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Attack on the home front
By Bruce Walker
Liberals and Democrats have long held a secret and vicious desire: they want misery to increase. As old socialists used to say "The worse, the better." Conservatives, who desire to live their own lives rather than to live vicariously through the suffering and dependence of others, simply cannot easily understand this bitter sentiment.
Today liberal Democrats get up every morning hoping to see blood and agony in Asia along with fear and angst at home. War and Depression have ever been the best friends of liberals, who get misty eyed thinking about the regimentation of public life during the Second World War and the failed, but popular, New Deal era.
While conservatives have grappled with this for many decades, the best response to date has been the cheery optimism of Ronald Reagan. The sad sack countenance of Jimmy Carter and pathetic seriousness of Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis were so sharply in contrast to the twelve years of Republican presidential confidence that not even our domestic Pravda, Izvestia, and Tass could save Democrats from themselves.
Clinton learned from these lessons, and presented a happy-go-lucky fellow from the Ozarks who cared for the little guy. His willingness to do anything for power and fame, combined with a president that the mainstream press could play slow pitch girls' softball with glee allowed a couple as remote from real America as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette from pre-Revolutionary France to glide through eight years of nothingness and present it as activity and progress.
Conservatives now openly express concern that a slow economy will cost Republicans control of Congress in November 2002. If conservatives and Republicans follow the same game plan as over the last fifty years, then that may happen. But there is a much brighter picture, if the President is willing to be as bold and direct as he has shown on in the war on terrorism.
We must understand that some very important dynamics have changed in the last few years. Liberals must gnash their teeth every time a new public opinion poll comes out. President Bush's job approval rating has remained very high longer than any president in modern history, but there are two more important and less conspicuous stories from the polling data.
Personal approval for George W. Bush has been high or very high since this question was originally routinely asked in May of 1998. The clear majority of Americans have shown in every poll taken for the last three and a half years that they genuinely like and admire George W. Bush, the man.
No one on either side is talking about this much, but it is a very big story. President Bush may well be the most personally popular president in American history. He is more popular, as a person, than either FDR or Ronald Reagan. Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower are the only two men who have been as uniformly liked by the average American. These are also the only two men who could, if they had chosen, have been routinely re-elected to the Presidency without war or other national crisis.
The second hidden story of public opinion polls is that the atmospheric job approval ratings of the President were preceded by eight months of strong public approval for his Presidency. The devious liberal notion that somehow President Bush "proved" himself after September 11th was true only in their own narrow minds. He had proved himself in the minds of most Americans before the attack on our country.
"A mile wide, but an inch deep" is the wishful thinking of liberal pundits when they talk about President Bush's popularity. In fact, the combination of this exceptional son of a good president is so sharply in contrast to the vain pomp and self-importance of Clinton and his gang, that the President's support is both broad and deep.
Think about the salient fact in liberal critiques of George W. Bush: they always, always, always underestimate him. Today he is not like Bill Clinton, basking in some unmerited warm because of a lunatic's attack on the Murrah Building or perverse sympathy for the public exposure of his perversion. President Bush's popularity is akin to what Teddy Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower would have had if they had been in office on December 7, 1941: wide, intense, and permanent support.
The popularity of President Bush would not hold such devastating promise for us if it was not joined by another powerful emotion: public revulsion for the leftist pseudo-intelligentsia and the regal overlords of the mainstream liberal information corporations. Has the "news media" ever been held in lower esteem than today? Perhaps not.
The explosion of conservative sources of news and analysis has exposed with shocking clarity that the emperor not only has no clothes, but that the emperor is flabby, old, and clumsy. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Michael Reagan, our illustrious editor Steve Martinovich, and dozens of other tough, hungry, and quick veterans of the Left's ideological jihads are insuring that our neighbors and acquaintances get a good look inside the perfumed, gaudy salons of these guardians of the Ancien Regime.
Bernard Goldberg's new blockbuster about media bias, Dan Rather's comical myopia of liberal Democrat Gary Condit, Leftist media dithering about whether Bush is worse than bin Ladin, and the slow drip of incompetence, arrogance, and indifference of Clinton are putting these spoiled brats of the Left on the defensive for the first time in their lives.
Now is the time for President Bush to strike. The good guys, as we have shown in Iraq and Afghanistan, are much stronger than the bad guys pretend that they are. So it is in America today. Even liberals do not really believe their lies anymore; they rather cling to lies, because they are rooted in nothing else.
What should the President do? He should point out that he has waited and that he has been patient. The nation and the world have seen that the President gives every man a fair chance to do what is right. He is rightly perceived as patient and reasonable. Then the President should land a couple of haymakers.
First, President Bush should proclaim loud and often than liberals and Democrats want America to slip into a recession or worse, and that Tom Daschle and Hillary! dream of soup lines and smiling.
The President should point out that Democrats have run things way too long. The supercilious "reason" for Jim Jeffords leaving the Republican Party was that the nation could not be entrusted to the hands of one political party - like the four years of the Carter Presidency or the first two years of the Clinton Presidency? The President should say that giving his political party two years of actually implementing changes is what he needs and what he asks for from the nation. If this means conservative Democrats switching parties, fine. If it means Republican victories in November 2002, fine too.
President Bush should explain that he has tried bipartisanship, and that it does not work with these Democrats. This sounds like a gamble, but the same public opinion polls that show the President very popular also show Republicans strongly favored in generic House elections - something almost unprecedented in the last thirty years.
Second, the President should add his voice to the growing chorus of people disgusted by the anti-American radicalism of the liberal news media and academia. Ask publicly why CBS News did not mention Gary Condit for months and why none of the big liberal media mentioned he was a Democrat. Ask why the liberal media feels a need to "balance" the American government with international gangsters and liars.
He should point out that these new "Malefactors of Great Wealth" try to keep conservative and independent voices quiet or even crushed. Ask Americans why Fox News is the hardest news station to find, even though it is the most popular where it is found. Ask why, when CBS, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, Washington Post, New York Times, and other rich and powerful corporations all sound just the same.
Point out a twenty or so egregious examples of anti-Americanism in academia and then ask why Americans must hear this from the President, instead of the guardian press, and why taxpayers are funding those who hate them.
How should this be presented to the nation? In an early State of the Union Address. The Constitution does not say when the President gives this address, and there is every reason for giving one now. The President should then present a very simple economic stimulus plan, a very simple plan for ending media bias, and a very simple plan for cleaning up the muck in academia. And he should ask Americans to call their congressmen, their senators, their television, radio, and cable systems, and demand these actions be undertaken within one week.
Then, the President should point to the special problem of the Senate.
He must make clear that it is not an up or down vote he fears, but constant
and endless delays. President Bush can get the House of Representatives
to pass all he needs fairly quickly, and he should say that if Senate
Democrats dither to prevent votes on presidential appointments, votes
on essential legislation, or similar matters, then he will exercise his
constitutional power to dismiss the Senate.
American military forces in Afghanistan have proven that the bad guys are hollow shells and that the good guys are the real tough guys in this world. Now is the time for the President to attack, attack, and attack.
Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
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