. They were proven wrong, and Democrats just let them walk away.

Every time Republicans get held accountable, they whine and cry like a playground bully dumped on his ass. They love to dish it, but they have proven repeatedly that they can’t take it. They are nobody to be afraid of, and I for one cannot fathom how Democrats didn’t stick together and absolutely hammer the GOP. No smearing needed.

democratsThese should have been the easiest Mid-terms ever for Democrats to win. Those who voted Republican still don’t represent the average American, but they have the courage of their convictions, whether or not you agree with them, and conservative leaders inspire them. But they are still not representative of the majority of Americans. They’re just louder.

Don’t ever run away from Republicans again, Democrats. Instead, you must use your minority in Congress to learn how to face down a larger opponent. Practice every day. Prepare for 2016, take that field, and charge on to the next.

Grow spines, Democrats. Get your heads together. Pick yourself back up. Learn from your mistakes. Inspire us again. Get future votes out now. We will win again.

You’re supposed to be moving forward, not hiding in back. So get moving.

Chad R. MacDonald has a degree in English literature from Cape Breton University and subsequently received a full scholarship to AMDA in New York City. He is a former security professional, veteran of the hospitality industry, and experienced in both the arts as well as administration.He has been writing all his life, likes baseball, hockey, literature, science, the arts, and marine photography.Chad lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and their gigantic cat.

14 COMMENTS

  1. You are Right Mr. McDonald. Ever since AUGUST of 2009 when the damn Tea Baggers first caused trouble running wild all over the land and destroying president Obama’s town hall meetings and viciously telling lies about the death panels on the health care bill, the COWARDLY “Democrats” just shsmefully ran away from the fight allowing the republican bullies to get away with CRAPPING all over them! That cowardice emboldened them to ram cutizens United and the McCUTCHEON ruling and voter suppression laws down our throats! From the on every time the “Democrats” asked me to give them donations I gave refused telling them that CIWARDS get nothing from me but total CONTEMPT!

    Back in 1986 an old three legged Tom cat lived on my door step. He was an old looking stray cat who had been on the streets for years but in spite of that. Whenever another male cat came on his territory and challenged him to a fight, even though these other cats were younger, stronger and had all 4 legs Old Peter NEVER RAN AWAY FROM A FIGHT! And HE EVEN WON most of the time against the other cats who tried to bully him. Even though I Peter was only a car he was a FAR BETTER DEMOCRAT than the F—ING human COWARDS we have in that party who have No right to call themselves democrats!

  2. This could not be more correct. Turnout is about winning hearts and minds, and you don’t win hearts and minds by running scared. You win them by standing for something, having the courage of your convictions, and inspiring people. The Democrats need to learn that lesson, and I hope this pathetic drubbing was a wake-up call. Step One: fire every Democratic campaign manager and political consultant who advised his or her candidate to run away from Obama and the issues and replace them with 21-year-olds.

  3. No one is talking about this, but given the race that the Dems ran for the Maryland Gov, and the Virginia senate. In hind sight, it almost seems like the Dems tried to lose. Perhaps is was arrogance, that the Dems went of KY and GA, and ignored CO and VA and Marlyand. I don’t think the dems strategists are that foolish, which leaves me thinking it was done on purpose.

    As 2012 was a reaction to the 2010 election, creating a situation where 2016 sets up to run against the party of Joni Ernst and ted cruz seems like a strategy.

  4. Just wrote a rant to DNC with many of the same points. If the party were more focused on PUSHING the message and winning hearts and minds with the accomplishments of the Obama administration, it would be hugely motivating! The pathetic way the party pretty much abandoned the president during the elections played right into the RNC playbook: obstruct as much progress as possible so there would be little to talk about when the midterms came around. Since when could a party simply run on a platform of “we hate the president” without being FERVENTLY challenged for their total lack of constructive ideas or alternatives?! Doesn’t ANYONE see how this tactic will continue to play out thru the next elections? The Party of No will continue to reduce the Democratic candidates to playing defense, and force them to downplay all the highlights of the previous administration – leaving them with NO platform to stand on and nothing with which to rally the base. The current path will reduce President Obama to sitting on the sidelines the way Bush was marginalized in the ’08 and ’12 elections. And B. O. has WAAAAY more accomplishments – we are, and will continue to be, way better off after eight years of this president than we were after eight years of Bush!!

  5. As easy as it might be to blame one or two people, the entire party is to blame for this fuck up. There were a few voices in the wilderness, but the pansies prevailed. I hope the donkeys learn to kick again and stop taking it as just an ass.

  6. I agree with you thecosmicserfer. Good column, but Obama’s background and personal history is not one of fighting but rather negotiating. In trial practice, the lawyers who never went to the mat, always looking for a way out through negotiation never got the best deals, and were run over by the lawyers who were willing to try the case. Respect comes with taking lumps and going the distance even when the odds are against you. Obama has never in his life that I am aware actually gone that distance. I’m not talking about running an election or motivating folks to vote. He was a community organizer, never an activist. In politics, you can’t play nice. It’s rough and tumble. Obama has never had the stomach for it. Too aloof. I like him and voted for him twice, but I wouldn’t bet on him in local Golden Gloves competition.

  7. Good Column…. But unfortunately, the Wimp-in-Chief is the President… From Day #1 Obama allowed the Republicans to control his agenda. Even when he won, he had to give away much too much to close the deal! If he can’t inspire Democrats to Follow by Leading from Strength, It doesn’t bode well when it come to providing inspiration….. Doubling down on his Wimpness, he Never DEMANDED the Respect he deserved… and If Respect is NOT demanded, it will not be freely given!

    Doubly unfortunate, I (and other Progressives) do not expect much different from Hillary!! She may demand the respect, but she will be too willing to compromise to make insufficient deals!!

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