I’m generally out of the loop regarding home (US) politics, but this piece over at Town Hall gives me a real shiver. The one about John Kerry supposedly positioning himself to run in 2008.
Well. My hope is that this is just idle and incompetent speculation. *Rant begins here.*
I actually like Kerry all right, just as I liked in a much bigger way Gore before him. They’re smart guys who, in positions of power, tend to weigh facts in order to formulate solutions, rather than force facts to fit their prearranged solutions. I remember those Gore/Bush Jr debates as an exercise in futility, one man going through detailed and highly erudite arguments, while the other grinned and said something along the lines of “Gotta get some real leadership in here, gotta not be lib’ral.”
That stated, the Gore/Bush Jr campaign made one thing painfully clear: the public doesn’t give a rat’s ass about well thought-out political arguments. It’s not the economy, stupid, it’s about which person makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Someone who speaks with the clarity of a Harvard lecturer makes no one feel warm & fuzzy, though an cocaine-addled funboy who’s found God and likes his ranch does.
So with 4 years to dwell on this lesson, the Democrats pulled in John Kerry, a Massachusetts nor’easter, who calmly tried to explain to Americans the complexities of the contemporary political world. And again, no one felt warm & fuzzy. Complexities are interpreted as contradictions and “backsliding”, not as complexities.
I have friends who shout a lot about elections being stolen. Arguably, the Gore one was, but despite their protests I can’t believe the same about Kerry’s. Fact is, coming off the arguable prosperity of the Clinton years, Gore should’ve been a massive shoe-in. His failure is really the failure of the Democratic campaign. And then, with so many blatant missteps and so much transparent back-scratching during Bush’s first term, Kerry should’ve swept up the votes.
But he didn’t. And no matter how out of the loop I was, I knew from the beginning of the campaign that Kerry would not sweep the election. And if I knew this, then…
The lesson for the Democrats? No more candidates who speak like public intellectuals. Please. They can think like intellectuals—no argument there—but please, find someone who’s worked with his hands, who doesn’t hang with Kennedys, who has a regional accent that doesn’t derive from New England—the rest of America (that is, the big blank part on the map between New York and Los Angeles that votes in your presidents) despises people who talk that way.
(Originally posted at the Contemporary Nomad)