Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Why the Democrats Lost (Again)

William Saletin's explanation of why Bush won was very entertaining... and very wrong. Bush didn't win because he's simple. Nor did he win because he explains his positions better. Please...

Those 'explanations' are yet another symptom of why Dems are losing politically. You guys just don't get it. So, I'll explain it to you.

Here's the deal: red-state America by-and-large thinks that the so-called "liberal elites" are full of crap. We don't think you're smarter than us, we don't think you're wiser than us, and we don't think you're as competent as we are. We're fed up with your lack of respect for the military. We know that we can't count on you to join the fight or support the troops if we're attacked, and we make up most of the military anyway. Besides, we don't want you in the military because you're mostly useless anyway -- just get out of the way and let those of us who know how to fight do it and save your asses. We saw what you did to the military during Vietnam and how your "bright ideas" and lack of courage got lots of Americans killed in what ended up as a loser not because the military lost but because you "elites" threw in the towel. We believe you lack the courage of your convictions, and every time you take a poll before you take a stand our belief is reinforced.

We look at your solutions and they are so obviously flawed that we have no faith in your perception or your judgement. Your ideas are tired, and they don't work, but you refuse to open up your minds to any alternatives because of your belief in your superiority. We find your arrogance repulsive, and especially puzzling because we can't honestly see what reason you have to be arrogant. You're all talk.

We see the candidate you put up for president, John Kerry, and we ask "Is this the best they have, or do they just think we're that stupid?" We wonder why, if John Kerry was such a war hero, does just about everyone who served with him despise the man? A lot of us have been in the military, and all of us have experiences with teams or groups. And we all know of the one guy who doesn't fit in, who is always kept on the bench, who always seems to screw up, who is never given any responsibility on the job, and who is never invited out with the guys. We see John Kerry as that guy... the guy who brags about "Christmas in Cambodia" or clutching false memorabilia (like his boonie hat talisman he keeps in a briefcase) and then is caught lying about it -- Kerry was never in Cambodia! We don't know if the SwiftVets were right about everything, but we do know that Kerry doesn't pass the sniff test. Something is wrong about him.

The exit pollers had one very interesting statistic: the single largest concern of voters was about cultural values. Bush exudes values in spades, while Kerry is bereft of values. Like him or hate him, everyone in the world knows what George Bush believes, and knows that his beliefs aren't subject to the latest polls. We won't elect a president we don't trust, and we trust Bush to say what he believes and to believe what he says. Even though we may disagree with him on this or that, we believe that he will do what he thinks is right even if it's unpopular. We can respect that.

To the contrary, John Kerry reflects what greater America despises about politicians: a willingness to adopt a position based not upon values but upon political expediency. Running for president and you need to look tough? Vote for war with Iraq. Getting clobbered in the Democratic primaries by a radical-left candidate? Vote against the war. Things going good in Iraq? Remind people you voted for the war. Things going bad? Remind people you voted against the war -- or call the other guy a liar. Those of us in red-state America wouldn't hire you to work at our jobsite, on our farms, or in our businesses. Think we're going to elect you president? You must be dreaming.

Oh, and quit trying to pull the wool over our eyes with bogus "just one of the guys" events, like that ridiculous goose hunt. The guy is loaded, and he's an avid hunter (or so he says), but he has to borrow clothes and a gun. And what hunter doesn't carry his own game? We know that when a group of hunters walks out of the fields and everybody but one guy is carrying a dead goose, chances are that guy didn't get a goose. We can spot a phony a mile away.

The Dems will continue to lose until they can find a candidate who is believable. Not believable like Clinton (who needed Perot to give him the White House both times), who fooled us once but who won't fool us again. A Clinton endorsement is the political kiss of death in red-state America. Certainly not Hillary, the epitome of a pushy know-it-all. She'll get the same reception from us at the polls as she did from the firefighters and police at the post-9/11 concert.

Can the Dems find that candidate in their ranks who hold principled values that we agree with and who isn't afraid to articulate them? I don't think so. I think the amalgamation of the Democratic Party as a coalition of radical special interests with disparate views each of which is unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans precludes the ability of the Dems to choose a candidate who is acceptable to red-state America. Hint: it's not a Dukakis, a Teddy Kennedy, a Hillary Clinton, or a John Kerry. But it's not going to happen, because the "elites" hold red-state America in contempt. Until that changes, until the Dems realize that maybe they've been wrong, maybe flyover country isn't so stupid after all, and perhaps their candidates need to be honest, authentic, principled, and have values that are aligned with ours, better get used to the GOP running things.