Fear and Doubt in Democratic Politics
Fearful reflections and tactics have been used to justify many a law. While all politicians can easily get into fear and doubt in an often-scary world, the Democrats are clearly obsessed with the unknown. Fear is commonly reflected in their explanations of policy, in their reasoning and deductive thinking and in their campaigning. If you doubt this, simply look at the latest Democratic explanation of a politically-visible topic like welfare reform, while watching the words and logic used. Capitalizing on lack, fear and wishful thinking is safest way to a shorter argument in the minds of many. Fear is normally used as a powerful tool of motivation or as a means to apply pressure to any given situation. The election has proven to be similar. Fear technique has been used aggressively by the Clinton campaign. Read the website policy on hand and you see the justification of fear tactics for topics that have changed little in thirty years. Even the figures used for the disadvantaged have changed little. The focus of the Obama campaign is on grass roots support, topical planning and inspiration. The figures presented aren’t necessarily better, just different.
The ‘spirit of fear’ is prevalent in many Democratic delegates as well. Yet, many strong-hearted delegates refuse to give in to expedience, instead considering their action as service to other Americans. Some delegates consider the overall popular vote as the most important expression of their purpose. A fancy tea party is out of the question. Some delegates have fearfully pleaded for intervention, being uncertain what could be done in a race with two candidates who engender so much support. The words “lack” and “perplex” are constantly used by the press in this tough campaign. The reflection seems fairly accurate for the Clinton campaign and some of the undecided delegates. Rough campaign tactics have been presented as the norm, but have not had the desired effect. Statesmanship has been all but forgotten as a measuring stick by many Democrats. Does the nation prefer a president throwing tantrums and hollering passionately using hazy reason or someone that thinks clearly and is able to engender support for common ideas and solutions? This is precisely what Democrats are deciding among themselves today. Their decision will put the winning candidate against Republican John McCain.
Politicians like expediency and ease. “It would be nice to find a way to wrap it up,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who has not committed to either candidate. That reality appears unlikely because the Democratic election campaign doesn’t fit within the parameters of convenience. The Democrat voting issues in Florida and Michigan has muddied the waters further as the talk of brokered deals continues to resurface. Hand-wringing is plentiful for a situation that works against all fairness.
What about the old-fashioned idea of commitment and belief in the best candidate using fairness and honesty? Some folks don’t see a problem. In their mind, the process has been inherently fair and healthy. Others are calling on both campaigns to cool their heels against each other by toning down the rhetoric because of fears that this approach could hurt the Democratic strength against the Republicans. The present approach of the Clinton campaign doesn’t make the idea of change likely. Pride runs high and electricity fills the air. The Pennsylvania primary clearly holds out the promise of some exciting political exchanges unless something more newsworthy takes precedence. Americans are often easy to distract. Whether controversy among the Democrats is healthy or unhealthy remains undecided.