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Right Intention: Why the Democrats Lost-Part 1

Monday, November 08, 2004

Why the Democrats Lost-Part 1

After spending the last few days gauging the reaction of Democrats to the butt kicking they received, I’m ready to weigh in with my opinion. I’m not at all surprised that there has been so little real introspection. For some reason, the party seems incapable of it.

The reactions are generally along a few lines. The first is sneering condescension at anyone with a different opinion. That includes contempt for all of the Midwest. Amazing. I’m sure that Karl Rove, the evil genius, is hoping Democrats continue to think this way. It will make increasing the Senate and House leads much easier in ’06 and another easy presidential contest in ’08.

Some are rooting for things to go badly for America for daring to have a viewpoint different than their own. Failure in Iraq, horrible economy, whatever it takes. Great. Again, Rove is laughing at you. He hopes you continue feeling this way.

Some are so blinded by their rage and hatred that they actually believe Bush being re-elected is somehow worse than 9/11. I know these are extremists, but they can’t be ignored. They formed a significant part of the Democratic base this year.

Or maybe it was homophobia? Those dastardly Republicans appealed to “values” and “morals”, which are nothing but code words for bigotry. There’s even one guy claiming that Kerry actually won Ohio.

In short, there is everything but actually looking for the reasons why Bush won. The Democrats, in their constant state of victimization, believe that something was “done” to them in order to make them lose. Somehow, Democrats themselves had nothing to do with it. Good grief. Keep up this idiocy, and I’ll vote for the Republicans for the foreseeable future.

If the Democrats want to be competitive next time, here’s what they need to understand.

The first one is the “values” voter this time around, which is Democratic code for anti gay marriage. There are two things wrong here. First, what does values mean? To say you have values doesn’t mean you are a religious extremist. It means different things to different people. It can mean you agree with Bush’s notions of spreading freedom and democracy. It can mean integrity and character. Regardless whether or not you agree with Bush, most people would say he is honest. That matters. It could mean leadership. Again, most people think Bush is a leader, regardless of whether they agree with his specific agenda. I could go on, but you get the idea. Bush represented a better match to voter’s values, broadly defined. Kerry did not. Kerry is not a leader, never leveled with the public, never showed integrity and character, etc.

Second, let’s talk about gay marriage specifically. Democrats are trying to comfort themselves by saying that anyone who voted for Bush is a bigot and that Democrats are morally superior to them. I’m sure you’ve seen by now the stats that show gay marriage really didn’t impact the outcome. The numbers just don’t back that up. But it was on the ballots of eleven states, and it passed handily. So is every Bush voter a bigot as Democrats believe? No. Here’s why this issue stuck in the craw of some people. It’s because gay marriage was being shoved down people’s throats.

Democrats have more or less given up on trying to convince the electorate to adopt their ideas, particularly social ones. Instead, they go through the court system to implement their agenda. Take Roe v Wade for example. A big part of the reason this is still controversial is that society was never allowed to come to the conclusion that it is something it wanted. It was implemented by judicial fiat. A lot of voters felt disenfranchised. They didn’t have a say in the matter. If the states all had referendums on abortion and the will of the people were expressed, then that would more or less be the end of it. Many people would still be unhappy, of course. But the issue would be more settled than it is now because the voters had a say in it.

Think abortion is the only topic that Democrats abuse in the courts? What about religion? I’m not a particularly religious person myself, but even I get offended when liberals try to get the Ten Commandments removed from every public place. It bothered me a great deal when a federal court out west tried to remove “under God” from the pledge of allegiance. The anti religious fervor of liberals is frightening. I don't want mandatory prayer in public schools, but I don't want a kid expelled becasue he/she did, either.

And so forth. You all can think of more examples.

So when liberals tried to impose gay marriage on the nation, again through the court system, a lot of people had enough. And they decided to do something about it. It’s not because people hate gays. And in time I’m sure most people would get comfortable with the idea of gay marriage. It’s simply because the voters want to have a say with large shifts in our culture. It’s not that hard, really.

What’s funny is that the Democrats did this to themselves. Democrats are so used to getting their way in the courts (with their trial lawyer allies, of course) that they don’t even know how to do it any other way. They don't even try to persuade people anymore. And it finally backfired. Good.

More later on why Democrats lost.

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