In the past month, I’ve been surrounded by a push to vote on campus.
Students standing outside of Lenoir Hall asking if I’m registered to vote, campaign workers outside of stores — the resounding theme of this widespread encouragement of voting is that the upcoming midterm elections hold tremendous importance for the future of this country. There’s a somewhat dramatic implication that this election will determine the outcome of American society, as there is in almost any election.
The Democratic Party's strategy for gaining voters in the past decades has been a major annoyance to me. In 2020, President Biden centered his campaign strategy on the need to remove Donald Trump from office. He focused on stressing why Trump was unfit to be president and making a multitude of promises that he would carry out upon his election.
The strategy was effective then — Biden won. But his win wasn’t so much about the people’s faith in him as it was about their disdain for Trump.
In future elections, this strategy won’t bode as well for the 79-year-old President, especially when he’s stalled on seeing many of his campaign promises through.
This is the problem. Democrats don't do. They’ve taken up this somewhat “preventative” rhetoric. They emphasize all of the things they will prevent Republicans from doing — stopping the GOP from further restricting abortion access is an especially prominent example in this current election cycle. While this has certainly mobilized certain groups of voters, it’s not enough.
Telling voters all of the things you won’t let happen isn’t good campaigning. It's impassive and a scare tactic.
Sure, it’s great that so many Democrats are pledging themselves to preventing Republican legislators from continuing to restrict abortion, but what exactly are they going to do to improve reproductive healthcare other than that?
On top of that, when Democrats actually do outline a goal, it’s more often than not completely ignored immediately after they’re elected. They make promises about the climate crisis, healthcare and countless other issues voters face, and simply never follow through.
While, obviously, a nuanced situation, the Democrats' inability to end the filibuster within the Senate in January was a major reason that Congress was unable to codify abortion under U.S. law following the Supreme Court’s striking down of Roe v. Wade later in the year. This was despite Democrats' repeated promises they would work to do that during Biden’s campaign against Trump. There’s definitely a lot of controversy over whether ending the filibuster was the right move, but there’s a point to be made about the Democrats' ineptitude in actually getting anything done that progresses their party goals.
Why were the Democrats unable to get rid of the filibuster? Because they’re a divided party, something Republicans don’t have in common. I’m not endorsing the Republican Party by any means, but they’re at least consistent in their desires, whereas the Democrats cannot seem to get on the same page.
The split between actual progressives and establishment Democrats is hindering any of their efforts for real change and taking opportunities away when they have a majority in both the electoral and legislative branches.
It’s disparaging for voters to continuously turn out for a party and repeatedly be let down. I’m tired of being promised some massive progressive movement every election cycle by the Democrats and never seeing any real result. What has Biden done about ending fracking, as he so confidently proclaimed he would do in his campaign? Or where is the Democrats' massive healthcare reform they bank on every time an election is coming up?
I’m not saying voting isn’t important. This election has significant implications for local and state positions. I just wouldn't hope for any real change from the Democrats.
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