Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Is there a certain insincerity in the Democratic message?
This week is show time for the Democratic Party. It's their chance to show Americans the stuff they're made of with their convention to nominate Senator John Kerry as their candidate for President of the United States.
And I don't think their general message is completely lacking in substance.
America is more diplomatically isolated than it has been, even though this is a different time than it has been. The economy has hit some hard times since Bush became president, even though this is a different time than it has been. And Bush himself has staked out a somewhat controversial place for himself on the American and even international political landscape, even though this is a different time than it has been.
Yet, with all that there is in support of their fundamental message, I fear that the Democrats have succumbed to what much of the modern left succumbs to: revulsion at the thought of people doing things differently than they do, ie) intolerance of political opposition.
So, instead of limiting themselves to some of the genuine differences that exist between Democrats and Republicans, and between conservatives and the left, they engage in rhetoric, claims, and accusations which is often completely inconsistent with the very same principles they claim to project. This leads to some interesting contradictions.
The most obvious is one we saw recently in the last Canadian federal election, when Jack Layton went negative against two opponents while claiming he was 'a positive choice'. Similarly, the message that the John Kerry Democrats are trying to sell during this convention is that they're the uniters who can deliver a positive message as a choice at the ballot box come November.
Yet they claim to be positive and uniting while doing everything they possibly can to discredit Bush both on the international and domestic fronts. If they aren't talking about George Bush's failures overseas, they're talking about his perceived failure on home turf. If they aren't talking about their lack of support for Bush's policies abroad, they're talking about an economic record in as negative as light as possible.
I always thought that you united people and projected a positive image without trying to bash someone else. Perhaps the Democrats, and the modern left, have a different definition of the words unite and positive than I do.
Add to that some of the outright misrepresentations and even lies that are being disseminated from the outset of this convention, the claim of any kind of higher road by the Democrats starts to lose even more sincerity and genuinness.
From Jimmy Carter (and just about everybody else at the convention) accusing Bush not only of lying about the war but of planning it well in advance of 9/11, to Howard Dean decrying the lack of democracy under George Bush's America, Democrat after Democrat is indirectly selling a different message than the one they openly claim. That is, instead of a more unified, positive, and hopeful America under the leadership John Kerry, what they may be unwittingly selling is a political party, along with a political ideology, that can't help but dismiss and even vilify political opponents with whom they are in stark disagreement. This is not the America I know of. I'm not sure if it's the America that Americans know of.
It will be interesting to see if the Republicans seize on any of this in their upcoming convention in New York. Knowing how timid conservatives tend to be when confronted by strong leftist accusations and critiques, I somehow doubt it. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
The Democrats, however, should be providing me with plenty of update material on this particular topic in the couple of days remaining in their convention. It will probably just be a matter of my willingness to open the gifts they keep sending me.