Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Kerry's supporters cost the Democrats the election
Published on November 4, 2004 By Draginol In Politics

Like many, I had predicted that Kerry would win the election. But he didn't. And now the question is, why? We may never be able to offer a definitive answer to this but I will offer a theory that I think is pretty plausible.

Backlash

People get fed up. And they respond. In politics, that means they come out and vote.

For the past year, Kerry's supporters had made it pretty clear that anyone who supported Bush must be some kind of "moron", "idiot", "racist", "fascist", "red neck", whatever. They referred to the President as a "chimp" and other vile names. And these people, many who don't normally vote, got mad and they decided to come out to vote this time.

That's because the American people are not stupid. They're a vigorous, hard working, enterprising people who have helped make the world a vastly better place (and anyone who disagrees may want to look at 19th century Europe).  The contempt and hatred from Kerry's supporters made a lot of people who were only nominally Bush supporters into energized Bush supporters.

Millions of Americans simply don't want to be associated with Michael Moore and MoveOn.org and snobby Hollywood celebrities or uppity European elites. They got sick of having their views jammed down their throats. They got sick of the media flagrantly siding with Kerry. One might even say that the New York Times did a lot to help Bush win. Americans could see the unfairness in that these self-appointed elites got to have their say while they were expected to be quiet and take it. After all, why should some has-been Hollywood comedienne get to be on a panel on Hardball when millions of hard working Americans never go to have their voice heard? So they fought back with the only weapon they have: Their vote.

Kerry supporters increased the Bush vote one dinner party at a time. One little league game at a time. One office lunch room at a time. With their smug contempt for those who weren't as "enlightened" as they were. And their nasty attitudes towards Bush and his views on social, moral, and foreign policy, they effectively turned themselves into a Get out the vote drive -- for Bush.

Last week my son came home and told me that his friend's mom told him that if Bush won that he would be sent off to war. My son is 7 years old. My friend's mom is a middle-school teacher. Kerry himself would imply that Bush was going to reinstate the draft (January surprise nonsense).  Michael Moore spread the word that Bush was in bed with the Saudi Royal family. Foreign pundits claimed that Bush and Cheney were in Iraq for Halliburton's sake. 

And yet, without a trace of irony, Kerry supporters would argue that people who supported Bush had been swayed by all that "right wing" propaganda. As if the millions of public school teachers, who often are alone amongst their neighbors in their support for Democrats, do so strictly because of their free thinking ways and not because of the constant inflow of disinformation from the NEA (teachers unions).

And so every time a Kerry supporter, when confronted with a friend or neighbor who said they liked Bush (or didn't hate him at least) would say "Gosh, you seem like a smart guy, how could you not hate Bush?" they effectively energized someone who might have sat out the election because of Bush's deficit spending or other failings.

If you look at the actual returns state by state (especially county by county when compared to 2000) it becomes pretty clear. Kerry didn't do bad really. He got 5 MILLION more votes than Gore did.  It's just that Bush got 8 million more votes than he did last time. And most of those votes were from "average Americans" in rural or suburban areas.

In short, millions of Americans voted for Bush not because they were "fearful" of terror (the exit polls demonstrate that). No, they voted for Bush because they saw the smug contempt that Kerry's pretentious supporters have for the values and beliefs that they have. And they did something about it - they came out and voted.


Comments (Page 5)
on Nov 05, 2004

What pisses me off so much about this argument is that I know you're a lot smarter then this, Drag. .

And so we have a text book example. Because my opinion doesn't coincide with Deference's enlightened views, I must not be thinking smartly.

I KNOW why I voted for Bush. I know what motivated me from a feeling of apathy towards Bush towards wanting him to win and that was having my views and opinions constantly ridiculed by the media, hollywood elites, and rank and file Kerry supporters.

While both sides behaved badly in various times, Kerry supporters were much worse.

Consider: # of times Kerry was interupted at the DNC due to some protester: 0 Number of times Bush's speech was interupted due to protesters: 3.

It just goes down the line throughout the year. The utter contempt the left had for the rights of conservatives pissed people off. 

