January 11, 2005

Isn't it possible that red America is right?

Despite what many liberal Democrats may think, there are still honest Americans out there who believe in a hard day's work and taking only what you can earn for yourself. I know because I come from Kansas, where hard-working people go to work everyday, pay their taxes, and ask only that their lives be as unfettered by the government as possible.

In an article of the January 7 issue of the Maroon, Hollie Russon Gilman wrote an article stating her disdain for red America ("The Right is Fighting a Culture War to ‘Save' Us"). She extravagantly, and somewhat arrogantly, claimed that these people vote for politicians that don't have their best interests in mind, "people…who elect leaders whose policies inherently hurt them."

What Gilman, and the Democratic Party for that matter, fail to see and to understand is that maybe red America is right, no pun intended. Larger government doesn't always mean better chances, and more interference with American lives is just another opportunity for government to make things worse.

The Democratic Party in America time and time again underestimates human capability to overcome challenges. Democrats consistently call for the need of more government assistance programs (oh, how we love our government-expanding programs!) to help those at a "disadvantage," as if Democrats are the ones who define what exactly constitutes being at a "disadvantage." Instead of believing in the human will to overcome struggle and the benefits harvested from such actions, Democrats are quick to spew flashy lines of "let me help you do this because you can't do it on your own" rhetoric. Sure, those aren't their exact words, but the underlying principle remains the same: You need our help to succeed.

So what exactly is wrong with Kansas? If you've read the recent book by U of C alum Thomas Franks, you might have some idea why states like Kansas pose a danger to the future of the Democratic Party. We define America as a land of opportunity, a place in which you will be rewarded for your abilities, not for your sheer existence. We believe that we, not the government, can best spend our own money.

Perhaps the question Democrats should be asking is not what's wrong with Kansas, but what's wrong with us (Democrats)? At a recent lecture hosted by the Olin Center on November 17, William Galston, a Democrat, and William Kristol, a Republican, predicted the devastating future of the Democratic Party in America.

Until the Democrats can successfully moderate themselves to become more in-tune with the wants and needs of the average American, they will find no success outside of the Northeast, the West Coast, and the northern Midwest, and no, these aren't microcosms of the country. But then again, that shouldn't be so hard. After all, the Democrats propose better public policies, right?

Think again.