Last Election Thread
As posted by me an a mailing list:
I really liked Kerry. I think he is a great leader, but he failed to
pick a message and stick to it, which is what Bush did. Bush also tried
to paint Kerry as an unprincipled flip-flopper, and because Kerry kept
changing his motto, it kind of worked.
I like Kerry because I read a lot about him, most notably a long article
in the New Yorker. But then, when you’re trying for mass appeal, that’s
not the way to get it.
People like Bush becuase if nothing else, he is a known quantity who
doesn’t seem to waste his time trying to be agreeable. That’s why
Howard Dean was so sexy. But the candidate was picked by mild-mannered
midwestern folk scared of offending rednecks with the hint of a
possibility of civil unions, which Americans don’t really object to.*
And for a while, as it came down to the wire, back in Iowa again, of all
places, Kerry’s careful strategy of inoffensive inclusiveness seemed
like it would work. Except that there is a lot of uncertainty these
days, and Americans admire some certainty, even if it is a touch
dishonest and dumb.
And its not a post-9/11 mentality. Bob Dole ran the same way against
playboy Bill Clinton. It might have worked but Dole was so careful not
to show too much enthusiasm that Americans stuck with their dishonest
sex fiend of a Commander in Chief. John Kerry is George Bush’s Bob
Dole. It makes me sad.
* Polls would seem to indicate that Americans don’t want gays getting “married” but that they should have the rights that married people have. Taking a principled stand against defining marriage as anything, even arguing that it is best left to people’s churchs, and the states can move more toward legal licensing . . . I think that is the right solution. But Democrats, unlike Republicans, are too cowardly to challenge popular opinion.