AN AMERICAN'S PERSPECTIVE - Did You Know We Were Having an Election?

(03/13/2004)

By Roger Propst

The Democratic Party is about to nominate a candidate to run against President Bush in November. Senator John Kerry has vanquished all but Dennis and Al (only in their own minds) and will mathematically clinch the nomination next Tuesday when the state of Illinois has its primary. With the advent of 24-hour cable news and the networks ramping up coverage to compete for the viewers, we have been exposed to nearly nonstop political machinations. One might think we were doing something unusual, not simply nominating a candidate; it happens every four years. We have polls that have Kerry leading, others with Bush in the lead, etc., etc. Polls eight months ahead of an election don’t mean much, only to hard-core supporters of the candidates.

This campaign began with ten Democratic hopefuls running around the country directing most of their fire, not at each other, but at President Bush. Senator Bob Graham of Florida dropped out early, sensing his campaign was going nowhere. The other nine continued the journey toward the nomination. It became quite clear early that it was going to take a far left leaning candidate to attract the activist voters who participate in primary elections; thus the early success of Howard Dean, former Governor of the Vermont. Mr. Dean’s unfaltering opposition to the Iraq War and scathing denunciation of anything Bush soon propelled him into a large lead among these nine. The presumptive leading candidate, Kerry, was left at the starting line wondering what happened. Mr. Kerry, however, did not fold his tent and quit. As is apparently his method of taking a position, he adroitly wet his finger, held it to the wind, and decided if he was going anywhere, he had to make a hard move to the left and become much more anti-war, anti-No Child Left Behind, and anti-Patriot Act. Never mind he had voted in the affirmative on all three issues when they had been debated. Oh well, what’s a little flip-flopping matter when the prize is the Presidency. The masses will forget those positions when the candidate is dressed up, gets a new hairdo, and especially when he wears his new Carhardt coat and boots.

A funny thing happened on the way to the Iowa Primary though; cracks began to appear in the candidacy of Mr. Dean. In reacting to the capture of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, he naively stated in prepared remarks that America was no safer with Saddam in custody than running amok in the country. He spent much time dealing with that statement as his leading opponents zeroed in on this as showing a lack of necessary experience and background in foreign affairs. It was however, two other incidents that were the final nails in the Dean candidacy’s coffin. Mr. Dean rudely directed and elderly gentleman in Iowa to sit down and be quiet, he had had his say, and we all know of the “Scream Speech” on the night he came in third in Iowa. It was all over but the shouting, no pun intended, for Dean. The Bush campaign was extremely disappointed to see this candidate’s implosion, as they had eagerly awaited a general election opposing such a radical candidate.

John Kerry, having adroitly hijacked the far left leaning Dean positions, after much thought and finger in the air decision making, presented himself as just as good a “Bush’ hater as Mr. Dean. The activist voters realizing that Dean was done, looked at the other candidates and chose one they thought might win in a race with the President; alas Mr. Kerry. Never mind just two weeks prior, he had only single digits percentages of the vote; the only thing important is “electability”. Thus Mr. Kerry was on his way to the nomination; winning nearly all the remaining primaries with exit interviews showing the most important reason for voters choosing Mr. Kerry, “electabilty. In fact, more voters agreed with Senator John Edwards’s positions than Kerry’s, but felt he could not compete with the President.

So, now the Democratic Party has by default, and without much “vetting” of the candidate, chosen the most liberal senator in the entire United States Senate as the man to go against the President in this year’s election. So far, the American people have not been presented with any solutions to perceived problems the country might be experiencing; but rather a constant 35 million dollar ad campaign attacking President Bush. The central theme appears to be confiscation of income from a minority segment of the American people to pay for new government programs for another. That’s a sure way to reward economic success of the people, penalize them for that success. In the War on Terror, pretend it doesn’t exist, return to the Clinton “Law Enforcement” approach, bow at the altar of the United Nations, and give Chirac of France, Schroeder of Germany, and Putin of Russia veto power over American foreign policy.

Sounds like a plan to me, a plan for disaster!


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