Jewish World Review Nov. 14, 2002 / 9 Kislev, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | If the 2002 midterm election made one point exceedingly clear, it is that a growing majority of Americans hate having the Democrats patronize them. The Democratic Party platform is built on the idea that people are too stupid to take care of themselves or solve their own problems -- therefore, it promulgates Social Security, welfare, a massive and unwieldy public education system, minimum wage, gun control and so on. In 2002, Americans struck back against the snobbish Democrats.
The Democrats thought voting Americans too foolish to see their bald-faced obstruction in the Senate, where they blocked qualified judges from the federal bench for purely ideological reasons. The Democrats thought Americans were too dumb to see through their ridiculous scare tactics like demonizing President Bush as a murderer of the elderly or insinuating that Republican policies were responsible for the Washington, D.C., sniper shootings. The Democrats believed the American people would ignore their weakness on national security.
The Democrats were wrong. Americans can take care of themselves, and in this election, they voted in favor of personal responsibility over government baby-sitting. But rather than seeing this election as a referendum on their antics, the Democrats chalk up the 2002 Republican election victory not to public agreement with right-wing policies but to the stupidity of the populace.
Terry McAuliffe, soon-to-be-terminated chairman of the Democratic National Committee, expressed his thought that people were blinded by the popular appeal of President George W. Bush. "If the Republicans had an edge over us yesterday, it was tactical rather than ideological," McAuliffe sniffed. "They had a wartime president with the highest sustained approval ratings in history, who made these elections his No. 1 domestic priority. He spent the year raising record amounts of money and the final three weeks stumping relentlessly for Republican candidates."
Funny, the Democrats said the same thing about Ronald Reagan's victories over Democrats. Deep down, the people really believed in the policy recommendations of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, the Democrats felt. But President Dummy Reagan was too popular. His landslide victories in 1980 and 1984 were a referendum on his friendly persona, not right-wing policies.
The Democrats believe strongly in the theory that Americans are too dumb to vote for what's good for them -- they just vote for nice guys. So the solution isn't to revamp the Democratic message, it's to reinvigorate it with left-wing radicalism represented by a friendly face. The Democrats believe that if some genial liberal can make the distinction between right and left clearer, people will finally be able to put aside their warm feelings toward that dunderhead Bush.
Hence, Nancy Pelosi. If there's anyone who distinguishes left from right, it is Pelosi, a San Francisco radical who supports all anti-gun legislation, opposes war on Iraq, backs all abortion all the time and so on. "We must draw clear distinctions between our vision of the future and the extreme policies put forward by the Republicans," says Pelosi. The Democrats think she's likeable, and if you combine liberal policies with a friendly female face, you're automatically guaranteed success.
It's fine with me if the Democrats want to move to the left. Public opinion shows that they will fall even further from American electoral favor. Fifty-seven percent of those polled in a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll over the Nov. 9 weekend said they think the Democrats are too soft on terrorism. Fifty percent of those polled said the Republicans have a clear plan for curing the country's ills, while only 30 percent said the Democrats did. Most telling, 54 percent of Democrats said the party should moderate its liberal message.
But the Democrats won't. They refuse to moderate their message because they feel Americans support leftist policies but are too stupid to vote for them. Democrats think Americans can't be relied upon to act responsibly regarding their money, sexual behavior or children. Similarly, they believe that Americans are fickle and irresponsible voters, blinded by likeable but dimwitted Republicans. The only way to win back the dumb voters is to draw stark and distinctive lines between the parties and paste on a pleasant facade.
I say let the Democrats try it. Americans are looking for more than radicalism with a friendly face.
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