Amy has a hypothesis. “If only,” it goes, “Democrats acknowledged that abortion is a difficult decision with moral dimensions and said they were Christians, then they would get all these votes of people who badly want to vote for them, but need to hear these magic words.”
Luckily, you can apply that hypothesis to the real world. Let’s say Democratic politicians quit crowing about their atheism and their love of abort—
What’s that you say? Democrats already talk god and moral complexity. And we haven’t gotten that 40% of the vote yet?
The trick, as I’m coming to realize as I talk to more and more of my Republican family members, is to recognize when someone is offering a point as an argument and when he or she is offering it as an excuse why they don’t agree with you already. To put it less nicely, as I said to someone who pulled the whole “Democrats suck, but let’s not talk politics” dodge on me at dinner recently, “You don’t want to engage in democracy, you just want to gloat.” It’s a big difference, and I’d be willing to argue Amy has no idea what I’m talking about right now.
This isn’t just about Amy, it’s about every Professional Concern Troll hawking a book claiming that if only Democrats listened him and appealed to some mythical constituency they’d win elections by landslides. It’s about every anecdote offered in every story about “soccer moms” “NASCAR dads” “beer and wine voters” and other bullshit faux-trends about how “I would be a Democrat if they’d just pay attention to THIS” which anybody with half a brain realizes isn’t an answer that offers any clues to anything about them other than what they pull out of their ass when the Professional Concern Troll’s research assistant or grad student asks them why they’re not Democrats. The real trick is realizing that they’re not Democrats in the first place (or they wouldn’t be asked the question) and in all likelihood they never will be. If they were gonna be Democrats they’d just be Democrats instead of coming up with reasons why they’re not. Taking their answers to provide clues to the great Mystery of the Unknown Voter is like extrapolating the potential causes of life on Mars by picking through your neighbor’s garbage bins. You might find something useful in there, sure, but you’re not likely to find anything really applicable to the question at hand.
And you know, I’m about done with it. I’m about done with trying to figure out how best to apologize for being right in order to make Republicans like me. We just have to be what we’re about, and if people like us they like us. Judging from Democratic turnout on the trail these days they seem to like us fine. The next time someone comes around with a sheaf of paper proving how we can make a hundred new friends, instead of sitting her down for a very sober interview about how best to fuck ourselves in the political ass, we ought to point to the thousands of friends we already have, and say we’re fine here, now, thanks, how are you?