Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Senator Say-Anything's Final Sprint

An excellent Op-Ed on Kerry's unscrupulous final campaign sprint at the New York Times. (Subscription req'd.) Will the unscrupulous prevail?

[Kerry's] blunderbuss approach suggests a candidate devoid of perspective, driven by unattractive and naked ambition.

Why is he doing this? First, because in the insular Democratic world, George Bush is presumed to be guilty of everything, so the more vicious you can be about him, the better everybody feels.

But there is a deeper assumption, which has marred Democratic politics for years. Some Democrats have been unable to face the reality that people have been voting for Republicans because they agree with them. So these Democrats have invented the comforting theory that they've been losing because they are too virtuous for the country.

According to this theory, Republicans - or usually some omniscient, omnipotent and malevolent strategists, like Lee Atwater or Karl Rove - have been tricking the American people into voting against their true interests. This year, many Democrats decided, we'll be vicious in return.

The truth, however, is that voters are not idiots. They are capable of independent thought. If you attack your opponent wildly, ruthlessly, they will come to their own conclusions.


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