Do Republicans Relate More To Americans?
by nrafter530, Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 06:03:59 AM EST
DailyKos must love me. This is the third diary I've written about my pessimism about our chances next year. I want to point out that I still think we are favored to sweep next year, despite everything, but I think I have to make a point that I believe support for Democrats and progressives in America may be weak and based merely on the mistakes of the past rather on hope of the future.
I truly believe, at the end of the day, when faced with a choice and issues aside, America will find itself relating more to the GOP than the Democrats. Hold your fire and read on.
Here's how I see the two parties;
Republicans are reactionary, arrogant, domineering and tend to act without thinking. They don't think through their ideas, they just run with it. They rule with what I call "First Draft Politics" a term I will use to describe the GOP way of leading. Quick and decisive action is more important than deliberating it's consequences. If we're right, we're heroes, if we're wrong, we'll fix it later. Post 9/11, this is the type of leadership people wanted. This to them is leadership; strong, decisive and swift. This is how President Bush is. The problem? Acting without thinking increases the chances you will be wrong, counterproductive and incompetent. The Bush Administration never thought through almost anything; Iraq being the perfect example. They cherrypicked intelligence reports rather than sitting down in a conference and discussing them. They saw the headline and ran with it, later realizing it was wrong. The reactionary and thoughtless actions of the Bush administration and GOP members of Congress made them seem like strong unwavering leaders in 2002 and 2003 when they were gung-ho about fighting anyone who even resembles an Islamic terrorists, but today we realize those actions, which we took a strong leadership, was in fact dangerous and inept. They made more mistakes than any administration since, in part because they acted without thinking...and we took that as leadership.
GOP candidates for President do the same thing. Giuliani is hearlded because of his swiftness and decisiveness as a leader, but that makes him prone to mistakes and screw ups perhaps just as much as Bush.
Democrats on the other hand conduct in a way I would describe as "Revise and Edit Politics". Most Democrats are not reactionary. They don't act without thinking of consequences. They come up with an idea, sit down, discuss, compromise, give and take and come up with a plan that is usually a good one. Democrats are perfectionists and are willing to take time to get it right, rather than act immediately and risk making huge mistakes. They are patient, comtemplative and calculating. They are willing to forgo immediate results to make sure what they do is right, and back away from an idea that may be wrong or counterproductive to their causes or beliefs. They take great pains to make sure what they do has the right results. To many Americans, this makes him wafflers, flip-floppers, weak leaders.
Americans who want immediate results then to have little patience for Democrats who take their sweet time. They like Republicans who deliver immediately. Americans also like things to be right and mistakes to not be made. That is when they turn to the careful, perfectionist way the Democrats do things. Americans want a little bit of both.
2008 is going to come down to what we want more of. Do we want it now or do we want it good? Issues aside, when voters go to the polls next year, and they see a reactionary, aggressive, decisive Republican who is going to make decisions on Day One whether they are right or wrong versus a Democrat who will hit the ground running on Day one and bring together all of America to debate, discuss and formulate an agenda that will benefit us in the long run, who are they going to vote for?
I still believe most Americans want results immediately and they see Democrats as slow and Republicans as immediate. We live in a society that has patience anymore. Americans don't like to revise and edit, they like to get it done fast. I use the first draft and revise and edit analogies because what I see in America, in schools, in jobs, is the lack of will to do it right, but rather the desire to do it fast. We don't live in a society that doesn't like meetings, compromise, the sharing of ideas. We want it down now and we want it done our way. When it comes to security, Americans may see Republicans as incompetent and dangerous, but they may also see Democrats as uncertain because they will come together and debate civil rights vs. security. While we here at DailyKos may think that's where people are at the moment, and perhaps that's where we are and that's great, it's going to be hard to counter the Republican fear-mongering attacks of "While they debate what's moral and what's not moral, scary Muslim men are planning to blow you up on the train"
Perhaps what we need to do is change the impatient, reactionary, thoughtless psyche of Americans. We need to present ourselves are strong because what we do may not bring immediate results, but it brings the right ones. Republicans are strong because they act immediately, they're crass blundering mistake-prone children who do more to harm you in the future than safe you today. We, on the other hand, are careful to make sure we not only keep America safe, but we prevent it from even more danger in the future. Perhaps we're well on our way to doing that. If we are, we need to continune strongly, and if we are not, we need to start going with that message. In my opinion, last year might have been the beginning of that change in psyche. Next year will bring it home. 2008 is where it all matters.
Without changing that psyche, I truly believe Democrats will find themselves on the losing side again.