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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

11/01/2004

Wither the Left when Bush Wins

I posted this comment in the extended comments on Michael Fellman's prediction (forelorn hope) of a Kerry victory tomorrow. over at Tyee....

Leaving aside the speculative paranoia about the vote being stolen...and there are 2000 Democratic lawyers locked and loaded to file writs and petitions on every conceivable irregularity...what are people on the Left going to do if Bush, er, wins.

Now I realize that people at Indymedia and the DU will simply have their heads explode. But what about the rest of the left.

A couple of thoughts. It might be a good idea for the American left to re-examine how effective their politics have been. Why was Howard Dean defeated. How did the Dems get such a donkey for a candidate? These are pretty key questions because, lets face it, if Bush wins it will almost certainly have been the result of the Dems picking the worst possible candidate.

Second, if Bush wins, it might be a good idea for the left to re-examine its rhetoric. It may well be that further co-opting the writings of noted Pol Pot support Noam Chomsky will help; but I doubt it. It may well be that the Michael Moore trope of "Americans are the stupidist, most ignorant people on Earth" will help; but I doubt it.

There is absolutely no reason for Bush to win this election - except for all of the reasons that John Kerry has given American voters and all the reasons that the hard left, activist base in the Democratic party have given the voters.

Of course, the traditional tactic is to blame the media. But, again, this is a bastion of boomer leftism second only to American universities. From Dan Rather on down, the American media have gone out of their way to vilfy Bush and do the best job they can with the patrician sow's ear the Dems nominated as their candidate. No, the press has pulled its weight.

Ultimately, the left has to make a choice if Bush wins. It can spend four more years crying that the election was stolen or it can get on with the hard work of finding and supporting attractive, competent, canidates. If it opts for the former, Bush will either be succeeded by a Republican or Hilary Clinton. (It is by no means clear which would be worse.) But, by actually dealing with reality, it is possible that the American left will create a Democratic party which really does appeal to the majority coalition which has elected Democratic Presidents.