by John Eberhard
Let’s say you’re the leaders of the Democratic Party, and it’s last May, 2003, right after the victory in Iraq.
You’ve lost the White House in 2000 as well as the majority in congress, which you had for 50 years. Support for President Bush is high. Most of the public can’t even name any one of the Democratic Presidential nominees. The Democratic Party doesn’t have any real solutions for anything. You’re feeling rather desperate.
You hatch a strategy. You know that there is an incredible liberal bias in the mainstream media and entertainment industry. You basically "own" them. So your strategy is:
"Come up with attack after attack on President Bush. Get the message repeated by all national Democratic Party figures, over and over and over. Each time one of these figures makes a statement, the media will cover it as ‘fact.’ After all, it is true that they said it. Then get other Democratic figures to repeat the message, each time covered by the national media."
"Then get public figures in the entertainment industry to attack Bush on lines that are more opinion. Get these opinions stated to the media and run nationally, get them stated in TV shows and movies, and get these stars to donate millions to anti-Bush groups."
"The truth of the allegations doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they are repeated over and over until they take on the feeling of ‘truth because they’ve been heard so much."
"Sooner or later the President will slip in responding to all the allegations and attacks, and then his credibility will be tarnished."
"Since we know that 20% of the public is liberal, 40% is conservative, and 40% is ‘moderate’ (basically ‘undecided’), our strategy is to go after the 40% moderate group and convince them that Bush has been a bad President. We don’t need to put up anyone great or better, just someone acceptable enough so that once we unfairly destroy the President’s credibility, our guy will be accepted as the alternative. The public won’t even notice that our guy doesn’t have any solutions on the issues on which we’re attacking Bush."
And that, in a nutshell, is what has happened over the last year.
Tired Old Attacks
I for one am getting tired of all the tired allegations from the tired Democrats:
1. Bush lied about WMDs.
2. We never should have gone to war with Iraq.
3. Bush lied about his National Guard record.
4. Bush didn’t heed the warnings of Richard Clarke prior to 9/11.
1. "Bush lied about WMDs." A "lie" is defined by the Thorndike Barnhardt Advanced Dictionary as "a false statement known to be false by the person who makes it." You can look it up.
First of all, we know for a fact that Saddam Hussein actually DID have WMDs. He used them against his own people, the Kurds. He was ordered, as part of the terms of surrender of the first Gulf war, to get rid of them, and to show evidence that he disposed of them. He never did show evidence. That was one of the strongest reasons for going to war with Iraq.
During months of our wrangling with the UN, trying to get them on board with us, Hussein had plenty of time to get his purposely mobile WMDs out of the country. Remember, those are WMDs that he was documented as having.
Later, David Kay, Bush’s man on the ground in charge of searching for the WMDs in Iraq, stated publicly that there never were any WMDs. This was the stumble I alluded to above. Bush should have come out blasting this and reiterated what I just said above. Instead, he just thanked David Kay for his great "job". Even though Kay unreservedly said we should have gone to war with Iraq, this gave the liberals plenty of ammunition and they poured on the heavy artillery with it.
2.. "We never should have gone to war with Iraq." Of course this message has been hammered so many times, even before the war and after, that it’s no wonder half the public is wondering if it was right to go to war.
Well, let me just list the reasons, again, that we did go to war:
- Saddam Hussein was a suppressive dictator, who oppressed his own population, murdered segments of his own population, and even had government rape rooms.
- He had and had used WMDs against his own people
- He wouldn’t let UN weapons inspectors into his country for the majority of the time between the first Gulf War and the second.
- He refused to follow other terms of surrender from the first Gulf War. He showed repeatedly that he could not be trusted in negotiations.
- He had openly declared his hostile intentions toward the US.
I am, by nature, anti-war. I was raised in a pacifist family. My father was a conscientious objector during World War II (those who refuse to fight because it’s against their principles). It’s one of the principles of my religion to build a world without war.
But imagine Adolph Hitler with nuclear bombs. That’s where we were headed here. Does anyone remember Neville Chamberlain, the British leader who foolishly appeased Hitler in the years leading up to WW II? What if someone had stopped Hitler in the early years? That’s what Bush did here, plain and simple.
