Democratic candidates are doomed to die continued political deaths in the upcoming 2012 elections unless they stop doing what Republicans do, stop saying what Republicans say and stop acting like Republican politicians want them to act.
Can I prove it? Yes.
Not so very long ago, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Democratic politicians virtually dominated the American political scene.
There were more registered Democrats in the United States than Republicans and Democrats held important positions in federal, state and local governments.
In Florida government, for instance, in the 1970s you could hold a meeting of Republican office holders in a phone booth. Today, in the Sunshine State, the governor is Republican, the senate president is Republican and the speaker of the house is a Republican. And, Florida is not the only state with similar political demographics, even though there are still more registered Democrats than Republicans in Florida and in some other states.
It is the way it is primarily because Democrats went for the political okey doke.
When Democrats dominated politics nationally, the Democratic Party had a very organized, energized, dedicated and loyal base. Workers, minorities, small business persons and other groups all contributed to the past Democratic Party political successes.
Democrats were well known for campaigning door to door, precinct to precinct and city to city. Local political leaders had influence and clout. Democrats depended on people who could generate votes, people who could deliver on Election Day.
During those days, Republicans pretty much depended on the media to get their messages out to voters.
Then, guess what happened? The highly paid multi-million-dollar Democratic consultants said, “Why are we paying organizers? Why are we paying canvassers? Why are we holding political rallies?” The Democratic consultants got together and said, “Republican consultants are making more money than we are and doing less work so let’s tell these dumb Democrats that they need to spend all of their campaign funds on television just like Republicans do.”
And when the Democratic leadership said, “Let’s ignore our political base, let’s forget the issues that mean the most to us and let’s try to out-Republican the Republicans,” the Republicans said, “Hooray! Now we got ’em!”
Hmmm? Who controls the United States media? Could it be Rupert Murdock and other conservative media moguls on the national, state and local levels? And when you buy $100 million worth of TV ads, can you decide where all of those ads are placed or do the media traffic managers tell the candidates where ads can be placed and on what shows and at what times they can run?
Democrats will never win the television political war because Democrats don’t own most television stations or radio stations or newspapers. However, Democrats do own all or most Black television stations, radio stations and newspapers. But do Democrats put a lot of money in minority broadcast, print or Internet media? No.
Don’t stop there. Democrats are not going to win the political direct mail war or the political robo-call war.
Barack Obama is not only the President of the United States; he is also the head of the Democratic Party.
The only way the president and other Democratic candidates can win in 2012 is to have an extraordinary turnout of Democratic voters and supporters like he did in 2008.
The president can keep the Democratic consultants he has who merely try to parrot what Republican consultants do or he can recognize that those consultants who advise him to ignore black voters, ignore organized labor and ignore the poor and middle-class voters because they will vote Democratic anyway are contributing to his party’s demise.
Believe it or not, the president’s dilemma is that his most loyal political base is divided. All black people love the president but many black voters are tired of the political BS, tired of being taken for granted and tired of being unemployed, undervalued and unappreciated.
In 2012, the president will get 90 percent of all black votes cast nationwide but if only 35 or 40 percent of registered black voters go to the polls, Barack Obama will, politically speaking, be like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X: good but dead.
Lucius Gantt is a consultant based in Tallahassee and author of the book Beast Too: Dead Man Writing. He may be reached at www.allworldconsultants.net
Photo: Lucius Gantt