Political campaigns ought to be about helping the electorate to determine the candidates' respective positions on the issues, but Democrats, in a number of ways, are determined to obscure rather than clarify, and there has to be a reason for that.
Just look at some of the things they do, all the while pretending to champion "democracy." They try to disenfranchise the military vote. They try to muzzle political speech through draconian campaign finance reform legislation.
They circumvent the will of the people through judicial activism and by blocking the appointment of constitutionalist judges. They seek to intimidate Republicans from discussing the Democratic candidates' records on the issues, such as Kerry's softness on crucial weapons systems, by falsely characterizing such legitimate inquiries as negative campaigning. (All the while, by the way, they flagrantly engage in true dirty campaigning, such as falsely accusing Bush of felonious AWOL while in the Air National Guard).
They willfully alter their stated positions on issues, just to avoid giving President Bush credit for doing what they -- the Democrats, not Republicans -- wanted in the first place, such as throwing obscene amounts of federal money at public education.
They gratuitously attack the president for almost anything just to have something to criticize him about, such as their ridiculous rush to blame him for the unrest in Haiti. Their knee-jerk reaction to everything is "It's Bush's fault," rather than attempting to contribute constructively to formulating solutions for the problems. They criticize Bush for his unilateralism, then condemn him for not intervening unilaterally in Haiti.
They mislead the public by saying Bush misled the public about intelligence information on WMD to which they had equal access and upon which they based their decision to support his decision to attack Iraq. They mischaracterize the terrorist activity in post-war Iraq as discontented Iraqis longing for a restoration of Saddam's benevolent rule.
They attempt to paint the president as insensitive to the "working class" because one of his economic advisors truthfully stated that "outsourcing" jobs can be beneficial to the economy because of comparative advantage -- a concept even few liberal economists would dispute. They don't tell their constituents, whom they would prefer to exploit, that while some domestic jobs are lost in this process, everyone's prices for goods are reduced, including those whose interests they pretend to safeguard.
It's not just the Democrats in general who play these games of obfuscation, but also their leading presidential contender John Kerry. At least with President Bush, you generally know where he stands on the issues. He is a strong conservative on defense and taxes, and mostly conservative on social issues. He is much less so on the spending side, particularly with respect to education. And his stand on immigration has angered many on both sides. But he has not been afraid to stake out positions, even if they are unpopular, which is relevant to both character and leadership.
John Kerry simply will not make his positions clear. Do you think there is any chance he will proudly proclaim to the general electorate the recent finding of the National Journal that he was the most liberal senator in 2003? And Kerry calls Bush extreme? Based on Kerry's various statements and past record, a reasonable person with considerable intelligence would have difficulty determining his positions on: the propriety of making a candidate's military service, especially in Vietnam, an issue; states' rights concerning gay marriage; attacking Iraq; helping to rebuild and facilitate democracy in Iraq; free trade; deficit spending; No Child Left Behind; "special interest influence;" the Patriot Act; capital punishment for terrorists; and even his commitment to his faith.
Why do Democrats work so hard to conceal their liberalism? What are they afraid of? Well, you can be sure that it is not that they are ashamed of their views; it's that they know those views are unpopular with the public when presented clearly.
Democrats are always trying to create the illusion that their ideology is mainstream -- it's no accident that they are always the ones talking about the nation being divided 50-50. But that's wishful thinking on their part. They know better, which is why they have had to resort to this litany of dishonest and antidemocratic tactics to compensate for the unpalatability of their leftist policies. If the candidates were required to ingest a truth serum before each campaign stop, the November election would be a blowout -- not in their favor. And Democrats know it. So they'll continue to hide the ball.