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September 22nd, 2017

Insight

What Do Dems Want?

Laura Hollis

By Laura Hollis

Published March 2, 2017

What Do Dems Want?

It's time to play a game called "Name That Party." I'll provide a quote, and you tell me whether it was a Republican or a Democrat who said it. Here it goes:

"To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital."

How about this?

"We should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage..."

Or this?

"My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women's health, and to promote clean air and clear water, and to rebuild our ... infrastructure."


Or this one?

"Historically Black Colleges and Universities are incredibly important institutions, woven into the fabric of our history just about like no other. ... Education has the power to uplift. It has the power to transform. And, perhaps most important, education has the power to create greater equality and justice in our lives."

Ready for round two? What about these?

"You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking!"

"(W)e taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it."

"Sorry, ... I was running on C.P. (colored people) time."

"Minister (Louis) Farrakhan is a role model for black youth."

And now the envelope, please? (No, PriceWaterhouseCoopers didn't hand it to me). Ladies and gentlemen, let's see how you did.

If you didn't watch President Trump's first joint address to both houses of Congress on Tuesday night, you may be surprised to learn that the first three quotes provided above were all made by Trump in that speech. The fourth was from the signing of an executive order in the presence of the presidents of 60 HBCUs in the Oval Office earlier this week.

So what about the other statements?

Former Vice President Joe Biden (Democrat) made the crack about Indian accents. The Reverend Al Sharpton (Democrat) made the unfortunate remark about Greeks. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (Democrat) joked about his delayed endorsement of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying that he was on "colored people time."

The last statement was made by freshly elected Democratic National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison, a Democratic U.S. senator from Minnesota. If you are unfamiliar with the writings and speeches of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, it might interest you to know something of the things he has said:

"Osama Bin Laden didn't destroy the Twin Towers. That was a false flag operation to take the world's attention away from the great disunity in America after George W. Bush stole the election."

"White people are potential humans — they haven't evolved yet."

"The Jews don't like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that's a good name. Hitler was a very great man."

Ellison has repeatedly distanced himself from Farrakhan's positions, particularly the virulently anti-Semitic ones. But the concerns still loomed large enough for Tom Perez, former secretary of labor under President Obama, to edge Ellison out for the top seat in the Democratic Party.

Here's the point: Democrats purport to care about things like rebuilding America's infrastructure, a cleaner environment, family leave and child care, and improved educational and economic opportunities for black Americans. According to the narrative, it's Republicans who are racists who don't care if our cities rot, sick people die or poor children languish in crumbling urban schools.

What happens with the narrative runs headlong into reality? Do Democrats embrace policy initiatives from across the aisle that seem to coincide with their own priorities?

Not if recent events are any indication.

Democrats' infantile behavior was on full display Tuesday evening. They refused to greet the president when he entered the chamber, booed and hissed him, remained seated through his entire speech. OK, fine — that behavior was directed at him.

But when Trump recognized deceased Navy Seal William "Ryan" Owens, who lost his life fighting for his country, the audience gave his widow, Carryn Owens, a two-minute standing ovation. That is, all except for some of the Democrats, who refused to stand or applaud. These included disgraced former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and incoming deputy chair Keith Ellison.

This behavior, along with the destructive riots across the country since Trump's inauguration, sends a clear message to average Americans: The leadership of the Democrats is so wedded to their narrative, and so determined to destroy Trump, that they will do whatever it takes, even if it is at others' expense.

The Democrats had the chance to put the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, in charge, and I'm profoundly sorry they didn't. "Mayor Pete" is young, dynamic and personable. He's a soldier who has fought for his country. Most importantly, Buttigieg understands the needs and concerns of people in "flyover country" at a time when the Democratic Party desperately needs to demonstrate that it can speak to (and for) anyone other than coastal elites.

If the Democratic Party is serious about wanting to lead anything other than anarchic protests, ivory tower hissy fits or cosplay vulva marches, it needs to tap thoughtful men and women who can unite people behind solid ideas, no matter where they come from.

I'm not a Democrat. So why would I want calm, rational, effective Democratic Party leaders? Because I think we've had enough hysterical politics.

But maybe that's what the Democrats want.

Comment by clicking here.

Laura Hirschfeld Hollis is on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches courses in business law and entrepreneurship. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, research, community service and contributions to entrepreneurship education.

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