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The Village Idiot, or How the Dems Lost the Election

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Well, I see that the village has appointed its resident idiot as its mayor, once again. It's amazing to think that there are people out there, tens of millions of them, who honestly think GWB is doing such a good job. I understand that being the prez is an incredibly difficult job that not many people can even do, much less do well, but jeez, this guy can't even fill out the job application without whiteout! It is truly amazing. It's really too bad that Clinton couldn't run again. Sure, he had his problems, most of which are well-documented. But that man could run a country, no doubt. When people attack his presidency, they usually focus on Monica, Whitewater, Hillary, and anything other than his ability to lead. That's because when he was president, no matter what was going on under his desk, he was running the country with leadership and efficiency. And he didn't even need a manufactured war to do it. Economically, Clinton destroys Bush. Historically, a war helps the economy by creating industrial demand and jobs. However, this current war hasn't had the same effect. GWB better thank his lucky stars that there are term limits in place. But, Clinton aside, the bottom line is that the Democrats lost this race. No, the Reps didn't WIN, the Dems LOST. A race that was imminently winnable, in my opinion. My friends and I were talking about this the other day, and we came to the conclusion that the reason the Dems lost is their utter inability to "talk down" to the masses. You see, Dems have an excellent ability to explain important matters - economics, crime, foreign affairs, health care...but they can explain things TOO well, sometimes. Dems get bogged down in details and semantics. Republicans excel at talking down to the masses. Take an issue, like abortion, for example. In reality, abortion doesn't play a huge role in most people's day-to-day life, so it's baffling to me how it becomes such a huge election issue. Dems usually downplay it by over-explaining their view on it. Their conversations tend to go like this: Dems: "Well, my view on abortion is, I respect a woman's right to choose, although I myself wouldn't make that choice, and I am opposed to all late term abortions, unless the health of the mother is in question, in which case I would make an exception to my own rule." Words, words, words. Too many words. Republicans take a far simpler approach: Reps: "Killing babies is bad." And the masses eat that up. It's bite-sized, soft serve, easily digested. They don't have to ask what "exception" means. And they can rally around that simple view. Reps can repeat that phrase over and over, like a mantra, totally sucking in Middle America. They can get into people's faces, like a general during war, and rev up an entire movement around something that the vast majority won't ever, ever have to deal with! This is gonna sound really cynical, but take a look at the states Bush won versus the ones Kerry won. Kerry got New England, the West Coast, and a couple other scattered states. Fairly intellectual places, with high socioeconomic standards, comparitively speaking. Bush got the South, Southwest, and Midwest. You think Bill and Jean Commonman of Pierre, South Dakota, can sift through all those words? No! They're busy farmers, teachers, mill workers, electricians, trying to eek out a living. They need their views condensed. Reps can cater to that need. Dems are too damn smart for their own good in that way. Another difference (again, in my opinion) is that Dems deliver information to their constituency, expecting them to create their own opinions, to make up their own minds. Reps deliver their views to their constituency, expecting them to accept it with minimal questioning. If you couple that with their ability to "dumb down" to their audience, it makes the Rep party very, very powerful. It's the subtle difference between "You know what's best for you" and "We know what's best for you". Sheep are easily led, and they hardly notice when they're being fleeced. Fundamentalists are in a religious orgasmic frenzy now. I heard one guy say that the audience passed a "clear mandate" that the people of America want to return to their moral roots. A clear mandate? He got 51% of the vote! Not exactly an overwhelming majority. Basically, the population of Houston won the election for him. I'm not even going to talk about the Electoral College, which I feel is completely antiquated. But the Christian Right is crowing about their victory, as if their views represent the totality of American opinion. These guys are lunatics! I mean, I heard that Jim DeMint was quoted as saying that not only should gays not be school teachers, but neither should unwed mothers. This is 2004, and people still say this shit out loud. It's unbelievable to me. The Right is so concerned about what gays and lesbians are doing. Why? How does it affect them? So what if Bill and Ben get married? I can't think of a single way that it affects me at all. It doesn't even matter whether I agree with it - it's outside of my sphere of influence. But the Right claims that giving gays equal rights contributes to the moral degradation of our country, to which I say "So?" This country was founded on the principle that people are free to do whatever they want, so long as they're not hurting others, and for the life of me I can't see how any gay issue hurts non-gays. Gays aren't out there trying to convert people. They're not kidnapping kids to make them gay, nor are they teaching others that gay is the way. They're just people, trying to live their lives. When will it end? If the Right stamps out gay rights, they'll just move on the next social/racial/ethnic/religious group, and attempt to eradicate them. It makes me crazy. And that's just one issue. As we all know, these things go in cycles. Things will swing back toward the middle again, and things will normalize. But by then, it could be too late. Let's hope the Middle can hold things together. We can't re-elect Clinton, but we can hang on till Mayor Idiot's term expires. And next time, let's dumb it down a little, shall we? Peace.


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