Monday, June 20, 2005


Because It's Never Too Early

In the world of politics, it's never too early to start planning for the next election. For the national stage, that means 2006. Hell, it's just seventeen months away. So I say, "Why wait?"

One of the strategies that has worked so well for the Republicans in past years is that they get out of the gate early. When John Kerry announced John Edwards as his running mate, the RNC had their talking points up and running on their website within the hour. Naturally, they had prepared a dossier on every possible candidate to avoid being caught off guard. While I despise the Republican party for most things, I have to respect their preparedness. It's something my party could learn a lot from. In that sense, I believe that it would be a good idea for the Democrats to begin defining their opponents now, before they even have a face.

One way to define a political opponent, is by his/her party affiliation. The Republicans have done a remarkable job of demonizing the word liberal and then tying it to the Democrats. Although I'm a proud liberal, many of my party's members run screaming from the room when that word is uttered. Not, mind you, because of anything they've done wrong, but because of the negative connotation the word has been given by the conservative noise machine. It was fairly easy for them to do. They basically took a few unsavory acts by a few members of the opposition party and they made them the face of every Democratic utterance. Think about it. Somehow, Michael Moore became the face of the Democratic party in our last presidential election. While I applaud Michael Moore's efforts and his actions, he was no more of a poster child for our party than you or I. But he was divisive and he really pissed off the Republican base. So when the Republicans uttered the word liberal, the image of Michael Moore was conjured.

We can do the same thing, but the longer we wait, the more ground we will lose. As it stands right now, the leader of the Republican party is George W. Bush and his approval ratings are in the shitter, big time. He and his party are vulnerable, so now is the best time to act. The first thing we need to do is to find a few unsavory acts. (I know, I know, but we don't want to come out of the gate too fast. Be patient.) Lying is something that really pisses people off and this administration has been lying to us for years. So we should have plenty of fodder. The crew over at Think Progress has already done a lot of the hard work for us. They've put together a collection of some White House shenanigans that involves doctoring some governmental reports. Now we've probably all heard of Phillip A. Cooney doctoring global climate change reports, but it seems as though that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to what Think Progress has found, the White House has been doctoring reports on everything from climate change to the effectiveness of condoms to the air quality at Ground Zero to cancer. The list is really staggering.

Now you might be saying to yourself, "So what?" Most people don't read Think Progress. Well, you're right, but a lot of people do read the paper. You could write a letter to the editor and share this information. You could call a local radio talk show and pose a question concerning it. At the very least, you could share this information with your friends and family. Direct them to the site if they want verification.

Too many times we blame the suits in Washington for losing the elections when we here at the base level didn't do anything to help. Well, no more. Do your part. Be an activist for your party. You don't have to be rude and obnoxious, just offer the information to others. Sometimes that little push is all it takes. Remember, 2006 is right around the corner and all changes have to start from the bottom up. You don't build a house by starting with the roof, you start with the foundation. Now get out there and do your part! Help build that foundation while you work to tear down the Republican's.

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