In a post on this blog on September 9, 2003 and then again when that article was printed in the UNLV Rebel Yell on September 10, 2003 and then again when that article was posted on Capitalism Magazine on November 15, 2003 I advised Democrats, and their nominee (not known at that time), on how to win the election.
Below I have cut the relevant part of that essay on the particular weaknesses of George W. Bush, implying that the exploitation of these rather obvious flaws would surely lead to a Democratic victory.
To beat Bush a candidate need merely point out Bush’s mistakes in office and his contradictions visa vie campaign promises and actual actions.
Bush promised to be a free trader and to cut back on farm subsidization. In both instances he lied and as a result increased farmer subsidies and steel tariffs. Both of these actions have hampered economic recovery by keeping the prices of farm products and steel artificially high.
An opposing candidate could also point out that Bush’s emphasis on religion has prevented his seeing properly that the enemy in the war on terrorism is religious mysticism. This in turn has allowed mullahs to come to power in Afghanistan when we should be making sure that the government established there is secular and free, nothing more and nothing less. The results in Iraq, it can be credibly argued, will probably be the same. The long term results of this folly will simply be war and oppression, which can be seen from the numerous examples that litter the history of Western Civilization.
One could argue successfully that George Bush, in fighting a war, hasn’t made the true sense of urgency really known to the American people. Usually when wars are fought there is a call to arms, not a draft, but it is clear that more troops are needed in general. This is simply because there is a plethora of enemies to be dealt with as soon as possible, i.e. within the next five years.
Dangerous countries have made it through the war unscathed thus far. Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Libya, Cuba, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and elements of the Pakistani Government have been involved, overtly and covertly, in international terrorism for years. If we are fighting a war to truly eradicate these terrorists why aren’t we threatening military action against all of these countries? Part of the reason is a lack of forces, which I’ve mentioned already.
Also it has become clear that certain allies of ours have set themselves up as a counterweight to US foreign policy. This is because, philosophically, they are no longer in anyway friends of ours and they are aware of it. Why hasn’t the administration realized this and taken the proper actions, such as withdrawing from international organizations dominated by anti-US members and stopping all handouts to countries, like Egypt, that are hostile to us?
If this remains the Democratic strategy then Bush will win. It won’t be like Reagan’s victory in 1984, but winning is winning, especially in the case of a second term.
Obviously my advice was ignored and not followed. I am not surprised, I never expected them to act rationally or to attack Bush based on any of his real and serious flaws. Instead they have engaged in a campaign of ad hominem arguments and overt appeals to statism and pacifism.
They will lose by this strategy, and by the looks of recent polls, quite handily. So long as Democrats reject reality and refuse to deal with it, they are destined for future and large electoral defeats. Their pliant media monopoly has been shattered and they can no longer count on Dan Rather and agents of similar ilk to go unchallenged.
Perhaps ten or fifteen years ago it may have worked, but I doubt it. Remember Bill Clinton, the only Democrat elected President since 1976, won in two consecutive three-way races. He received a minimal 43% of the vote in 1992, a percentage that roughly makes up the base level of Democrats in the country, suggesting that Ross Perot took away a large number and independents and Republicans who would otherwise have voted for Bush. In 1996 he only received 49%, even though he was already starting to tout his "greatest economy ever" propaganda. Based on this and the crushing defeats the Democrats suffered in 1980, 1984, and 1988, I'm not convinced they really ever have a legitimate chance at winning a Presidential election.
The 2000 election illustrates this exceedingly well, because after eight years and the general acceptance that the economy was great, the incumbant party still couldn't hold onto the office. Unlike during the Cold War, when there was a large part of the party at least paying lip service to defending the country, the Democratic Party is largely run and populated by pacifist McGovern and Carterites.
The Democratic Party, on its current course, reminds me very much of the Federalist Party which was beaten to oblivion by the Democratic-Republicans after their irresponsible behavior and positions during the War of 1812. Whether or not the Democrats are completely destroyed by their actions during our current war is not able to be foreseen, but they certainly don't stand much chance of expanding as they explicitly and implicitly work to let America's enemies win by default of their refusal to deal with objective reality and properly counter the real weaknesses of the Republican Party.