The Pursuit of Happiness


A local businessman and all-around good citizen wrote, “When you attack the Democratic Party because it’s not living up to your expectations you’re also attacking people like me and my neighbors. We’re the ones who attend those monthly county Party meetings. We also register people to vote with tables set up in the front of the local grocery store. We have fundraisers to raise money for candidates and seek them out within the Party. My point being, we are an organization. We are not just those few you see representing the Party, we are millions. We’re organized and ready to go, all you have to do is plug in.” He went on to describe 3rd parties as counterproductive.

I agree with his assessment of 3rd parties, but saying “My Party Right or Wrong” makes as much sense as saying “My Mother Drunk or Sober.” You may love old Ma, and cherish all the memories of bygone childhood days, but that won’t stop the neighbors from seeing her upchucking in the gutter. And it’s commendable that Ma’s kids love and stand by her, but if they don’t jack slap some reality into her they’re simply co-dependent enablers of her drunkenness. Endlessly screaming that Ma’s neighbor across the street is a smeary hooker won’t get Ma sober.

Taking stands against racism, discrimination, nationalism, and the obvious fascism of the alt-right is what decent, law-abiding Americans do, and if that’s not understood as normative, as Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker point out, you may be one of the 37% of Americans who still support Old Marmalade Brains. Most Democrats ascribe to these normative American values but fail to appreciate how their party’s policies and candidates – and its geriatric and euphoric recall of its 1990s’ era privatization of public responsibilities and supply-side lickspittlism – helped create the current economic environment where racism, nationalism, etc., thrive.

By all means, appreciate and support the workers who knock on doors, register voters, and do the hard work of making democracy work. But let’s also demand – as former Sen. Mark Pryor demands – that their labor is on behalf of political parties and policies worth the effort.


  1. Word O’ The Day: ~ Normative ~ As in: My behavior has never been of the normative sort.

    But Dan, we only find out that it’s not been worth the effort after the storm. Then one must scramble to save face by vowing they were right all along…. to the bitter end. As we are fixin’ to find out. It is so so sad to sit back and watch this all play out.

    Now I’m really lost. Sorry, but you’re going to have to attempt to explain “1990s’ era privatization of public responsibilities and supply-side lickspittlism” to me. Won’t be easy with this geriatric brain.

    As always, appreciate your column.

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