Thursday, May 05, 2005

How To Win Elections

I can't believe that Dems are still wondering how they're supposed to oppose the Repubs. Their big mistake is that they never asked Biobrain, here. But I've just about had enough, so I'll tell you what to do. You can thank me later.

Apparently, most folks think that opposition either means two things: being strong or being weak. With strength being defined as being strident and shrill, attacking and denouncing; and weak as being compromising and "Republican-lite".

But are those the only alternatives? Neither will work. Not reliably anyway.

The strong approach involves Republican "divide and conquer" techniques which play the Repub's game of appealing to your base and ignoring everything else. You divide up both sides, toss the dice, and hope that you come out with 51%. And dividing both sides means you use Bush's policy of taking popular ideas and adding poisonous amendments which the other side will reject. And it also involves picking poisonous ideas and poisonous nominees which your opponents will be forced to oppose. And if they don't oppose them, then you get your poisonous idea or nominee accepted. But they don't want that, necessarily. They want the opposition. So they can continue to make us look like negative obstructionists.

That's the game. They pick a policy good enough to pick off a few Democrats, but which will offend all the others. And if it doesn't offend enough Dems, they'll make sure that it does.

And capitulation is obviously a bad idea. Nobody likes a wimp. Even if you normally fight for the little guy, there's nothing worse than a wimp who rolls over and allows himself to be picked on. Even sympathetic people have a hard time being sympathetic to a wimp. It's human nature. Hell, the damn crybaby Repubs play the victim game better than anyone, but they do it in an attacking, angry way. Even as victims, they're aggressors and use it as their excuse for bullying.

Plus, with the Repubs divide and conquer techniques, we can't win. If people want right-leaning policies, they're not going to pick the wimpy right-leaners. It just won't work.

Victory Can Be Ours

So what do we do? We politely but firmly oppose their policies. And when I say "polite", I don't mean nicely. I mean using good manners and nice phrases. I mean, keeping our weapons in hand, but always behind our backs so that we don't look like attackers. We don't look like we're ready to jump them. We should oppose their actions, but we should not appear to be their enemy.

And overall, we just need to chill out and laugh at these morons. I can't believe we're losing to the Republicans at anything. They're so lamebrained and immature. And we don't need to say "these people are dangerous idiots". We should treat them like the grown-up babies they are. We shouldn't be overtly condescending, but we should be slightly so. And patient. Like the patience a slightly exasperated parent uses towards the children they love, but must discipline. Discipline is always necessary, but only used in tandem with love and understanding. That's the essence of good parenting.

Kerry's Blunder

For instance, during the campaign, Kerry should have attacked Bush on Iraq. No doubt about it. It is probably the biggest blunder in American history. Especially the way that that boob and his friends managed it. Simply deplorable. But Kerry shouldn't have taken his slightly angry, denouncing tone; but a friendly, understanding one. Like he knew that Bush and his crew tried their best on this, but that it just wasn't good enough. And that he didn't blame Bush at all for his mistakes. Bush just couldn't help it.

And we don't impugn his motives. In fact, we claim he had the BEST motives. But that he just wasn't up to the task. That he just wasn't competent enough to do the job we hired him for. And that's certainly true.

We should have said that we didn't think that Bush had lied or intentionally deceived. That he really did believe that crap. But that he just hadn't done his homework, and wasn't prepared for what happened. Not that he pushed analysts to squeeze the truth and cherry-pick facts to make war sound necessary. But that Bush just hadn't done a good enough job as head of the executive branch. He just wasn't capable enough. We leave open the idea that it was intentional deception, and should even mention it often; but then state that we don't believe that to be the case, and believe that Bush had good intentions. But that even Bush at his best isn't good enough for America. Which is certainly true, no matter what his intentions were.

And most importantly, we shouldn't have implied that voting against Bush was some sort of punishment for his mistakes. Because that implies that all those other people made mistakes and that we're punishing them too; and thus they'd want to stick with Bush. Instead, we suggest politely that their only mistake was putting their trust in Bush, because he wasn't able to make good on his intentions. And that we admire them for sticking with Bush before the war, but that it was time to get a more capable President.

And rather than appear to be voting against Bush out of angry, it should have been because he has proven himself to be incapable of managing our country properly. Just as you take away driving privledges from your teenage son after he wrecks the car.

I should add that I'm not a "blame Kerry" kind of guy. He did the best he could. His only mistake was in not having heard of me, and not utilizing me as a strategic advisor. And everyone seems to be making that mistake, so Kerry can't be blamed. And that's kind of the attitude we should take with everyone. Not blaming them for their misdeeds, but not allowing them to continue misdeeding either.

Grown-up Babies

And overall, we should have treated them like the three year-old babies they are. When your three year-old does something wrong, you don't shout at them (or I don't anyway). You explain what they did wrong, and try to make sure that they don't do it again. And if they do it again, you arrange things so that they can't. Three year-olds just aren't capable of understanding what they're doing; and neither is the Republican leadership. And even if you think they are, you should never say that. Our charges of incompetence against them shouldn't have been angry or attacking. They should have been solemn and empathetic. They just didn't know any better. And that really is the truth.

That's what Kerry did wrong. He sounded like he hated Bush for his mistakes in Iraq and domestically. That was Dean's mistake too, along with too many Dems. We should have acted like a firm but sympathetic father. We can't condone Bush's bad behavior, but we understand it.

And that's so easy. It's easy to be firm but understanding. We do it all the time. That's the essence of being liberal. And it would make us look much more sympathetic and likeable. Our opponents aren't grown-ups, and so we shouldn't treat them as grown-ups. We shouldn't act like they're responsible for their actions, because they aren't. They really just don't know any better. My three year-old is a good girl, but she really doesn't understand certain concepts yet. It's my responsibility to make sure that she can't get access to those things until after she is able to understand them. And she's getting there, slowly but surely.


And that's how we'll win elections. Not by being shrill, and certainly not by capitulating. Not through divide-and-conquer and hoping for the best. But by showing America who the grown-ups are and who the babies are. We can't sink to their name-calling level, and should never openly call them babies. We need to be mature and above that. And most of all, we shouldn't play their little games. We should shake our heads and tell America that we understand why the Republicans play their games, but that America deserves better.

And it's the best policy because it's the truth. America wants Democrat policies. America is a liberal nation. We just need to open up the door better so they're more willing to accept it. Not the angry God, but the forgiving God. It will work. Trust me.

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