But it wasn't working, and what ultimately matters to me is voting "for" rather than "against."
This article explains it rather brilliantly. Youthful local Democrats are urged to read it, seeing as their elders probably won't.
Twilight of the Technocrats? by Luke Savage (Jacobin)
Technocratic liberalism prides itself on having no ideology to speak of — which is itself the most dogmatic ideology of them all.
... This is the technocratic fallacy exposed. Behind every political claim or prescription, no matter its source, lies a set of assumptions (conscious or otherwise) about what the horizons of politics are or what they ought to be. And more than anything else these assumptions, and the political narratives that follow, are shaped by the social and cultural outlooks of the people who hold them.
This is why, if we truly want to understand the politics of the technocratic liberal center, we need look no further than the milieu they emerged from ...
... For all its pretensions of transcending the schism between left and right, the Third Way shift amounted to a hostile takeover of the center-left by a new generation of center-right technocrats whose main achievement was welding a refurbished lexicon of liberal progressivism to the processes already initiated by the likes of Thatcher and Reagan.
To this end, the political grammar of figures like Clinton and Blair synthesized and dulled many of the traditional idioms of liberalism, conservatism, and social democracy, redeploying them in the service of manifestly neoliberal causes. A sweeping, pro-corporate agenda of labor outsourcing, privatization, financial deregulation, welfare reform, and means-testing was implemented on the back of antiseptic management-speak incessantly declaring itself loyal to no ideology at all.
What “worked” became the kinds of regulations and investments that would most benefit industries like tech and finance, what qualified as “ideological” being anything out of sync with the professional managerial class and its various political, cultural, or economic outlooks.