Election Blues, Part II
Briefly, now. Here's the thing. The election was fought on the "security issues" because BOTH candidates WANTED it fought there--Bush because he's the salamander in chief, Kerry because he thought he could avoid the "liberal" designation if he waged the campaign on foreign soil, that is, outside the jurisdiction of liberals, whose domestic policies are the analogue of the "nation-building" foreign policies favored by the Bush junta.
Didn't work, did it? You want to be a liberal and run for president, you got to show how and why your opponent's FOREIGN policy mutilates the liberal DOMESTIC agenda almost everyone--except the Club for Growth or the Federalist Society--wants enacted. That large crowd of Americans would include Newt and his contracters: a lot of undecideds there, my friend.
Kerry, instead, EMBRACED the Bush foreign policy, and so could never foreground the crucial domestic policy differences. The turning point in the campaign came when Lurch says, "Well, yeah, I'd have voted for war even if I had known there were no WMD in Iraq." Don't get me wrong, I canvassed in Allentown, PA, for this man on the weekend before the election.
But please. You try to make foreign policy, the "security issues," the central themes of the campaign because some twit has told you that you gotta trump Bush on this, and then you say, "What a good idea it was to invade Iraq!"
At that moment, the real undecided voters ask themselves, what's the point of voting for the other guy? The guy who's there is as dumb as a post and just as immoveable, or, more politely, resolute; the guy who's not in the big office is awful smart but agrees with the dumbass on the key issue. Why go for broke? Why go for the guy who confuses you on the issues he's chosen?
Remember, 30-40% of those who voted for Bush do NOT agree with him on the public policy issues. In this, I think, he is another Reagan, and to this extent I dissent from Steve Usselman's post.
But shit, there is such a thing as the blues: "blue devils," the etymology and Albert Murray tell us, those overwhelming feelings of disaster, defeat, disappointment, dismay, disbelief, discumbobulation, despair, disgust. . . We have to play through it, or dance to it, or both, make our way toward the other side however we can. Already it looks closer. See you there.