Change and Fear: What they got wrong about America
: The reason Howard Dean (with Al Gore) lost is that they ran a negative campaign. But the problem wasn’t that they were negative about other candidates. It was that they were negative about America.
: First, read the post below about fear, about Gore and Dean trying to say that George Bush is using fear to get elected and get his way — even as they tried to pump up fear of Bush to get elected and get their way.
Now go read Joe Trippi’s blog that’s all about change, just like the Dean campaign: change, change, change. They thought we all had a huge hunger to change America.
: And that’s what they got fundamentally wrong: We, the voters, didn’t want to hear Dean (and Gore behind him) telling us how screwed up our country was and how much we needed to change it.
It’s not screwed up. Oh, sure, there are things that are wrong and things that could be better. But that’s different from saying we need to change it all.
We wanted to hear a candidate start by saying he liked America, he loved America — especially at a time when it is under attack from Islamic nut jobs and Euro bozos and even Mexican soccer holligans — and then propose ways to make it better.
But that’s not the fundamental message that came out from Dean: Oh, he said some of it; all candidates do. But the message that cut through it was all about change, change, change.
Now, of course, some of that is to be expected from the party out of power. They have to make the party in power look bad to oust them.
And it’s the conservatives who, by their nature, are less about change; they conserve things they way they are.
In addition, many of us are reluctant to wave flags in normal times.
But all that necessarily changes in a time of war, when we all must pull together as Americans to defeat our enemy.
Yet Dean and some of his supporters and fellow candidates refused to see it that way. They acted as if the only war we’re in is the one in Iraq and they said it’s a wrong war so they could complain about Bush. They refused to see what we all see: We are at war against and under attack from and afraid of terrorism.
And that is what has to change.
The enemy is not within. The enemy is without.
We don’t fear our fellow Americans. We fear the terrorists who are killing us.
We don’t want to fundamentally change America to survive. We must bring fundamental change — democratic and economic reform — to the Middle East to survive.
The voters see that. Dean and Gore don’t. That’s why the voters rejected Dean (that and the fact that he displayed an unstable personality and immature behavior and a petulant pissiness). But Dean and Gore and Trippi still can’t hear what the voters told them. They still want to tell the voters that the voters must change.