Why Liberals Lose

Last night I had a brief conversation with the medical technician, as he wired me up for an EEG. That’s another story. I want to talk about the conversation.

He was very pro-Republican, pro-Bush, he liked and respected Dick Cheney. He said that we need an experienced leader like John McCain in times like these.

I said that I could understand that anyone who can be elected to national office is almost certainly a powerfully charismatic presence in person. No doubt that Dick Cheney has some admirable qualities.

I agreed that John McCain had lots of experience.

I said that I was furious at the Republican Party for lying to the American people. I said that Bush had been convinced that we needed to invade Iraq, so he did whatever he needed to to get us there. Up to and including to lying to the American people, to Congress, to the UN security coucil. (Note that Congress had given him a declaration of war, so all of these actions were probably legal.)

He said that Bush had been misled by his trusted advisors.

He said that Bill Clinton had known about the plot carried out on 9/11, but had done nothing about it. That it was Clinton’s fault, but that Bush was left with the blame.

I said that it’s the boss’ job to take the blame. I sighed. I didn’t talk about the Tomahawk missle strike on the training camp in Afganistan, ordered in the waning days of the Clinton administration. That had been a page-12 item in the New York Times, didn’t make it to TV news at the time. No point in talking about it now.

He said that he didn’t trust Obama because of “double-talk”: that Obama changes his positions to suit the audience. What? I said that I was voting for Obama, that I wasn’t aware of many changes in his positions, that his principles were sound.

Here it is the next morning, and I have witty replies. But not last night.

You see, when a liberal engages in a conversation like this, they really want to find out what the other person thinks. They don’t spend as much time defending their own position.

I hear Obama’s thoughtful, reasoned discourse. Other people hear “double-talk”. I should have pointed out the inconsistency in the notion that Bush was “misled” but that Clinton was responsible for inaction (based on intelligence reports at the time). Was Clinton “misled”? Why one and not the other?

Look. The Bush-Cheney administration hijacked America to make more money for their business interests. Oil companies. Defence contractors. Our best young people are dying over there, the economy is crashing, and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

If you’re working-class and vote Republican, they are taking advantage of you. They are laughing at you. They don’t care about you, they have no idea what it’s like.

That’s a simple, emotional position.



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