I support US policy in Iraq. Am I on the pay-roll for Haliburton? A Nazi? A Chicken Hawk? Or just a deluded red neck? It's so hard to keep up with the reasons.

on Nov 05, 2004

But I stand by my view that Republicans care more about the moral force of an argument than the logic of it

. Well Iron Bob you must be new to JoeUser. Because anyone who has spent any serious time debating politics on-line will tell you that liberals are much more likely to appeal to emotions and it's conservatives who are much more likely to try to back up their arguments with facts and data.  The best liberals around here tend to do is post a link to some left-wing website that has patted out some distorted article on a given topic.

on Nov 05, 2004

I can understand the backlash that Draginol is talking about.  The constant condescension and insults didn't make anyone into a Bush supporter but it made Bush supporters make sure they and the other Bush supporters they knew got out to vote on Tues.

Precisely. Many MANY people I know were nominally for Bush but rarely bother to go out and vote. But this year they were so sick of the nastiness of the left that they went out, got registered and stood in line to vote.

Unlike the liberals in Hollywood, the average conservative doesn't get to have their views presented on TV very often so voting is the only way they get to express their political views.

on Nov 05, 2004
yeah, we really need to stop all the hate. i dont like alot of things bush has done but i wouldnt call someone an idiot for believing him. unless i was in a really bad mood or particularly angry i might, but otherwise no. and i agree that the extremists get going when the opposite party is in power. ive heard a thousand "clinton did everything wrong" and when i said "name one thing he did wrong." they would say "name one thing he did right." at least have facts before u mouth off
on Nov 05, 2004
Well Iron Bob you must be new to JoeUser. Because anyone who has spent any serious time debating politics on-line will tell you that liberals are much more likely to appeal to emotions and it's conservatives who are much more likely to try to back up their arguments with facts and data.


You've got me there. I am new to the whole internet political debate. But I'm not talking about bloggers and their appeal to emotions. I'm talking about politicans. And there's no question that Kerry was much more likely to try to lay out a rational basis for his arguments than Bush was. Whether you disagree with his facts is another story. It's a question of presentation. Kerry tried to present his case in a rational package.

Bush, on the other hand, was constantly talking about what he believed, what he had faith in, what he had confidence in. As a conservative blogger, you might be able to dig up facts that backed up Bush's beliefs, but there's no question that his presentation was one of moral certainty, not logical certainty. And I think most Republicans, and most Americans, find that kind of moral certainty more appealing.

on Nov 05, 2004
I don't think Kerry appealed much to logic. It was mostly vague discussions of "I've gotta a plan".
on Nov 05, 2004
Okay, I'll stop. I'm obviously not going to pursuade you, Drag. I guess the reason I responded to this thread in the first place is that I'm fascinated that you want to define the election results in terms of the Kerry negatives rather than the Bush positives. In a way, I'm trying to pursuade you that Republicans are just better at motivating people right now. And it isn't just because Democrats are jerks.

I do think Democrats should look in the mirror a little more often, and realize that their point of view isn't the only point of view available to intelligent human beings. But it'd be nice if Republicans looked in the mirror after this election and realized that they won this election in part by appealing to hatred. This must be one of the few times in American history when the rights of a group of Americans were put up to popular vote, and in every case, those rights were voted down. To deny that had anything to do with Bush's victory is to deny reality. And you have to wonder about the motivations of a guy who would use those rights as a strategical wedge issue when his own vice president's daughter is gay.

I'm not proud of members of my party for calling Republicans stupid. Are you proud of your party for appealing to hatred as a strategic device?
on Nov 06, 2004
The clear difference was the evangelical vote coming out to vote in the gay marriage ammendments across the country. Despite the fact that both candidates oppose gay marriage, the issue clearly belonged to Bush. It was no accident that the issue came up in nearly a dozen states. Despite the passing of the ammendment, no clear alternative was offered to gays.


How do you expain the blue states where these amendments were on the ballot voting so overwhelmingly for them, giving them far more votes than they gave Kerry? These were "your people" after all, the enlightened ones.

This argument offering up the gay marriage amendments as the scapegoat for Kerry's loss just doesn't hold up.

