Thursday, September 16, 2004

What's in a Name and Do You Need One to Win?

Can we judge a potential President by the loyalty of his followers?

Lincoln had his staunch followers, tons of Americans loved FDR and of course there was the “I like Ike’ crowd…
But the named –fiercely loyal followers -were born in 1981 with the “Reaganites” (and Reagan Democrats/Reagancrats). Eight [glorious] years later came the Bushies –they were for Bush Sr. originally, but their ranks have grown and intensified for Dubya…The New Bushies if you will. Then (in the stained dress portion of US history) there were/and are the Clintonistas (referred to by the right as “Clinton Kool Aid Drinkers")…the inventors of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. The 2003 Primaries brought on the Deaniacs. They loved Dean (enthusiasm that came close to the Clintonian worship of the 90's) –Tons of kids were donating money from their student loan refunds and getting involved in a system they had never cared about…they truly were Deaniacs. I will never understand why they all caved at the last minute and went with the Melting Candle…

With 47 days until the General election –there is still no name for the Bush haters that are voting for John Kerry. Us Bushies will sometimes refer to them as the “Kerryites” or “Kerry Kool Aid drinkers”, but that’s just because they have no official name –so we are forced to borrow other people’s… I don’t really believe there are Kerry Kool Aid Drinkers, and (besides TWD) have never met anyone that will argue passionately FOR Kerry –they will argue to the death AGAINST Bush, but not for Kerry (and remember, I live in Philly so I am the lone Republican). But then it hit me…they do have a name, they are the “Anybody-but-Bushies”… Just like Dole was the “Please-defeat-the-Clintonistas”…and we see how far that got him!

So is it the cool name or the loyal followers behind that name that wins elections? This election could be a good sociology experiment for our nation. Can you win an election with hate (we couldn’t in ’96)? Can you have no message, no plan (besides ‘anything you can do, I can do better’), no solid position and no charisma and still win –just because your voters loathe your opponent? Can you win without a ‘name’ and the followers that adopt that name? Will the ‘Anybody-but-Bushies’ pull it off? Only 36% of Kerry voters are voting FOR Kerry –whereas 83% of Bushies are voting FOR Bush…will loyalty and belief lose to hatred and revenge? Will Kerry suffer the same fate as Dole –solidly proving once and for all that hate can’t win an election? I think this is a fascinating social trial.

Republicans learned two important lessons (the hard way) in 1996… That voter’s don’t care about what happened in any war that ended more than two decades ago and that hate for one candidate with no enthusiasm for the other won’t defeat an incumbent…this was the case when Dole (decorated WWII vet who was truly injured for his Purple Hearts) lost to the much-hated-by-the-Right Clinton (Vietnam draft dodger). Watching the handling of Kerry’s current campaign, it would seem that his team didn’t learn either lesson from Dole’s defeat.

I would hope that hate can’t win an election and that a candidate that can’t inspire the constituents –wouldn’t end up in the White House. I guess we will find out in November…


riceburner147 said...

great post, you are almost as insightful as I am.....haha

Bigandmean said...

I've never understood why some democrats actually hate President Bush, but they apparently do.

My guess is that it's caused by the resentment and frustration of losing a close election along with the prospect of losing the next one. Add to that the loss of control of the senate, house and most governorships and the hard feelings are understandable.

But Hate? I just don't get it. I never respected Clinton but remained loyal to him in the sense that he was my president. I never respected Gore but would have gone on with my life had he won without without the hatred exhibited by many of his supporters for Bush.

I don't want to argue the point. I just want to understand. Can somebody explain it to me?

redleg said...


one correction... Dole was an Infantry Lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Division in WWII in Italy. Seriously wounded in the mountain fighting there in 1944. I think he only got one purple heart and a lot of hospital time.

ALa said...

redleg...Thanks for pointing that out!...I knew it was WWII, but I guess I have Vietnam on the brain lately...LOL He won a Bronze star (w/oak leaf cluster) and two Purple Hearts.

leftyjones said...

I'm not sure that you are being fair to the concept of "hate" winning an election. There are certainly some cases worth presenting where "hate" would have been an attractive option as opposed to keeping the status quo.
What if the Germans didn't necessarily have an opposing candidate they loved but they collectively hated Hitler enough to get rid of him?
I'd support that option.
What if the Russians could have hated Lenin or Stalin enough to depose them even if the opposition didn't seem a spectacular choice?
Might still have been well worth it.
What if the Iraqi people could have voted Sadaam Hussein out of office simply based on a platform of hating him while not necessarily loving any other candidate?
We would have thought that to be a smart option.
Now, mind you, I'm only answering your comment, I'm not insinuating that I don't like Kerry or that I think this election is based on hating Bush.
But I do think there are times that the devil that you DO so bad, that you are willing to try someone else simply based on the thinking that they may not be any more competent...but they at least may not be incompetent AND horrible.

ALa said...

lefty- that is the essence of the question...can 'opposition' to one candidate with no fervor for the other win an election...?

(I don't think you want to step into the Michael Moorish world of comparing Bush to Hitler and you? Maybe I misread...It was, in fact, the Soviet Union that would routinely use FORGED DOCUMENTS to take down political opposition before the wall came down --it's not the Republicans that borrowed that play book...)

riceburner147 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
riceburner147 said...

As far as nanes go:

Johhny Ketchup seedites
You will never ketchupites
Keep your chin upites

how about some help here ?