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The Political Werewolf

If you know me, then you know I'm a big political nut. So, I've decided to add my own personal flavor to the realm of political discussion. We'll be talking about various issues - some of them having to do with current events, others perhaps more on a philosophical level. But in any case, you're free to respond to whatever you read here, either by E-mail or on the message board.

All righty, here we go.

The Natives are Restless

I know we're still eight and a half months out. I know that there's plenty that can go on between now and November 2 that could change the course of this election. And I know that the Democratic nomination hasn't even been determined yet. But after watching the events of the last month, I can say with utmost confidence that not only will George W. Bush win re-election, he will do so in a way that will make the left scratch their heads with befuddlement as they figure out whatever happened to that polarized, split-down-the-middle country that they singlehandedly created.

One of the reasons why I feel so strongly about this is because the Democrats' platform is based on one thing, and one thing only: Hatred. As I've mentioned before, there is a tangible, personal antipathy on the left towards our current president, the likes of which ought to make everyone cringe. These people don't just want to become president: they want to destroy Bush. "Anyone but Bush" is the mantra of the left, and they have tried and will continue to try any means of mud-slinging to tarnish the man's standing.

Now, it's one thing to disagree with one's policies. We disagree with people all the time in the course of our lives. But that's exactly the problem - none of the Democratic candidates are running on issues. They're running on the idea that Bush makes Adolf Hitler look like Mother Teresa. It was most visible in the Dean campaign - a man whose rage towards Bush was so white-hot that it ended up submarining his bid.

It's important that we focus on Dean's candidacy for a moment, because it gives us a glimpse into today's Democratic party. In the early stages of the campaign, Bush looked completely invincible. There was no way any of these jokers were going to have a chance against the incumbent. So what did the voters do? They used the presidential campaign as a temper tantrum to spew their vitriol on Bush. Is it any surprise that Howard Dean led the charge in the party in the early going? The voters on the left weren't particularly concerned with the issues - because everyone was running on almost the identical platform, save for Joe Lieberman - they liked Dean because Dean hated Bush the most.

Then when the news on the elusiveness of Iraq's WMDs began to make Bush look the slightest bit wobbly, and the left realized that hey, maybe Bush could be overthrown after all, they almost instantly abandoned Dean. Dean's meltdown in Iowa didn't cause his support to evaporate - it's the other way around. Only problem is, Dean pulled all the other candidates to the far left (except for Dennis Kucinich, who was practically splayed against the west wall to begin with). When Dean collapsed, every other viable candidate was left holding the bag. Now all of them were running on the antipathy platform.

So who did the voters on the left flock toward once Dean shot himself in the foot? John Kerry. John freaking Kerry. Just to give you guys a sense of where this guy stands on the issues, I should note that this man has done the impossible. His Senate voting record is more liberal than Ted Kennedy's. While Kerry touts his service in Vietnam ad nauseam, his record belies a man who has voted against every defense technology system we use today, against the death penalty for terrorists, and even published a report accusing the CIA of introducing crack cocaine to the US. And if he ever does vote in favor of the military, he flip-flops and decries the policy at the first opportunity.

Of course, there is one other candidate who has a chance of gaining the nomination: North Carolina senator John Edwards. And while Edwards' record isn't as deep as Kerry's, and while Edwards doesn't have the hurdle of the "Massachusetts liberal" title to climb over, he's still just as anti-Bush as the rest of them. His stump speech describes the presence of "two Americas" - the archetypal class warfare argument. In this country are the haves and the have-nots; you're the have-nots, so vote for me and I'll pull the haves down to your level.

And history has shown us that when someone runs as an outright contrarian, asking for your vote simply because he's not the other guy, the contrarian has never won. In 1984, Walter Mondale ran against Ronald Reagan opposing everything Reagan had done, even going so far as to openly campaign for higher taxes. He won his home state of Minnesota, Washington D.C., and nothing else. In 1996, Bob Dole ran as the impotent alternative to the philandering Clinton; he got thumped. In 2000, when Hillary Clinton ran for senator of New York, Rick Lazio came in for the ailing Rudy Giulani and ran on the "I'm not Hillary" platform. We haven't seen him since.

You can't run on a platform of hatred or spite. If you do, you get defeated soundly. The left is growing increasingly venomous about one of the greatest wartime presidents in American history, not to mention increasingly hysterical at how every half-baked conspiacy theory and scandal they've tried against Bush at best dissolves on contact and at worst backfires. They're literally desperate for ways to defeat George W. Bush.

And he hasn't even started campaigning yet.

Care to discuss this?

Previous columns:

12/17/03: Catching the Rat
12/9/03: Thank God for Freedom of Religion
10/8/03: We're Not Gonna Take It
8/27/03: Getting Rid of Splinters
7/14/03: Where's the Utopia?
6/30/03: Minority Reports
6/9/03: With a Capital D and that Rhymes With D and that Stands for Democrats
5/26/03: Where's the Harm?
5/12/03: The Ten Questions a Liberal Will Never Answer
5/5/03: Let The Fun Begin
4/21/03: It's My Money, Not TheIRS
4/14/03: Bush Won - Get Over It
4/7/03: Conservative Business 101
3/31/03: I'm a Celebrity - No War in Iraq!
3/24/03: Patriotism vs. Nationalism