Monday, September 06, 2004
Everyone needs to check out Ruy Texeira's analysis of the recent polls. As usual, he's the best.
Also, I want to flesh out my response to Kevin Drum and Digby a little more. It seems to me that they have, in some sense, thrown in the towel. Not for this election, but for democracy. Why? Because the core principle of democracy is that citizens are capable of making good decisions about their own and their country's future. They make mistakes, but these mistakes are accidental and rectifiable. Democrats (small and big D) agree with Lincoln that while you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
We can all agree that about 45% of the population is permanently fooled by George Bush, and that he is trying to convince that middle 10% just long enough to get re-elected. Remember, his numbers have been lousy all year- ever since the consequences of his disastrous decisions have been manifest. Our job is to remind them why he is a failure.
To engage in character assassination and fear-mongering is not consistent with a democracy. To manipulate people's emotions in an effort to turn off their brains is not democratic. If both parties resort to demagogy, then we will have accepted the fact that America's people are, in Machiavelli's terminology, corrupted: they are just waiting for a master. I don't believe that's true. I don't believe it, and I can't believe it. Because if I did, what would be the point? I would be forced to go into exile or something.
We cannot give up on the people. We must believe that if we articulate the truth of the matter in a way they can understand, that they will come around. And even in terms of political strategy, it is smart to be honest. Why don't we just accuse the Republicans of playing to people's fears? Why don't we just call them on what they are doing, and how wrong it is?
I agree with Kevin- failing to defend yourself is a sign of weakness. But we don't have to fight dirty to do so. We just have to fight tough.