Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Car, The Wall, The Left & The Right


The Left seems to have an image problem these days. It is only a few months away from the mid-term elections and the President's numbers are not that good. The public thinks America has lost its way, they have lost faith in the President's vision, and have lost confidence in the abilities of Congress to steer us in any direction.

This should be a banner year for the DNC. I am not so confident. I see a lot of infighting among Democrats and no clear message on any issue. The Democrats have no clear leader to help convey their lack of a clear message. Inshort, they are resting their political careers, and our futures, on the hopes that we are upset enough with the RNC to vote DNC.

Sounds like I am bashing the DNC, doesn't it? I am not. It is not their fault they have no clear message. Infact, it is impossible for the Left to have a message at all. It goes against Liberalism.

What defines liberalism? A desire for change. What defines a Conservative? A desire for things to remain how they are. It is easy for any two people to agree on how things should remain the same; there are no variables to consider. However, when considering changing something, the door for inifinite possibilites opens. It is possible for 100 different people to have 100 different ideas of how to change something. This does not mean that it should not be changed though.

This point comes up in Iraq debates quite a bit. People ask most liberal supporters what is the Democrat's plan for Iraq? I watch over and over how the left try to answer this question, but then they begin fighting among themselves. The right has a clear message- stay the course. The left does not. "Do we get out now?" " Do we stay and train?" "Do we just build bases?" " Did I vote for the war?" That is because liberals all see things differently.

The Left's greatest asset leads to their defeat when the argument is set by the right. Instead, the left should be asking what the right's plan is since the course has gone bad. Instead of answering, the left needs to point out how terrorism has increased since 9-11, not decreased so the War on Terror is not slowing it down but accelerating it. Personally, I would rather no message than a bad one.

Think of it like this: you are in a car with two other people. The driver is planning on heading into a wall after hitting it already. The other person suggests getting out of the car and going somewhere else but does not know where yet. The driver insists that this time it will be different. Would you stay in the car with the driver or would you follow the person leaving?

Iraq is the car and terrorism is the wall. The left needs to stop fighting like the right and remind America why they are different.

3 comments:

Gal said...

The right has a clear message- stay the course.

Having a clear message is not the same thing as having a clear plan, so I think you are on to something when you say: "the left should be asking what the right's plan is since the course has gone bad. "

The Left's greatest asset leads to their defeat when the argument is set by the right.

True.

Think of it like this: you are in a car with two other people. The driver is headed towards a wall after hitting it already.

Your analogy is more hopeful than the one I had originally conceived, which was that the car had gone over a cliff, and the driver turns to the passenger and says, "Oh, yeah, you think you're so smart, why don't you take the wheel then?"

Here is an article you might find interesting:

Occupation: The Inconvenient Truth About Iraq

by George Lakoff

It is time to tell an inconvenient truth about Iraq: it is an occupation, not a war.


Rockridge Institute is a progressive think tank.

Lakoff, a linguist, has been trying to help Democrats frame the terms of debate on various political issues, so this article ties in with your "Schadenfreude: post: An occupying army can’t win anything.

I don't agree with everything Lakoff says, and therein lies the Democrats dilemna.

certainly Congress and most Americans should be able to agree on “End the occupation soon.”

That sounds good in theory, but what will happen after we've gone? I'm not willing to take any predicted rosey scenarios at face value, but I also don't like the fact that our military is slowly being destroyed by this conflict.

kanrei said...

Gal,
Thom Hartman wrote something like that as well about 3 weeks or so ago. Showed me it was an occupation and not a war. Made me think. I think the two I have written so far are probably due largely to that Hartman piece I read.
Hope I didn't plagerize come to think of it.......
Here is the story

Gal said...

That was a good article. Gave me an idea the Dems should use to counter the Reps "cut and run" versus "stay the course" dichotomy. Stay the course means stay and occupy. Dems' plan for strategic withrawal means giving the country back to the Iraqis. You can't win an occupation, and you also can't win a civil war (that is not in your own country) without taking sides. What side are we planning on backing?