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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

A New Reason to Care

For the longest time, Democrats held many of their voters with two issues: abortion rights and gay marriage. To me these were always the central issues that automatically turned on a passionate and unconditional support for the party. 

And then progress – technological in one case and moral in the other – solved these issues. A party is no longer urgently needed to advance them. My emotional attachment – and clearly not just mine if we look at the results – evaporated. 

We keep hearing that the Democrats abandoned their working class base and are working solely for the benefit of educated professionals. I’m an educated professional, but I’m not seeing what it is that the party is offering me. An opportunity to pay higher taxes to open more diversity offices? No, thanks. 

Coasting on nothing but the fact that the opponent is even worse is a doomed strategy. Yes, people are too nauseated by Republicans to switch sides. But they aren’t showing up for the Democrats too enthusiastically either. 

Abortion and gay rights were clear specific goals. Something equally clear, concrete and emotionally potent needs to be found. 

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17 thoughts on “A New Reason to Care

  1. Shakti on said:

    I disagree. I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you refer to “technological progress” on abortion rights, but you’re wrong about abortion rights. A technological solution is useless if it’s made illegal or effectively illegal.

    If abortion rights were clearly not something that engendered passionate support for a party, it wouldn’t have been an anti-rights plank in the Republican Party platform and it wouldn’t still continue to be a plank. You cannot be a pro-choice Republican and run for office and win as a challenger for a Congressional seat or within the last 19 years. There have been viable anti-choice Democrats that have run for office and have won in the same time period.

    But yes, the Democrats need something to engender passionate attachment.

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    • Abortions are done online these days. They no longer require doctors or clinics. Every new person who gets an online abortion is one passionate supporter less. Personal experience will always win over slogans.

      I’m not saying that the Democrats should abandon the pro-choice position. Of course , they shouldn’t! But they can’t count on it to mobilize people as well as it did when abortions required a doctor to perform them.

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      • anon on said:

        What do you mean by “abortions are done online”? I’m having a hard time not being literal this morning I guess, because I’m just confused by this statement.

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        • People buy abortion pills online and avoid the hassle of seeking out clinics and doctors.

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          • Spiderbaby on said:

            Isn’t that incredibly risky, tho’? I would guess the women who resort to this are either very ashamed or have problems acceessing safe abortions.
            I mean, it’s certainly safer than parsley infusions or coathangers, but it’s not shomething that should be done by yourself.

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            • No, this is the easiest thing in the world. You get two pills, take them, and that’s all. It doesn’t matter if you use online or a doctor because it’s the same thing, the same two pills, etc.

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              • anon on said:

                I think the concern is that people are buying the meds from non-reputable sources, so the pills may be expired, fakes, something else entirely etc… I have never tried to order medication online, so I have no idea how easy it to assess whether a source for pills is reputable or not. Maybe I’m just old and stodgy like that.

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  2. I think at least a large minority of women have abortions when it’s too late for abortion pills.

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  3. Demotrash on said:

    I would disagree that the abortion problem is solved. But it’s certainly not motivating people to vote. Maybe people are catching on that state politics is more important and national politicians can’t do much. Whatever the reason, nobody cares that much anymore.

    I don’t need “something to vote for” in order to be motivated, I can vote for the lesser of two evils all day long. But that’s not most people, and as much as I’m frustrated by people not voting because they’re “not inspired,” we can’t control what other people do, only our own strategy, so we’ve gotta inspire people somehow.

    Do you have any idea for what the goal should be?

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  4. Fie upon this quiet life on said:

    It’s a coincidence that the health care battle is raging right now, as I have insurance deny me prescribed medicine that costs 350 dollars a month. My new drum beat is health care because it’s being denied to me. I think democrats have to see where people are hurting in general. Health care is so expensive it’s immoral.

    I think the economy is the major issue for a lot of people. But I don’t think either party does the greatest job with it.

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    • God, I know what you mean! The terrible sense of helplessness and rage when you can’t get the healthcare you need.

      I’m so sorry you are going through this. I read your post and it’s insane.

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