This election cycle, Republicans are fighting it out to see who is the true conservative – and so are the Democrats.
Maybe it’s because L.B.J. left office in shame after defining his term-and-then-some with big government policies – and debatably the most unpopular war in our history. Maybe it’s because McGovern tried to end a war and instead became a punch line. Maybe it’s because Jimmy Carter was a wimp and presided over a deeply divided America desperate to put a decade of mishaps behind it, only to come away with more. I don’t know.
But what I do know is that the constant pandering and triangulating done by the likes of Democrats – especially, this time around, Hillary Clinton – in denying their liberal values are the same tactics that cost John Kerry the election in 2004.
Okay, lots went into Kerry’s defeat. It could be said that he was the worst of all worlds – he didn’t fight back against the Swift Boaters (which, in itself, shows how he would have stood up to other world leaders like Putin and Ahmadinejad), he had no stance on the Iraq War, and he wasn’t likable at all. Like-ability is a terrible reason to vote for someone, but the uninformed voter is more likely to vote for someone they’d want to have a beer with. If you think about it, Nixon was the last truly unlikable president we’ve had.
Kerry has a hard-line liberal voting record. Everything he did in the Senate up until 2002 was a step in the positive direction (his role in the Iran-Contra hearings, opposition to the Gulf War, CAFTA). But he decided to become a centrist when running for president.
Kerry’s policy on Iraq was that he’d win the war with the U.N. He sounded like Nixon. He was also against the war at some point, or something. I logged onto JohnKerry.com several times before the election. Never really knew what his policies would be if he were elected since he didn’t vote his rhetoric. But yeah, I still voted for him.
But his pandering to the right was nothing new. Since Jimmy Carter ran as an evangelical, the Democrats have been doing nothing but pandering. Carter’s staff actually attended a KKK rally during the Democratic primaries and distributed photographs of Carter’s main rival, Carl Sanders, socializing with two African-American friends.
A Democrat wouldn’t be caught dead today pandering to the KKK. Instead they pander to evangelical voters, middle America, gun owners, and the South – all of whom want nothing to do with Democrats, as the base of these three groups have succumbed to the idea that Democrats are godless, have no values, want to abort your children, are willing hand our government over to the terrorists, etc.
Remember when John Kerry was photographed in 2004, wearing camouflage, hunting pheasants?
It was completely ridiculous.
He should have won the election just because he wasn’t Bush. Instead he lost because he was Kerry.
This election season, we’ve got Hillary Clinton claiming she doesn’t want to call herself a liberal because that invokes thoughts of big-government spending. John Edwards is against gay marriage because the Bible tells him so.
Can someone please tell me the punch-line?
By today’s standards, F.D.R. is considered one of our greatest American presidents, and though he didn’t live to see the day it ended, is credited with winning World War II. F.D.R. was our most-liberal liberal whose big government policies saved the country. It wasn’t until Harry Truman militarized our economy that 20th century Democrats were panderers (a leftist domestic policy, rightist foreign policy, which gave us the Korean disaster and the beginnings of Vietnam). Truman learned from F.D.R. that war got us out of the depression. His answer: war all the time. Unfortunately, Truman is considered in a positive light by over 60 percent of Americans today. And the pandering continues.
I may be getting off subject, but during the key times in our history, we’ve succumbed to the most obvious answer, which always looks good years after the fact on paper: war. Americans love it. We worship those who fight it, and those who send others to fight it. 40 years after the fact, conservatives are still trying to convince us that liberals and the “liberal media” lost the war in Vietnam and we would have won if we had some more time (or if the liberal 1974 congress had sent in more bombers to stop the NVA offensive after Nixon was run out of office).
Modern Democrats aren’t able to convince the American people that war is not always the answer. In our era of 30-second media sound clips, Joe Biden can’t explain why we need to act now on Pakistan before it turns into an official terrorist state (even though they are a “key ally” in the war on terror, with most of the $10 billion dollars we’ve given them since 9/11 going toward anti-India measures). And it’s hard for John Edwards to explain his position for quasi-universal healthcare, when Republicans can just say “I’ll lower taxes” or “let the free market work.”