What “base” talk should really be

5 Jan

Ezra says it nice and plan:

In politics, there's an odd tendency to speak of the two bases as equal; two ideologically rigid groups willing to vote for a like-minded firebreather. The more fire he breathes, the more they vote. During this shorthand, we too often pretend they're quantitatively the same. When 40% of the country defines itself as conservative and 20-some% defines itself as liberal, that's just not true.

We don't need to turn out our base, we need to enlarge it. We need to make liberalism safe and attractive, and we need more Americans to demand more progressivism in their candidate. When Barry Goldwater turned the hell out of his base, he lost by one of the widest margins in American history. His base was too small. When Reagan turned out his base, he won repeatedly. Reagan made conservatism attractive, he made his base — theoretically the same one Goldwater had — huge. Which is why the whole idea of bases as monolithic groups is dead wrong, they're amorphous, they fluctuate in size. And they're not the answer. When liberalism is ascendant and its spokesperson appealing, our base will be huge. Until then, it'll never be large enough.

It's time to start stop acting like liberalism is a disease people!

Link: Pandagon: All Your Base…:

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