The following is a comment I wrote on the Michael J. Totten thread linked from yesterday:
UPDATE: My mistake - the actual thread my comment appeared on was published today - The Totalitarian Impulse. One thing I really like about Mr. Totten is that he's an equal- opportunity source of information.
There is no evolution in progress in the Democrat party. It's a meltdown.
The legacy of fifty years of managing victims for political power and spending other peoples' money to do so has run up against the upward curve of living standards, the almost total absence of institutional racism in America outside of government, academic institutions, and the civil rights industry, and the current challenge to Western civilization posed by fundamentalist Islam.
Beginning in 1980 the electorate rejected income redistribution as a viable solution, and the concomitant punitive tax scheme necessary to support it. Instead of acknowledging a policy failure (remember the malaise index?) and engaging in constructive effort toward finding a sustainable, EFFECTIVE way to accomplish a putative social justice agenda they instead retrenched. Efforts to reform or restrain failed programs were framed as based on malicious intent and that knee-jerk reaction is even stronger today than when it was first rolled out. The electoral trend of the last thirty years' worth of elections since that have diminished Democrat presence on the national stage is explained away by conspiracy theories or disparagement of the electorate.
The Democrat party has spent the bulk of their public rhetoric and media megaphone damning every aspect of Republican politics or conservative thought as at base a malevolent conspiracy and in execution a direct attack on individual freedom supported by ignorant/racist/jingoistic/quaintly superstitious religious rubes.
They resisted the definition of Soviet communism as an evil, to be resisted at every front, and eventually defeated.
They have consistently declined to support strong defense, opting instead for appeasement of enemies and casting our volunteer military as a luxury peopled by otherwise unemployable malcontents.
The intellectual chains that accompany the secular religions of multiculturalism, moral relativism, and socialism contradict the core of the underlying strengths of American freedom: recognition that the individual is ultimately responsible his actions, a rule of law based on commonly recognized individual rights, and that the role of government is by constitutional definition limited to preserving the delineated individual rights of the citizens from threats both foreign and domestic, and to conduct the actions of diplomacy or administration beyond the ability of the individual to execute - not to take responsibility for the happiness or any one individual.
There may well be Democrats who love America just as it exists, warts and all. The objective record of America begins with an astoundingly liberal document that defined the state entity in a relationship never seen before. In a first century begun against a backdrop of world colonialism, slavery, and class/caste chauvinism we survived our bloodiest war to decide if we are a nation of free men under one law and arrived at 1900 rejecting colonialism as a state objective. The economic and social challenges of the industrial revolution brought forth laws that protected the worker while sustaining free markets, enabling the efforts of individuals to invent new technologies and our economy to thrive. Through three world wars we allied our strength and paid in blood and treasure to preserve the existence of individual liberty in the face of totalitarian wars of aggression.
Those wars were won based on leadership by men who were unabashedly and unashamedly willing to reject the existence and ambitions of the threat they faced, and who stood behind the necessity to act in order to fulfill the duties of the state as defined in our constitution.
Those leaders, and those governments, did not temporise or excuse or ignore the acts of Nazis, fascists, or communists (or contemporary Islamofascists) through some moral relativist lens. The unavoidable failure of our liberal democracy to conform with the theoretical utopic perfection so feverishly published as the objective of self-declared progressives is a fraudulent basis to decline to participate in the defense of the nation.
In my opinion, based on the electoral results since I've been paying attention to politics, he majority of the nation just wants things to work. That doesn't mean we'll settle for just getting by - far, far from it. We pursue our hopes and dreams, and majorities have stepped forward election after election to impose restraint on the efforts of some to inject government further into our private lives than it should be.
The majority understands that perfection is impossible yet continues to embrace the prospect of real progress with every sunrise. There is no evil in my heart when I decline to support subsidizing generations of welfare recipients. The evidence of California's welfare reform, and later that at the federal level, shows that public money can be better spent than merely cutting checks to keep people in slums.
The quality so totally absent from the remnant of the Democrat party and its dwindling gaggle of tick birds is optimism. After thirty years of damning out of hand the motives, persons, and philosophies they have been beaten by in the electoral process they are just about beyond consideration for any place in serious debate.