It doesn't matter, though. Only 65% (at most) registered voters actually voted this year. Had even 2 - 3% of the 35% who failed to show, voted Kerry, we probably would have a different Commander in Chief.


Def - Are you really so thick that you don't see the delusional thinking in that comment? Since, by your definition, only the enlightened intelligent folks would support Kerry, you're saying the intelligent enlightened folks didn't show up. The Democrat dogma (conceit) that has long held that when more people vote it is always good for Democrats was shown by this election to be false. How do you know that the other 35% wouldn't have gone 75/25 for Bush and pushed his margin into landslide territory? You don't. So wishful thinking about who didn't show up is about as empty an exercise in justfication I can think of.

I'm beginning to think that Kerry losing has had real neurological consequences in some folks - their thought processes are even more disrupted than ever.

Cheers,
Daiwa

on Nov 06, 2004
John Kerry lost not because he ran a negative campaign as Draginol seems to imply, but because of the unexpected and totally unwarranted display of desert theatre by Osama Bin Laden. This man thought that he could pull a Spain on the USA. Had he not made his presence felt just 3 days before the election, the result could have been cl.oser. However, given the marin of victory the Osama Tape may have had a negative impact. Kerry was affected by this and it goes to show that predicting election Phseology is an art and not a science. Any way, Bush is the winner and the election was not flawed as in 2000.


Might consider this as possible, if there was any evidence that it was true. Haven't seen any to support this notion, in fact only evidence that very few people cited Osama's appearance as having any effect on their choice at all.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Nov 08, 2004

Reply #15 By: Citizen MacHuff - 11/7/2004 5:21:31 PM

Democrats have to stop backing away from God and spirituality. Over 90% of the country has some time of spiritual belief, and a large percentage of those people are Christian. We can still be pro-choice, compassionate towards all, Christian, and be a Democrat. We're not selling ourselves well. Barak Obama said it well at the convention that "we in the blue states believe in the same God as the red states" (I'm paraphrasing). Compassion, tolerance, and acceptance are the hallmark of both the Bible and the Democratic party-we need to say so.

We also need a strong message of what we stand for. We've been on the defensive since 2000. It is not enough to be "not Bush, not neocon" that hasn't worked. We need to take point, and solidify our own plan which we can sell to the American people. We CAN win more than four seats in the house in two years...we have to prioritize, and stream-line our messages.
on Nov 09, 2004
I'm new to these online political forums, so feel free to initiate me by destroying my argument, if you wish. I think we're overlooking the key reason that Kerry lost the election. Both parties have become platforms of extremism, and the simple fact is that there are more people in the nation with extreme conservative views than there are with extreme liberal views. This gives the Republicans an inherent advantage going in, because the have the built in block of socially extremist Christian voters. I am by no means saying that all, or even the majority, of Christians are extremists, but they certainly do exist, and in large numbers. I myself am a Christian, and a fiscal conservative, but would vote for a candidate of either party who was representative of the views that make up my personal social agenda. Unfortunately, given the current state of politics, that can't happen. How many voters who were drawn to the polls by the gay marriage issue were even aware that Kerry did not support a gay marriage amendment? His personal beliefs became irrelevant, because he is more a representative of the extremist views of his party than a candidate in and of himself. In their effort to draw a distinction from one another, and make money from their fringe-issue supporters, both parties have succeeded only in distancing themselves from the average American with no personal party affiliation. This election, like every other since Bush vs. Dukakis, i was forced to pick a single issue that was of the utmost importance to me, and vote for the candidate I felt was closest in belief to me on that issue. This election my key issue was the war on terror, as I'm sure it was for many other independent voters, and Bush has a clearer, less compromising vision on the war than Kerry, in my opinion. Given that I cringe at the way our "leader of the free world" absolutely butchers his native language at every public opportunity, and that I believe our president should be representative in public of all that is good about our nation, it really shouldn't have been very difficult to convince me to vote for someone else. I fear that I won't live to see the day that I can feel my beliefs are truly represented by our president, because each party is more concerned with disconnecting with each other than connecting with the American people. Unfortunately, there is no political action group for Americans with middle-of-the-road social views, and, therefore, no monetary incentive for either party to reach out to us. So while you Democrats and Republicans continue to debate about how best to mobilize your base, you'd do well to realize that it is the growing percentage of those of us who are tired of being marginalized by both parties that will begin determining the elections. Unless you come back to the middle and give us a reason to affiliate ourselves with either one of you.
on Nov 09, 2004
Examinerebb -

You can put away the body armor. Good post. Much of what you say is quite true.

