Thomas Sowell

 Sometimes little things can tell you about big things.

 While Senator John Kerry and his running-mate Senator John Edwards were recently being photographed at lunchtime at Wendy's, to show what regular guys they are, their real lunch was from a local yacht club, which is more their speed in real life.

 There is nothing wrong with eating lunch from or at a yacht club. What is wrong is being phony -- and thinking that the American people need to be conned.

 Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President four times while never pretending to be anything other than what he was, a born member of the elite class. Neither he nor the American voters required any such charade as that of Kerry and Edwards.

 A certain amount of fraud creeps into many political campaigns but fraud is absolutely central to the Kerry campaign. Above all, his campaign must camouflage or deny the central fact of Senator Kerry's political career -- that he has been the most liberal member of the United States Senate.

 Says who? Says Americans for Democratic Action, a leading liberal organization for more than half a century. The ADA keeps tabs on Congressional voting and ranks Senators on their votes for liberal causes, so as to inform ADA's members as to who are their strongest supporters.

 Senator Kerry came in number one on liberal voting in the Senate, ranking above Ted Kennedy. Senator John Edwards likewise had an even more liberal voting record than Ted Kennedy. These guys are on the far left of a liberal party.

 What does that mean in concrete terms?

 Among other things, it means racial quotas, higher taxes, weakening the military, and -- perhaps most significant of all -- appointing liberal judges who will spend decades finding reasons to turn criminals loose and allowing frivolous lawsuits that drive up prices to consumers and destroy businesses and jobs.

 You can't run on that platform and win a national election. Moreover, you cannot frankly state the underlying assumptions behind the liberal vision of the world, such as the notion that the liberal anointed need to impose their superior vision on the masses.

 Politically, you have to pretend to be one of the people, even though the whole basis of your vision is that you are vastly superior to the people. Even when you are a pompous elitist who looks down on the average American, you have to project a political image as a regular guy by being photographed with a baseball bat or a hunting rifle in your hand -- or eating at Wendy's.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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