Kerry lost. But the real loser in this election was the Democratic Party. Not simply because Republicans retained the presidency and increased their control in the Congress. The Democratic Party lost because in this election cycle the party intensified its move to the extreme left.
In retrospect, Kerry, an extreme liberal, was an appropriate choice for this Democratic Party. Kerry was a “rhinestone war hero,” as my co-author John O’Neill aptly tagged him – not a true Audie Murphy. Moreover, he was a radical war protester who was comfortable meeting with Madame Binh in Paris, one of the communist enemy’s key operatives.
When he returned home, he mixed comfortably in the ranks of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War – with the likes of Al Hubbard, who had lied about being wounded as a combat veteran in Vietnam, and was openly in the leadership of the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice, a communist front organization that even Hanoi saw as their chief ally within the United States.
Yet, open for discussion is whether the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth or various investigative reporters who are on the case will continue to dog Kerry to come clean on whether or not he got a less-than-honorable discharge from the Navy. Still, what is clear is that Kerry’s 20 years in the Senate are a continuation of his anti-war persona. One could almost conclude that Kerry never met an enemy of the United States he didn’t like – or a weapons system that he did like.
At the start of the Democratic Party’s primary season, few thought John Kerry would emerge as the presidential candidate. Still, his choice was consistent with the extreme leftist direction the party had taken. Watch one Michael Moore film and you will recognize a warmed-over activist agenda that has more interest in propaganda value than in truth, more concern for staged confrontation than thoughtful inquiry, more determination to arouse those already convinced than to win over new or thoughtful converts.
Then there was George Soros and MoveOn.org, prime proponents of the politics of a negative attack in which no charge is too extreme, as long as it is launched against God or conservatives.
Yes, this election was about lifestyle choices. The left-wing activists at the heart of the current Democratic Party are not satisfied with having their sexual agenda merely accepted. No. What they want is an in-your-face activism that insists upon the right to validate and propagate their lifestyle choice as equally acceptable alternatives to heterosexual unions.
The left is unconcerned that no society in history has ever before proceeded down this path. To the radical left, that same-sex unions naturally produce no children is simply a minor convenience. This is in sharp contrast to the core Christian majority of America, a conservative group completely adrift in even contemplating the complications that come with a radical sexual agenda. Same-sex divorces? Same-sex child custody? Same-sex support payments? Same-sex visitation rights? Same-sex situation comedies and TV talk shows? Middle America is not ready for same-sex marriages.
This is not the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, a president many still alive credit with saving their homes during the Great Depression – a hero whom our fathers and grandfathers followed in defeating the fascist Axis powers. John Kennedy, virtually a conservative by today’s standards, ran for president arguing to close a “missile gap” with the Soviet Union. Lyndon Johnson saw communism in Southeast Asia as an enemy, a position none of today’s extreme left are prepared to embrace.
In the aftermath of John Kerry’s loss, we are sure to hear the extreme left grumbling, complaining that the only reason they lost was because John Kerry was a weak candidate, a New England patrician and a stiff campaigner who could not connect with the electorate. This criticism conveniently permits the left to avoid the core problem – that their political agenda has more in common with communism or extreme socialism than it does with the values of middle America, that their moral agenda has more in common with an “anything goes” value relativism than it does with traditional belief in God.
In this country, we have never had a successful European-style Social Democrat party. Yet, the extreme left now in control of the Democratic Party appears determined to move in that direction. Americans have had decades of experience with two political parties who fight it out in the center, but we have never tested the proposition that one of those parties might fully embrace the far left – drawing its candidates, its intellectual base, even its financing from advocates who have nothing in common with traditional American heroes.
Yes, American veterans rose up in large numbers against John Kerry. Evangelical Christians saw the threat to their core values and they did come out in surprising numbers to vote against what they saw as Godless alternatives, moral alternatives that to them are unacceptable. Near-term abortions to the silent majority are nothing short of murder. To the extreme left – those who comfortably advocate same-sex marriages – any abortion is simply a matter of choice, a right akin to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This, then, is the true outcome of this election. The center of America – both literally and in terms of values – has rejected John Kerry, himself a radical liberal, the correctly chosen candidate of a social-democratic Democratic Party. If those directing the Democratic Party’s future determine that their only error was to pick a poor candidate, we can look forward to more of the same. Where we proceed from here remains to be seen.
If the Democratic Party continues to abandon the political center in their pursuit of the extreme left, the Republican Party has a rare opportunity. Nature abhors a vacuum. The Republican Party would be well advised to give even more attention to core middle American concerns about jobs, education, family and national security – issues comfortably at home within traditional conservative values, issues that do not require the Republican Party to follow the Democratic Party’s lead by itself moving more to the right.