Thomas Sowell

 Disinformation is where it's at, if you are a liberal. Weakness on military defense, for example, has to be camouflaged by constantly using words like "strong," "strength," " tough" and the like, while clenching your fist and using a bombastic tone.

 In a memorable scene near the end of "The Wizard of Oz," the wizard -- after being exposed as a fraud -- admits that he cannot give Dorothy's friends what they want, namely courage, a brain, and a heart. But he presents them with substitutes for all these things.

 That is what Kerry and Edwards must do to have a chance at winning this year's election. They must come up with substitutes for reality.

 In a sense, it is unfair to expect liberals to talk straight to the public because politically it is not a level playing field.

  Conservatives can get elected to all sorts of offices, including President of the United States, while saying that they are conservative. But there are far fewer places where a liberal can get elected saying that he or she is a liberal -- and certainly not elected President of the United States with that label.

 Voters have seen the results of liberalism over the years and don't like what they have seen. The last openly liberal candidate who was elected President was Lyndon Johnson, 40 years ago. The last Democratic candidate who even admitted to being a liberal was Walter Mondale, 16 years ago -- and he was buried in a landslide.

 So don't look for liberal candidates to admit being liberals, when the Presidency is on the line. They are not about to commit political suicide. People in the media consider it an "attack" even to call candidates liberals -- or to call the media liberal.

Thomas Sowell

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

Creators Syndicate