Sunday, January 23, 2005

A Shot Across the Bow

The election has been held, the votes have been tallied, and the new president has taken his oath of office. Has there been sufficient time yet to discern what it all meant?

There are currently two competing narratives making the rounds. Republicans believe that Bush's reelection represents an endorsement by the populace of his War on Terror. Democrats began the post-election process with depression (there are any number of stories out there of Democrats who were too depressed for a month to do anything) followed by denial (witness the crazy conspiracy theories involving Diebold being passed around in email) and have finall moved to the stage of creating an alternative narrative. Theirs is "We were defeated by the religious nutcases who voted in record numbers, so our defeat is specious." This convenient narrative obviates the need for any change in policy or attitude on the part of the Democrats and their leaders.

I would like to offer a third alternative, different from b0th of the above. This is that Kerry was simply the weakest candidate to be offered the American people since George McGovern. Kerry completely failed to connect to the heartland and likewise completely failed to connect to the middle class or the working class. Kerry was the perfect candidate of the upper class, the idle class, those who are exempt from working and feel a need to push the country in the direction of higher causes in order to find meaning in their own lives. Kerry is neither hunter nor farmer, has never worked in a serious job, and possesses scarcely any knowledge of the myriad tasks necessary to keep life moving. An introvert who rather obviously cares little for "little people", he had nothing to offer any people whose life it is to put food on the table or keep the buses rolling. Kerry was in short a terrible candidate who's only message was "Kick Bush out!".

Considered from this point of view the election takes on a completely different meaning. It means that Bush barely won what should have been a cakewalk. Support for the War in Iraq is weak, support for the War on Terror is weak, support for the forced Democratization of the Middle East is weak, and support for George Bush is weak.

Republicans would do well to watch their step very carefully. Exultation is not the appropriate order of the day.

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