Closet Democrats #110; Aug. 22, 2005

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

It's just not cool to be a Democrat anymore. It used to be hip, back in the swingin' 70s and even somewhat into the 80s. That was before, of course, the Republicans co-opted machismo n strong defense, low taxes, anti-welfare, pro-rich, anti-poor, etc.

Obviously, if you are opposed to any of these initiatives, you are a "girly-man," and unfit to lead n thus the Democrats' dilemma.

Since the early 90s, the Democratic party has been on a dissent.

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I read a story recently about a study done at a college that showed, in effect, that the more a man questioned his own masculinity, the more he was to come down politically on the conservative side of issues.

When researchers made suggestions to test subjects that they were behaving effeminately, the subjects would go to great lengths to project a conservative political philosophy.

By the same token, those who were secure in their heterosexuality and did not fear being labeled a sissy were more moderate on political issues.

I'm not sure what it means, but it's interesting and leads me into the following.

We ran a little item inside the paper last week announcing the endorsements for the upcoming election by the Democratic Committee in Suffolk.

Not surprisingly, the committee endorsed Phil Ferguson for Commonwealth's Attorney, Thomas Hazelwood for Commissioner of the Revenue and Ron Williams for Treasurer.

The committee declined to endorse for sheriff because both incumbent Raleigh Isaacs and challenger Tim Mallory because both are active committee members.

According to a local Democratic source, just about all of Suffolk's constitutional officers are active on the Democratic committee, but they prefer to keep a low profile about it. I did not delve into the reason for their preference toward stealth, but I wonder if it has to do with the study sited above.

Perhaps. Suffolk's constitutional officers all strike me as somewhat laid back, relaxed dudes who likely have no fear of being perceived as somehow weak, because they aren't.

However, they must believe that there are apparently enough people around here who do harbor that anxiety and could be inclined to demonstrate that fear at the polls and turning out the incumbents if they knew their true political leanings.

I was a Democrat for a long time, but I've really lost patience with them. All they seem to want to do nowadays is out-Republican the Republicans and that's a sure sign of weakness and defeat. There is a great untapped source of political frustration in this country. Nearly 80 million people in the US did not vote in the last election. Democrats should try fishing in that pond, instead of the Republicans' pond, to quote Bill Maher.

Polls show that people have lost faith in the war in Iraq n not in our troops, but in the mission. There's great anxiety over the direction of the economy and people have had enough of the slimy "Swift Boating" of anyone who disputes anything the administration claims, i.e. Cindy Sheehan. The timing is right for a change in direction in the country, but there's nobody to lead the charge.