by Rob Kall, OpEdNews.com
Being tough does not mean espousing war or killing people, but there are too many people who voted for Gore who said they were glad George W. was pres when the Twin Towers were attacked on 911-- glad because they didn 't feel he would have responded in a tough-enough fashion.
The rabid right has been spewing garbage about democrats and liberals being weak kneed, whining, lily livered .... A successful candidate must come across as a man 's man, who uses sports jargon, and communicates both with words, non-verbal gestures and image a persona that emanates strength and inspires trust and confidence that this man will be able to face North Korea when it fires a missile with unknown content at Japan.
We need a tough liberal who can show his toughness by discussing ways he 'd take corporate criminals and criminal corporations to task. We need someone who will come up wi th words that make it totally clear that the 550 billion tax deal Bush wants is so "infinitesimally small," as Rush Limbaugh says, that the only good it will do is line the pockets of rich people who gave him money.A tough liberal laughs at the fools on right wing talk radio. He chastises the middle of the road Democrats who have sold out to the Republicans. It is essential that the Tough liberal not be angry. Firm yes, angry no.
A tough Liberal must be a leader, defining opinion, finding and building agreement. His statements must lead to reverberations from usually waffling politicos.
Now the tough question. Does the tough liberal attack George Bush. Does he call him a liar and thief, a crook and fraud, like commentators Mike Malloy and Peter Werbe of ieamericaradio.com. My guess this should not be done by the candidate, but by his surrogates.
It is not possible to win the coming election (assuming that computerized voting fraud does not steal the election) without giving up some liberal issues. I suggest putting gun control on hold. Take a lesson from Michael Moore. Join the NRA. This can be seen as a sellout to that lobby. But the way to go is to say that he will not seek any further controls on guns, but he will, like John Ashcroft, get much tougher on violators of existing laws.
A tough Liberal Presidential candidate needs a military record. He needs to be able to make jokes about chickenhawks-- most of the Bush Whitehouse and Cabinet.
Toughness does not require meanness, or lack of compassion. A Tough Liberal candidate will be seen as caring, kind, and concerned about people's needs. He will appear highly responsible-- as in balanced budget, building for the future.
The tough liberal will take on the Republican's core issues-- getting rid of government and getting rid of taxes. He will bring around him wealthy supporters who are willing to pay higher taxes for the rich. He will show how getting rid of government is getting rid of what makes America great. He will tie the devolution of government with the corrution of corporations. He will, in simple terms and language make it clear that less government isn't about freedom, it's about letting corporate rapists, thieves, conmen and frauds run rampant.
A tough liberal will draw his most visible support from athletic stars and tough celebrities-- like Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery... Sean Connery is not a bad example... tough, wily, wry sense of humor, a bit flippant, flirtatious. But this is one that should be handled carefully, since the right will try to dandify any candidate, or accuse him of sexual pecadilloes.
There is no doubt that Only a tough candidate will be able to stand up to George Bush. Of course, one way to really change the dynamic and up the odds even more in the next election is to find a tough Liberal Woman. A Hispanic woman with a Condoleeza Rice image could steal the whole show.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is the editor/publisher of OpEdNews.com, a progessive news and opinion website, and organizer of cutting edge meetings that bring together world leaders, such as the Winter Brain Meeting and the StoryCon Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story. This article is copyright by Rob Kall, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.