02 Oct Tailor Swift, Parties
The advice here is that the Republicans and Democrats make haste to alter their presidential ticket leaders and party platforms. That much should be obvious from the literal meaning of the headline found immediately above.
First, however, can we take just one paragraph to talk about spelling, punctuation, and grammar? You see, our headline could have read TAYLOR SWIFT PARTIES!, and that would have had a totally different meaning. Spelling and usage matter (consider “violators will be toad and find $100”), as does punctuation (“Let’s eat, Grandma” needs the comma, just as “I’m sorry; I love you” needs its semi-colon.) Regarding grammar itself, while we are well aware that the adverb form of swift normally is just as much an -ly adverb as the word normally itself, this humble blogger does not understand exactly why that is. After all, we say “Byron runs fast” instead of “runs fastly,” so Swift is fine in our book.
We digress. The point is that we chose our headline words and punctuation carefully because we are not talking about the social affairs of the popular star (even though everyone else may be), and we hope the legions of Taylor Swift fans can Just Shake it Off with no Bad Blood.*
*As “Swifties” know, those are names of two of Taylor’s hit songs.
Tailor with an I
This blog’s main message to both political parties long has been that they need to change horses. (See Lame Ducks: Donald and Daffy (August 1, 2023); It’s Time to Move Forward, Democrats (Nov. 12, 2021); and To Win, Just Ignore Trump (Nov. 9, 2021)). Before they get any further into the stream, the Democrats should stop riding Joe Biden and the Republicans should stop beating the other dead horse that is Donald Trump.
Switching now from the equine to tailoring as our metaphor of choice, that basic advice continues.
In addition to adjusting their ticket for a better chance of success, the Republicans should get their platform tailored, as well. Taken in should be the excessive emphasis on fighting “wokeness” and culture wars, which have been accentuated as if they were the most important issues America faces. Trimming those will leave a fabric more pleasing to the majority of voters, who care about the economy, equal justice, national security, freedom (including religious freedom), health care, and protection of the vulnerable.
As for the Democratic Party, some tailoring to reduce the size of government is needed. Hemming up spending and taxes also. Patching Social Security and Medicare must be done, too. The Democratic message also needs modification to taper the use of identity politics, business bashing, and pandering to various “victim” groups.
The mainline political parties need to tailor their plans to improve their chances of winning the 2024 election, and, more importantly, for the good of the country.
These adjustments should be made soon. Either swift or swiftly – whichever you prefer – will do. The reason for urgency is that the caucuses and primaries will be upon us all in early 2024, beginning with the Republican caucuses in Iowa on January 15 and the Democratic primary in South Carolina on February 3.
Those formative contests are how the parties decide which candidate will lead their ticket in the November general election. Once it begins, a nomination race often takes on a life of its own, so it is crucial for the parties to take in and shorten their list of potential nominees even before the first votes are cast. In 2024, this is particularly imperative.
Although nobody in party leadership wants to say it out loud, a recent newspaper article described both Messrs. Trump and Biden as “like the dead mouse on the floor of their political parties: everybody wants them out, but nobody wants to pick them up.”
The party central committees should sit their respective gentleman down and explain that his presence in the presidential race is hurting the party and the country. Bluntly, Republican leaders should tell Donald Trump that he will lose to any Democratic candidate, including President Biden. Democratic leaders should tell Joe Biden that he will lose to any Republican candidate except Trump, and the party cannot run the risk that the Republicans will wise up eventually.
These messages will need to be reinforced by Congressional leaders as well as rank and file members of the House and Senate. Then they must spread this message through state and local leaders to the party’s voters – in no uncertain terms. Those of us at the grassroots level can do our parts by sending the same message up the chain.
Similar messages should be sent regarding both parties’ policy platforms.
When the king has no clothes, the most severe form of tailoring is needed.
Written by Quentin R. Wittrock, founder of Principle Based Politics.
Look for his posts each week, as this blog will explore and promote the idea of principle in politics, both as to individual elected leaders and our federal government as an institution.