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Democratic Voices

June 12th, 2006

Fighting The Democratic No Ideas Myth

The key to huge Democratic gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections is debunking the prevalent political myth that Democrats have not advanced a program of new ideas to solve our pressing problems and only criticize Republican policies. This myth is a recurring talking point for Republican politicians. It has been echoed unjustly by the Corporate Mainstream Media until many voters believe the myth.

The tight institutional control over debates and the introduction of alternative Democratic legislative proposals to Republican measures in the Senate and Congress have made it difficult to publicize Democratic ideas. The Republican policy of freezing out Democratic legislators from policy debate is intentional and undermines both democracy and effective government. It is useful to Republicans in terms of electoral politics. It is the core element used to create and advance the “Democratic no ideas myth.”

The Corporate Mainstream Media has not been reporting on events and proposals advanced by Democrats because the Republican dominance of all branches of the government makes these Democratic ideas unlikely to become law until Democrats gain control of Congress. This media failure is unjustified. Actions and policies by opposition Parties out of power should be covered fully by print and broadcast journalists. The ideas exist but are not being reported by journalists.

Many of these journalists are spreading the “Democratic no ideas myth” because they failed to do their jobs as reporters by reporting the real truth. One of the best examples of this media failure was the Alternative State of the Union Address event and program put forward by the Democratic Progressive Caucus in January. The event was held at the Democratic National Committee. This organization of over 60 Democratic members of Congress presented a complete platform of progressive Democratic ideas and proposals on dozens of important policy issues. Many of these ideas were published in a special edition of the liberal magazine, The Nation which was one of the sponsors. It was ignored by all the major TV networks, cable news, newspaper chains and largest news magazines. The event and the ideas presented did not exist for most American voters because they were ignored by these journalists.

Democrats cannot schedule official public hearing by Congressional committees. Republicans control those Congressional committees and will not permit Democrats to examine Republican scandals, abuses or policy failures. Democrats like Congressman Conyers sometimes schedule more or less unofficial hearings. These hearings get very little coverage by the Corporate Mainstream Media.

Democrats running for public office should condemn the “Democratic no ideas myth.” They should criticize the role of the media in creating and spreading this myth. All campaigns should issue press releases presenting their new ideas and discuss the media coverage of those ideas when the media fails to cover them. Democratic writers should tackle the myth directly issue by issue and submit their writings widely. We need to use the Internet, flyers and call-in shows to present the real facts.

Written By Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of ).
Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Phone: 443-907-2367
Feel free to run as a Democratic Voices column, guest Editorial or Letter To The Editor.

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