Why America may not vote Democratic after all

This is the Democrats’ big chance! How could they not win this next presidential election?Well, when ordinary Americans are presented with the whackiness, extremism, and condescension of that party’s activist base–which is so self-righteous that it almost never tempers itself for public consumption–revulsion may set in and Republicans may have a chance. Consider the catering requirements of the Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention in Denver, from Caterers find eco-standards tough to chew:

Fried foods are forbidden at the committee’s 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both.

And caterers must provide foods in “at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white,” garnishes not included, according to a Request for Proposals, or RFP, distributed last week. . . .

“I think it’s a great idea for our community and our environment. The question is, how practical is it?” asks Nick Agro, the owner of Whirled Peas Catering in Commerce City. “We all want to source locally, but we’re in Colorado. The growing season is short. It’s dry here. And I question the feasibility of that.” Agro’s biggest worry is price. Using organic and local products hikes the costs. “There is going to be sticker shock when those bids start coming in,” he says. “I’ll cook anything, but I’ve had clients who have approached me about all-organic menus, and then they see the organic stuff pretty much doubles your price.” . . .

Thousands of other parties hosted by corporations, lobbying groups, individuals, nonprofits and more will happen in Denver during the convention, Burnap says. None of them is subject to the committee’s green agenda.

The committee’s effort to host eco-friendly events, she says, hinges on its determination not just to put on a smart convention but to transform Denver into a top-shelf green city.
“We are hoping that everything we are doing for greening (the convention) has some legacy value,” she says.

The RFP, for example, will likely live on after the convention in a brochure the city will distribute widely to help guide local businesses interested in improving their green practices.

Seriously, blue collar Americans used to constitute the base of the Democratic party, but now the base has shifted to culturally elite activists (affluent, well-educated, trendy). Now the blue collar vote seems up in the air. The Clintons appealed to that demographic, but the party isn’t going to nominate a Clinton. The arch-Clintonista James Carville put it best when he observed that you can’t win an election with just “eggheads” and college kids.

Or is the desire for “change” so great that Obama will sweep all before him, to the point of making us all green and organic?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • S. Bauer

    As a resident of Denver, I found it quite interesting that the DNC made a big deal about how much their convention was going to do to leave a small carbon-foorprint but now won’t release their own estimates of what sort of carbon footprint they will really leave.

    Of course the RNC was so foolish as to choose the Twin Cities as the site of their convention with the “promise” that the state of Minnesota would back up any shortfalls in the amount needed to host the convention. This in a DFL-controlled state that has predictably refused to pass legislation to authorize such a guarantee.

  • S. Bauer

    As a resident of Denver, I found it quite interesting that the DNC made a big deal about how much their convention was going to do to leave a small carbon-foorprint but now won’t release their own estimates of what sort of carbon footprint they will really leave.

    Of course the RNC was so foolish as to choose the Twin Cities as the site of their convention with the “promise” that the state of Minnesota would back up any shortfalls in the amount needed to host the convention. This in a DFL-controlled state that has predictably refused to pass legislation to authorize such a guarantee.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith, you mentioned the “whackiness, extremism, and condescension of that party’s activist base — which is so self-righteous that it almost never tempers itself for public consumption,” but from that quote alone I don’t think I could distinguish which party you’re talking about.

    Also, I think the Republicans’ affiliation with big business and their wealthy-friendly policies may have, you know, put them in touch with a few cultural elites from time to time. I mean, which party is collecting more from small donors again? Or are we only supposed to pay attention to Barbra Streisand?

    Nor do I think you paint a pretty picture of the working class: They hate intellectuals, perhaps preferring simple arguments! They only eat greasy fast food, and turn up their nose at locally grown vegetables! I’m sure that’s true for many people, but where I live, the locally grown, organic vegetables are grown by the working class. And they don’t seem terribly concerned about any intellectuals in the ranks of the Democrats.

    Of course, the real question is: does this article tell us more about the Democratic party, or about your perceptions of that organization? Because you certainly are reading a lot into menu choice, and assuming that others will as well.

    Still, to play the game, let’s see what one might learn from the Republicans’ convention: it comes days after McCain turns 72. It will have a new manager, the previous one having resigned after it came out he was the chief executive of a lobbying firm that represented the military junta in Myanmar. And people flying in to the convention can pass by the restroom where Larry Craig (still in office) assumed a wide stance.

    Myself, I’d take the local, organic, healthy fare. But that’s just me.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith, you mentioned the “whackiness, extremism, and condescension of that party’s activist base — which is so self-righteous that it almost never tempers itself for public consumption,” but from that quote alone I don’t think I could distinguish which party you’re talking about.

    Also, I think the Republicans’ affiliation with big business and their wealthy-friendly policies may have, you know, put them in touch with a few cultural elites from time to time. I mean, which party is collecting more from small donors again? Or are we only supposed to pay attention to Barbra Streisand?

    Nor do I think you paint a pretty picture of the working class: They hate intellectuals, perhaps preferring simple arguments! They only eat greasy fast food, and turn up their nose at locally grown vegetables! I’m sure that’s true for many people, but where I live, the locally grown, organic vegetables are grown by the working class. And they don’t seem terribly concerned about any intellectuals in the ranks of the Democrats.

    Of course, the real question is: does this article tell us more about the Democratic party, or about your perceptions of that organization? Because you certainly are reading a lot into menu choice, and assuming that others will as well.

    Still, to play the game, let’s see what one might learn from the Republicans’ convention: it comes days after McCain turns 72. It will have a new manager, the previous one having resigned after it came out he was the chief executive of a lobbying firm that represented the military junta in Myanmar. And people flying in to the convention can pass by the restroom where Larry Craig (still in office) assumed a wide stance.

    Myself, I’d take the local, organic, healthy fare. But that’s just me.


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