After the 2004 election, I am an unseated, unsure voter. For the moment, I am registered independent — not because I am unsure of my values, but because I wish for more from the Democratic Party. I love my country, and I truly believe that liberal policies will help it flourish. But the Democratic Party is a cake without icing, an organization without a strong unified confidence. To be frank, Democrats are boring and uncharismatic salesmen — while the Republicans are slick sons of bitches.
The Republican Party has created a brazen-arm persona, a concise image attracting millions of voters. Many candidates build their campaigns around grand slogans, designed to attract the idealist in all of us. For example, Republicans pride themselves on “family values.” Who hates family values? Child molesters? Enron CEOs?
But an intellectual understands the d?cor of such platitudes. Republican “family values” really refer to censorship and anti-abortion legislation, not cuddling around the Christmas tree. Democrats need similar slogans. How about “We Love Puppies”? I love puppies. You probably love puppies too. If you don’t, then you’re a sick fuck and should stop reading.
Also, right-leaning outlets like Fox News have created a Republican red-button alert, where terrorists lurk around every corner and under every shoe. Only a strong, Alexander the Great-like leader can save us. Enter George W. Bush, stage right. Liberals could easily manifest the same type of fear. And guess what? We don’t even have to lie! Americans face massive environmental degradation, a nuclear arms buildup, an anti-U.S. world consensus and a destruction of constitutional law. These facts are frighteningly real and should encourage voters more than an exaggerated homeland security alert.
But Dubya finds his biggest support in squeaky-clean suburbia, where citizens can ignore big words like “poverty” and “gas consumption.” Liberals coop themselves up in cosmopolitan residences, like cities and universities. As a result, the herd mentality prevails, and left-wing thinking becomes more controversial than a thong in Afghanistan. Since “left-wing” is such a broad categorization anyway, this confuses the mix even more. The Democratic Party then appears as a ragtag gang of flip-floppers, weakly appealing to a wimpy populace. For an uneducated voter, the right simply has more style.
For example, what is Bush’s competition? Pure electoral tomfoolery. I think we all agree that John Kerry ate Honey Bunches of Wuss for breakfast. Wesley Clark was ok — he was a tough-as-nails general, but looked too much like Crispin Glover. Howard Dean registered voters, but his red-faced screeching nearly bought him a trip down Aneurysm Lane. Now, simmer down, hate mailers. I am not criticizing their intelligence or policymaking, but I am criticizing their marketing skills. If we present a shitty picture, our electoral results will be shitty too.
So what’s the solution for the Democratic Party? Smarter presentation, specifically tailored suburban campaigning and some balls. I present these problems not out of anger, but out of concern. In my opinion, hardheaded conservatism is quite frightening, and Bush is leading us down a very dangerous path. I will support any viable party that can combat Bush, even if it is idealistically vague in certain areas. At this point, however, I don’t consider the Democratic Party viable — unless it can clean itself up.
Matthew Cappiello is a Daily Nexus staff writer.