History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Monday, September 27, 2004

    Why a Bush Victory might save the Democratic Party

    Or, Why A Kerry Loss Might Save the Democratic Party

    It seems too crazy to be true, but there is certainly evidence to support such claim. Although it does fly in the face of what Michael Totten wrote in Hawks and the Presidency, where he said:
    If the Democrats take back the White House they will have to confront these problems head-on. They won't be on the sidelines. First they'll be doused with a bucket of ice cold realism. Then they'll be shot at. For the first time since September 11, 2001, they will have to think long and hard about what it actually means to govern when fanatics mass-murder innocents while much of the world shrugs.

    In essence, the Democrats will have to throw away their pretences and start acting responsibly. I think that this view is both naive and dangerous. The Democratic Party of today is not the Democratic Party of FDR or JFK. Or even that of Jimmy "Dhimmi" Carter. For years, nay, generations, Labor was the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. Money, Time, People, Labor was the primary driving force of the party. That is no longer the case. Now the Democratic Party is controlled by liberal social activists. Their money, their time, and their people help give the Democratic Party life these days. They ultimately have the final say about what their party will do or not do. They are the reason a Pro-Life candidate can never win the Democratic nomination for presidency. And they are the reason why the party may very well split apart under pressure if Kerry were to win.

    The Liberal Activists hate Bush with such a passion that when in power they would seek to become the "Anti-Bush." They would reverse pretty much everything Bush did, and put into action everything Bush didn't do. This would include removing protections designed to fight terrorism. The inevitable result of this, of course, would be almost certainly another major terror attack in the USA. This is where things get interesting. In such an event the Democratic Leadership (almost invariably less extreme than the party core) would seek to bring back many of those protections. And the party core/liberal activists would fight this tooth and nail. After all, if it was something Bush supported, then it must be wrong. Here is where the Dem Leadership would run into problems. You see, they need a strong and supportive base to win re-election. However, pushing those policy initiatives will alienate core voters, voters whose money and support are essential for re-election. However, failing to enact such protections will alienate moderates who will fear for their safety. The Kerry administration will find itself in a Catch-22 position, either alienate core voters who are needed for re-election, or alienate moderate voters needed for re-election.

    Clinton faced some similar woes back in the 90's. Many of his policies, especially fiscal ones, were not well liked by the party core. However, his personal charisma and charm were great enough that he was able to placate his core while still carrying out the policies he desired. Kerry is not so fortunate. His personal charm is essentially non-existent, and he lacks anything resembling charisma. In short, he will be unable to convince his base to go along with necessary security policy. And here we see the Democratic Party split along the seams. If Kerry decides to push new (as in old) security reforms his base will start to leave the party. Ralph Nader, or whoever replaces him as the spokesman of the Left, will gain a sizeable increase in support. He will start to threaten the Democrats in a number of states, with the Republicans benefiting immensely. We will see the rise of a real, powerful third party in the strengthened Green Party, and the Democrats will remain the minority party for a long time. At least in this situation the party lives, in a sort of undead zombie like existence. On the other hand, if the Kerry administration refuses to enact new security measures, then moderates in the party will leave. The Hawks will immediately take off, and not a few will become liberal Republicans. Labor will also take off, and become independent as well. After all, terrorist attacks threaten their job safety even more than out-sourcing. In short, the party will implode. While it may have a core, that core is relatively small, and insufficient to win any elections for any measurable period of time. With a strong leader the Democratic Party might be able to stem this loss, and render it a temporary one until the activists can be brought to heel. Kerry is no such leader. Essentially, the Democratic Party is faced with electoral insignificance if John Kerry is elected President. His poor leadership skills, coupled with even poorer Charisma, will not be able to keep the party united for the troubles it faces in the near future.

    A Bush victory, on the other hand, will force the Democratic Party as a whole, to re-examine why it lost. While some, many in fact, will resort to wild eyed conspiracy theories, the leadership of the party will realize what went wrong, and resolve to fix the problem. Since Kerry won't be the leader of the party (he lost, after all, and losers aren't leaders), new leadership can rise to take his place. Perhaps Edwards (who will likely escape punishment on account of Kerry's incompetence) , or someone else. Perhaps even Hillary Clinton. Both are smart enough to realize why the party lost, and both are smart enough to realize what must be done to win in '08. They will work on bringing the rest of the party up to speed, and will have the time necessary to make the changes needed. Also, Bush won't be running in '08, so the "Anybody but Bush" crowd will have lost much of its steam. All of this will help give the moderate Democratic leadership the influence they need to modernize the party and help prepare it for the 21st century.

    So, in essence, a Bush win just might save the Democratic Party from itself.

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