That written, one of the ways in which I find Noah Smith extremely stimulating is that I often, almost always, disagree with some of the many ideas he packs into each post. I this case, I object to one “two”. Noah wrote “Unfortunately, neither of America’s two political movements seems especially interested in harnessing or validating the American majority’s love of country these days.” I contest his assertion that the number of political movements in America is 2.
“Bill Clinton . . . “Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama . . . Joe Biden”. Uh Noah that’s a pretty impressive list of exceptions to your assertion.
Also you left out Bryant, Wilson, Smith, Truman, Stevenson, Johnson (who was not just a patriot but a bloodthirsty chauvinist) Humphrey (read his private correspondence which is even more gushing than his speeches), McGovern (who earned a Distinguished Flying Cross serving his country), Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. Not to mention this guy who didn’t even get the nomination, all the currently serving Democratic governors, all Democratic Senators, and at least 90% of the Democratic representatives.
update: Let me quote Noah’s title and subtitle
There’s a pro-American majority out there with no one to represent them” except for “Joe Biden”, “Barack Obama”, “Bill Clinton” all Democratic Senators, all Democratic Governors and at least 90% of Democratic Representatives.
I am being picky, but I think I may have a point or two:
First there are many political movements in America (and a habit of pretending that there are two). One is the mainstream of the Democratic Party which is ostentatiously patriotic. Another is the left which mainstream Democrats verbally fight (which is an improvement — I can remember Chicago ’68 and don’t even mention the South). They aren’t the same. It would be more practical for Democratic strategists to listen to Louis Gomert and try to change the orbit of the moon than to try to discipline people motivated by, among other things, deep passionate hatred of Democratic strategists.
Second, at least 40% of Americans have been convinced that the angry left and the Democratic Party are identical. The mighty Wurlitzer puke funnel of Foxaganda has managed this using the scantiest of raw materials. It is a fact of US political life. Everything that Democratic politicians and strategists can do about it has been done. It would be nice if leftists (like me) understood that frank criticism of the USA just helps Republicans (especially when it angers people (like me) who know that it is valid). It would also be nice if all people understood that they are brothers and sisters and fell in love with one another. Neither will happen. Even if 90% of the current inconveniently angry and outspoken leftists shut up, there would still be plenty left for Fox News et al.
Democrats face one practical choice: hippy punch or ignore hippies. Both have costs. The cost of the second is that no one is arguing with the united disciplined conservatives and Republicans who claim that Democrats are America hating hippies. The first is a good way to drive down youth turnout and guarantee GOP victory. The problem is hard and the proposal to “try patriotism” (as Democrats have since 1865) has been partially successful but isn’t the solution to the current political problem which it hasn’t solved after 136 years of trying.