we are young and stupid and raised by wolves
(this is not real life. these are not pictures of me. I am 25 years old and a woman and passionate about politics and fanfiction and, as far as you are concerned, I only exist online.)
After Mitch McConnell jumped on an ad to pass a rifle to Tom Coburn, there’s a really interesting conversation about how certain objects are used as very simple, direct means to communicate to a base that you’re on their side for a wide range of issues.
Conservatives have lots of these kinds of identity markers that can easily and quickly communicate a whole set of beliefs to an audience when they’re mentioned, like the Bible or Ayn Rand or country music.
The fact that Democrats don’t have these things is probably because their coalition is more diverse, made up of people with a variety of cultural backgrounds and life experiences. The markers that may unite certain portions of the Democratic coalition—like, say, the music of the recently departed Pete Seeger—are not anything close to universal within that coalition, so politicians can’t use them so easily.
Conservatives have guns, pocket copies of the Constitution, and the Bible to use as really handy props that instantly demonstrate their tribal affiliation. So why don’t liberals have similar, universally-recognized totems? Waldman may be right that it’s because our coalition is more culturally diverse, but I’d toss out one other possibility: almost by definition, conservatives are in favor of tradition and liberals are in favor of change. So it’s easy to find simple conservative props because every culture has lots of recognizable traditional icons that it’s developed over the centuries. It’s a lot less easy to find liberal props because icons of progress change every decade or two.
Without getting into too much backstory, here’s an excerpt from this adorable elderly Democrat (Carl) in my area who has a mass mailing list, which he just copied on his response to this infamous trans politician (we support her as a person and as a woman, but she is unfortunately not a good politician, does not campaign wisely and has burned a lot of her support) who has expressed support for a particularly odious Republican, Michael Kubosh (in a Republican run-off, not over a Democrat).
So yeah, this is Carl’s way of bitchslapping her for supporting such an odious Republican:
Here is the picture of Keryl Douglass at her infamous press conference with her explanation of what was going on with the homophobic letter sent by the dead preacher using her campaign email. You will notice the only Fat Anglo in the picture is none other than Michael Kubosh, who was quoted as saying that people should look to Lane [the county Democratic party chairman, who defeated Keryl Douglass last year] as the originator of the piece. this is where Douglass told those assembled to look to me as I had a history of such things.
…I have told Lane that you have told me that you have not endorsed Kubosh, have not personally campaigned for him or asked anyone else to do so. I also reiterated my statement to you that any Democrat who publicly endorsed a Republican could kiss future credibility and support from many Democrats out the window. He will be awaiting your call tomorrow [number redacted].
ahahaha god damn, I love local politics. So many stories here!