I’d like to say that we shouldn’t have gone to war with Iraq. But unfortunately, we live in a world where insane, suppressive individuals can still sometimes become leaders of countries. And experience has shown that they cannot be negotiated with. So insisting only on peace in such a situation is just whistling past the graveyard.
One must still, at this point in history, be willing to use force when necessary, until we can somehow prevent the Saddam Hussein’s of the world from gaining power.
3. "Bush lied about his National Guard record." The Democrats cleverly got Max Cleland, a paraplegic veteran and former Senator from Georgia (who did not lose his limbs on the battlefield but in a freak accident while on base) to hammer the President again and again in the media about his National Guard record. Cleland stated again and again that there was something amiss and that Bush had gone AWOL. This of course was repeated by other Democratic leaders as well.
Bush repeatedly released factual information showing how he completed his National Guard duty. Of course Cleland and other Democrats kept repeating the message that "that wasn’t good enough." They never found a smoking gun, they never proved anything, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to hammer Bush repeatedly in the media, and to plant the seed of doubt in the public’s mind, or rather in the mind of the 40% "moderates."
4. "Bush didn’t heed the warnings of Richard Clarke prior to 9/11." This one is still going on right now due to the 9/11 commission. I think it’s a bit ironic for Democrats to attack President Bush, the one who actually has done something about terrorism by taking out two hostile regimes, for supposedly not doing enough or not acting fast enough.
Condoleezza Rice, in her testimony the other day, pointed out that Bush has been attacked ceaselessly for acting pre-emptively (with pretty solid data) in Iraq (it wasn’t really pre-emptive because we were enforcing the earlier terms of surrender in Gulf War #1). And now, with this commission, he is being criticized for not acting pre-emptively against al Quaida (with less solid data).
With all the hub-bub last year about our supposedly acting pre-emptively against Iraq, can you imagine how the liberals would have howled if, before any major attack had ever occurred on the US, back in 2001, Bush had acted pre-emptively against Al Quaida of Afghanistan?
And this is coming from the Party whose leaders (including and especially John Kerry) have voted against just about every major expenditure for defense and intelligence in the last 30 years, and who have voted to curb and cut back those activities? The irony is so thick you could cut it with a buzz-saw. And this is supposed to make you want to vote for John Kerry, who has opposed any and all military action over the years?
The Real Point of All These Attacks
The real point of all this, sadly for the liberals, is that the Democratic Party has no real solutions to the problems of today. They are, as I like to say, "ideologically bankrupt."
Since they have no ammunition in the arsenal of ideas, the only strategy they can employ is to haul out their mainstream media big guns and hammer the President on any "issue" that they can find. You can discredit every one of their allegations, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that they can repeat them over and over again, at least for 2-3 weeks each, and the segment of the public that doesn’t follow the situation closely can be profoundly swayed in their views.
The good news for conservatives is that this is indicative of a profound failure of liberal ideology. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 was major proof that communism/socialism/liberalism (all degrees of the same ideology) does not work. The only Communist regimes on the planet today (China, Cuba) are completely totalitarian. Democrats, in complete power in California in recent years, have practically bankrupted the state. In upcoming articles I will detail why communism/socialism/liberalism as an ideology is completely and inherently flawed.
The bad news is that, even though the conservatives rule practically all the alternative media (such as the Internet, cable TV, books and talk radio), the liberals still own quite a lot of big guns (all the mainstream newspapers and TV news outlets) and are using them full throttle. Will it be enough to tip this campaign their way? I don’t know. I’d like to say no, but liberal media ownership is what has kept the liberals in power (in the Congress and the Presidency), for most of the years from 1930 up until 1980. The power of the mass media is fading, but it might be enough to swing this election.
My opinion, though, is that communism/socialism/liberalism is fading. Particularly with the rise of alternative media, and the de-massifying of the media (a major trend outlined in Alvin Toffler’s book "The Third Wave"), more and more people are adopting politically conservative views. They can see that liberal views and the knee-jerk liberal reactions to all issues, which you can even see in David Letterman’s jokes, are not right. I give them 10-15 years, and the Democratic Party will either be completely gone, or will re-engineer itself into something completely different.
I think it’s long overdue.