I also agree that you highlight a major proublem we are facing in our country today. It is easy to say that our representatives are too afraid to stand up and truly articulate their views to the American people and instead sit idle and no one really stands for anything, but the difficult thing we need to determine is how will we fix this?
In today's age, when a politician does take a chance and stand up for their beliefs they face being portrayed as some kind of extremist by the media. Instead to save face, our representatives follow the crowd for lack of a better word.
Debate is a neccessary component of a healthy democracy so that the people can find a side that best represents their viewpoints. Our representatives need to stop thinking how they can save face in front of the media and how they can change this country's policies for the better. I know this is a very idealistic statement to make and not realistic in today's world, but I truly believe it to be the case.
I unequivocally agree that the Democrats must carve out their own niche in the South if Democrats want to win. Remember 50% plus one of the vote is required to walk away a winner on Election Day and Democrats will continue to face disappointment if they do not do something in the South.
Even Edwards, a north Carolinian was not utilized to his full potential. It almost seemed as if they were purposely keeping him out of the South and that was a critical mistake of the Kerry campaign.
I also believe that we need to use technology to get Southern Democrats out there to help candidates out whether it be by blogging, forwarding campaigning information and newsletters to their less democratic friends and acquantainces and get people interested in the Democratic Party again.
Maybe John Kerry should have spent more time printing campaign newsletters that encouraged Southern Democrats to get out there and rally for the party instead of simply asking for more campaign donations.
Not only do the candidates need to spend more time creating a braoder base in the South, their Web sites and other technological communication methods need to be enhanced to reach out to the supporters they already have who will in turn publicize the Party and the candidate.
Along with the news that blogging is surpassing cable news, Rupert Murdoch has come out to say that "digital immigrants" such as himself in the news business need to begin changing to cater to the "digital natives" - today's youths.
In addition to beating cable news, Murdoch points out that today's youths are not going to newspapers to get their news and instead turn to the web and even blogs.
You're right... Abortion will always be an issue regardless of what political candidates are running for election. Abortion is an extremely comlicated issue with no easy answers. I do not neccessarily agree with the notion that the Democratic party has and always will be pro-choice, I believe that a large majority of Democratic politicians have historically been pro-choice. I do not however think that will continue to be the case. As the Democratic Party struggles to find a face that the country can get behind I believe that the party will find itself supporting more pro-life candidates. The party is struggling to win votes and will support pro-life candidates that some segments of the public can get behind.
As a pro-choice Democrat I am not happy about a growing number of pro-life candidates, but I think party leaders are looking beyond the abortion issue and are looking for candidates that will win. Party leaders were able to support pro-choice candidates like Clinton in the past because Clinton and candidates like him had a chance at winning and holding an elected position. I do hope that the party does find some pro-choice viable candidates in the future. But no the issue of abortion will not go away.