Planning to Lose

I watched John Kerry on television in ’04 when he fell over himself as he galloped to the microphone to announce the Democratic Party’s real choice for president, George Bush. And the loyal Party hack that he is, I knew he’d return to the Senate after he had accomplished what the Party put him up to do, lose. Then he’d vote on every bill favorable to our ruling classes who our “elected” representatives so dutifully serve and whose bribes they greedily solicit. This gets me to dwelling about the other election, the one in 2000. Why am I thinking that was a Democratic dump too?

What is generally accepted as true, that “there really is no difference between the two parties so what does it matter who’s president” is something I don’t agree with entirely. The difference is in the constituencies that either party controls. With the shift alignment in the parties that arose after Lyndon Johnson had no choice but to ram through the bill on civil rights, the Southern Bourbons switched parties. So did their constituents. The South went Republican and with it the Democrats’ ability to wage a real war with a Democratic president.

Our professional fighting men and women are concentrated in Republican bastions, keeping them tight-knit incestuous units. This way they stay loyal to the mission. Less diverse thought. Johnson, the Democrat, blew it on that one. He took conscripts from every part of the country.

The Democratic party may be dumb but it isn’t stupid. It knows that Republican moms and dads don’t want their boys and girls getting killed and maimed for a Democratic president. Can we imagine Al Gore, a couple of years after 9/11 saying, “Let’s send our boys and girls to war in Iraq?” Couldn’t have happened. He didn’t have the base.

There have been some good articles explaining the hard propaganda euphemistically called spin that the State put out before the Iraq war to get people to bite. It’s the soft propaganda about Saddam throughout the 90’s that intrigued me. If one watched Frontline, to name only one example, it was Saddam all the time. The programs were run and repeated with various repetitions of the same theme. The image of him shooting his Kalashnikov up in the air on his balcony, gassing the Kurds and his ominous Fedayeen marching with checkered bandanas across their faces up to no good. With Frontline’s trademark melodramatic music and the somber tone of the narrator presenting Saddam as pure evil, sumpthin’ was up.

The propagandists know the American psyche. We are morally repelled by evil. We morally want to correct it. The hard propaganda is easy enough to pick apart. The soft propaganda is where they set us up when we aren’t at heightened attention. As the Brits knew before the First World War and then honed to a fine touch before the second, Americans are suckers for morality. We love to conquer evil.

When Bush gave us the spin on Iraq, the mushroom clouds, the weapons of mass destruction, nobody disagreed Saddam was evil. Certainly not the Democratic Party. And the Democratic elites wanted war as much as the Republicans. If it took dumping their own guy in 2000 to do it, so be it. Who designed the butterfly ballot? A Democrat. Whose polls are the hardest to get to? The disenfranchised black constituents of the Democratic Party. Making Gore conduct his campaign by the eight time loser Bob Shrum the guy the Party selects to lose elections was another tip-off. Why would the Democratic elites want their guy Gore when they were smelling war? Gore I am sure wanted to win but that doesn’t mean his own Party wouldn’t dump him.

The Democratic Party can do without a president if what the elites of that party really want is war. They still retain their power in the Party which is really their only concern, the perpetuation of the party organization itself. The Democratic Party is the best friend the Republicans ever had. And the Republican Party needs the Democratic Party as much as the Democrats need the Republicans. The only way you can be a winner is if there is a loser. In the two-party system both parties need each other for either party to exist at all. And who needs a president of your own party when the two-party system gets to have its war?

EVA LIDDELL lives in the Pacific Northwest.