I was vocal in my support of Bush primarily on the basis of the war on terrorism - I felt it was important to re-elect him both as a message to terrorists and as a way of removing the political constraints that had been hindering the prosecution of the war during the election campaign. It is time to really finish the job in Iraq and I think his re-election will permit that. Beyond that, there are many social & domestic issues on which Bush & I disagree and I believe that is true for many moderate Republicans. If you took any of the currently popular issues that allegedly threw the election one way or the other and held individual votes on each, you'd get wildly different results. In a presidential election, however, it's a package deal. And that's OK. I'm not worried, like the far left seems (or claims for political reasons) to be, that the evangelical right's entire extremist agenda is going to be forced down our throats over the next couple of years. A few things will get legislated that the left won't like, but let's not forget that some of the left's extremist agenda has been sort of forced down our throats through an activist judiciary over the past 30 years.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Nov 09, 2004
Here are my 2 cents.

Bush won cos an average american is as dumb, arrogant and has ''ya-we-are-the-godly-superpower' attitude as bush himself.

I am shocked ppl still cant open their eyes and ears and think by themselves what mess america has landed itself into but instead feed on CNN and FOX diet. Even a third world country voters are better informed than an average american. Its a fact that 16 states with highest average IQ voted for kerry and none of them to bush.

Michael Moore may not be having every and all facts right but hes one of the few who never stops questioning and thats best thing about him. He shows u the other side and doesnt asks u to beleive him but to think, think for urself and think as an american and not as an republican or democrat. In a country where media (atleast most of it) has become more of a pimp for this govt than as independent,unbiased and objective entity, he still is doing what he beleives in. And no matter what u say i respect him.

Kerry- I wont say he doesnt has his negative points but its a shame how america has treated him. On one side a man who fought for his country, chased guirellas in swamps of vietnam in a war that was one of america's forigen policy blunder. What does he get in return for his blood? a image of wimp, who doesnt has courage to goto or fight a war. Its absolutely ridiculous and where as the person who always used his daddy's connections to avoid his duty in military is considered brave, strong and competent to lead the country. I think america has a bit different definition of word brave and courage than rest of the world.

Kerry is 10 times more intelligent and thoughtful than bush can ever be in his next 10 lives. and he could have been an excellent president of america when it comes to dealing with the 'real' problems america is facing today.

Only for americans banning gays from marriage can be more important as a national issue than providing health care to their children and elderly.


Osama is lot more intelligent than americans think he is. His timing of tape was perfectly right. He wants BUsh at that spot and he got him. He wants people from whole world to hate america and bush is going to help him recruit more hijackers and suicide bombers. Threat was and is osama and not saddam. You dont need to increase the defence spending to make ur country safe but instead spend it intelligently spend it where u need it most. Focus more on checking containers than developing satellite anti-missile system or bunker-busting and nukes.



And why are only democrats being blamed for using negative campaigening when republicans were never behind in this.

If kerry's only message was hate than bush's only message was 'fear'. Be afraid and I am the only superman who can save america from all the people who hate us just because of what we are.
Americans are so accustmed to acting like they have biggest dicks in the world and they can piss on everybody and anybody else that they cant even think of a president who talks of cutting defence budget.

Iran rob is quite right that americans dont buy logic or reasoning they look for somebody whos arrogant, sticks to his beleif whatever they may be and never ya never admits his mistakes.

Its sad, disappointing ridiculous and frustrating but a reality.
on Nov 09, 2004
amen.
on Nov 09, 2004
Doc

Thanks for proving Draginol's original point.

Strange that you say those who voted for Bush can't open their minds, yet I didn't see one original thing in your chanting.

That's My Two Cents