If the 2002 midterm election made one point exceedingly clear,
it is that a growing majority of Americans hate having the Democrats
patronize them. The Democratic Party platform is built on the idea that
people are too stupid to take care of themselves or solve their own
problems -- therefore, it promulgates Social Security, welfare, a massive
and unwieldy public education system, minimum wage, gun control and so on.
In 2002, Americans struck back against the snobbish Democrats.
The Democrats thought voting Americans too foolish to see their
bald-faced obstruction in the Senate, where they blocked qualified judges
from the federal bench for purely ideological reasons. The Democrats thought
Americans were too dumb to see through their ridiculous scare tactics like
demonizing President Bush as a murderer of the elderly or insinuating that
Republican policies were responsible for the Washington, D.C., sniper
shootings. The Democrats believed the American people would ignore their
weakness on national security.
The Democrats were wrong. Americans can take care of themselves,
and in this election, they voted in favor of personal responsibility over
government baby-sitting. But rather than seeing this election as a
referendum on their antics, the Democrats chalk up the 2002 Republican
election victory not to public agreement with right-wing policies but to the
stupidity of the populace.
Terry McAuliffe, soon-to-be-terminated chairman of the
Democratic National Committee, expressed his thought that people were
blinded by the popular appeal of President George W. Bush. "If the
Republicans had an edge over us yesterday, it was tactical rather than
ideological," McAuliffe sniffed. "They had a wartime president with the
highest sustained approval ratings in history, who made these elections his
No. 1 domestic priority. He spent the year raising record amounts of money
and the final three weeks stumping relentlessly for Republican candidates."
Funny, the Democrats said the same thing about Ronald Reagan's
victories over Democrats. Deep down, the people really believed in the
policy recommendations of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, the Democrats
felt. But President Dummy Reagan was too popular. His landslide victories in
1980 and 1984 were a referendum on his friendly persona, not right-wing
The Democrats believe strongly in the theory that Americans are
too dumb to vote for what's good for them -- they just vote for nice guys.
So the solution isn't to revamp the Democratic message, it's to reinvigorate
it with left-wing radicalism represented by a friendly face. The Democrats
believe that if some genial liberal can make the distinction between right
and left clearer, people will finally be able to put aside their warm
feelings toward that dunderhead Bush.
Hence, Nancy Pelosi. If there's anyone who distinguishes left
from right, it is Pelosi, a San Francisco radical who supports all anti-gun
legislation, opposes war on Iraq, backs all abortion all the time and so on.
"We must draw clear distinctions between our vision of the future and the
extreme policies put forward by the Republicans," says Pelosi. The Democrats
think she's likeable, and if you combine liberal policies with a friendly
female face, you're automatically guaranteed success.
It's fine with me if the Democrats want to move to the left.
Public opinion shows that they will fall even further from American
electoral favor. Fifty-seven percent of those polled in a USA
Today/CNN/Gallup poll over the Nov. 9 weekend said they think the Democrats
are too soft on terrorism. Fifty percent of those polled said the
Republicans have a clear plan for curing the country's ills, while only 30
percent said the Democrats did. Most telling, 54 percent of Democrats said
the party should moderate its liberal message.
But the Democrats won't. They refuse to moderate their message
because they feel Americans support leftist policies but are too stupid to
vote for them. Democrats think Americans can't be relied upon to act
responsibly regarding their money, sexual behavior or children. Similarly,
they believe that Americans are fickle and irresponsible voters, blinded by
likeable but dimwitted Republicans. The only way to win back the dumb voters
is to draw stark and distinctive lines between the parties and paste on a
I say let the Democrats try it. Americans are looking for more
than radicalism with a friendly face.