According to most media reports, the Republican Party is in crisis. As evidence, they point to the Speaker position and infighting among the establishment Republicans and Tea Party sympathizers. And they have a point. You don’t have to look very hard to find these reports. But what you won’t hear is that the Democratic Party is in trouble. Well, they are, and we are here to help.
Evidence the Democratic Party Is in Trouble
1. State legislatures are firmly in Republican hands. Chris Matthews recently said, “The Republican Party no longer exists as a viable political party.” The facts are the enemy of such nonsense. The fact is Republicans control 70 percent of state legislatures, 60 percent of the states have Republican governors, and 55 percent of the state attorneys general and secretaries of state are Republicans. In only 11 states are the Democrats in majority of both state houses, and in four of those, they have a Republican Governor. That means only seven states have a Democratic Governor and Democratic-controlled congress. By contrast, Republicans are in control of 25 states. That is a 25-7 advantage for Republicans.
2. Republicans control Congress. Not sinse the days when Hubert Hoover was President have the Republicans held so many seats in the U.S. House. Add to that the fact that Republicans hold 54 Senate seats, and you have a Democratic Party that is firmly a minority party.
3. Democrats have an aging national presence. Parties are known by their presidential candidates. The six current Democratic candidates have an average age of 67. The three leaders (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden) have an average age of 73. By contrast, the ten leading Republican candidates’ average age is 58, a full 15 years younger. Several of their candidates, such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, are in their mid-40s.
4. Democrats are in control of only one large state. After California, the largest state with a Democratic Governor and Democratic House and Senate is Minnesota. By contrast, the Republicans dominate Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina, all among the ten largest states in the country.
Road Map to Success
1. Admit you have a problem. There is an undeniable smugness in the leadership of the party. They are enmeshed in denial. From chairman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz on down, there is a pervasive sense of accomplishment that denies evidence. Content to watch the Republicans implode, they display no sense of urgency which would be necessary to reverse the fortunes of a party that controls just 14 percent of the 50 state governments.
2. Provide a plan. In their first presidential debate, all candidates except Jim Webb embraced free college for all and the most far-reaching liberal agenda in recent memory. Absent were any details on how to accomplish this or pay for it. Nonpartisan groups have put a price tag of $17 trillion on their new proposals, which would double our national debt, which has already doubled during the Obama years.
3. Act fiscally responsible. Eight years ago, in the face of a $10 trillion debt, candidate Barack Obama criticized President Bush and Republican leaders with these piercing words: “That is not American. It is unpatriotic.” Today, not only do the Democrats not offer a solution for the $20 trillion debt, they only propose agendas that will raise it. Any effort to not raise the debt limit is shouted down by Democratic leaders. But millions of Americans, all on a fixed budget, look on with amazement.
4. Quit racing to the left. Senator Sanders has led the presidential field into an all-out sprint to the left. They have unified around several themes: our greatest national threat is climate change, we need free college for everyone, and only black lives matter. They offer no way to pay for the free college, no plan to defeat ISIS, no mention of extremist Islamic terrorists, or a plan to pay down the national debt. The wealthiest top one percent, who pay 46 percent of all taxes, must pay more, while the bottom 50 percent, who pay one percent of all taxes, must pay less. Senator Sanders, leading the polls in New Hampshire, is a self-proclaimed Socialist. Any party that looks to a Socialist for national leadership has run too far to the left to grow its national presence.
None of this is to say the Republican Party has its act together. Too often, they resemble a circular firing squad. The Republican electorate is so enamored with its leadership that 55 percent of Republican voters currently favor a presidential candidate (Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or Carly Fiorina) with zero elective office experience. But just one of our two national parties controls the majority of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor positions, state houses, and state senates. And only one party has as its leading presidential candidates men and women under the age of 73, indicative of a rising leadership base for the future. That party is the Republican Party. The Democratic Party is in trouble. But these things are cyclical. There is a way out. But the first step, admitting they have a problem, does not seem to be on their radar screen. That is why they are in trouble.