My disappointment with the Democratic Party was once founded on ineffectiveness. With a few notable exceptions, they’re holistically terrible at politics. They’ve had an insane preference for being correct (by their own lights) and losing than for being moderate and winning elections (or passing legislation). I did not expect the lesson learned within the party to be: We need to be more extreme. That’s what the GOP did with Trump, and it has ruined the party. 

The progressive entrenchment in the core of Democratic thought and politics is disastrous. I find most progressive positions ill-conceived, achieving an outcome opposite of what’s intended. Frequently they also run counter to core democratic and American values. (I will add that I don’t find the Trumpian wing of the GOP any better.)

I don’t know if America is primarily center-right or center-left. Maybe it depends on the issue or the zeitgeist or the phase of the moon. The relevant word, however, is “center.” Neither party is poised to capture what the bulk of Americans believe, which is deftly illustrated here. Can the Democrats Capture the Political Center?:

…the center of gravity of American public opinion includes the following views and values, which are clearly at odds with causes embraced by a substantial sector of party activists and intellectual supporters:

Equality of opportunity is a fundamental American principle; equality of outcome is not.

America is not perfect but it is good to be patriotic and proud of the country.

Discrimination and racism are bad but they are not the cause of all disparities in American society.

No one is completely without bias but calling all white people racists who benefit from white privilege and American society a white supremacist society is not right or fair.

America benefits from the presence of immigrants and no immigrant, even if illegal, should be mistreated. But border security is still important, as is an enforceable system that fairly decides who can enter the country.

Police misconduct and brutality against people of any race is wrong and we need to reform police conduct and recruitment. More and better policing is needed for public safety and that cannot be provided by “defunding the police”.

There are underlying differences between men and women but discrimination on the basis of gender is wrong.

There are basically two genders but people who want to live as a gender different from their biological sex should have that right and not be discriminated against. However, there are issues around child consent to transitioning and participation in women’s sports that are complicated and not settled.

Racial achievement gaps are bad and we should seek to close them. However, they are not due just to racism and standards of high achievement should be maintained for people of all races.

Language policing has gone too far; by and large, people should be able to express their views without fear of sanction by employer, school, institution or government. Good faith should be assumed, not bad faith.

Given these views, given the very high probability that Republicans will continue to attack the Democratic party on the grounds they are deviating from and even contemptuous of these views and given the likelihood that party activists and intellectuals will continue to press causes that are largely antithetical to these views, the potential vulnerabilities for Democrats are obvious.

I think the phrase “there are issues around” does a lot of heavy lifting in the subject of transgender, but it’s generally correct.

Otherwise, this is a relatively good summation of American mainstream thought. It is problematic that that few Democratic candidates are willing to articulate support for these positions. They will under perform and under achieve until they do.