Kerry’s Sham Populism

When Howard Dean left Vermont to take his quasi-socialist message across America, with the exception of his core cadre of college students, Americans didn’t respond. In an “I know what’s better for you than you do” message, Dr. Dean prescribed Green Mountain utopianism, a product of Massachusetts mega-money and Vermont’s isolated rural geography, to alleviate America and American’s ills. We said, “No thanks” long before he discharged his primal “Yaaaarrrrr!”

But wasn’t Dean promising no more war, subservience to international law, an end to our dependency on oil, universal healthcare, a trade policy protecting American jobs, a so-called “living wage” and other seemingly-desirable schemes? Admittedly he was, but Americans have seen what pledges of new deals, great societies, and a kinder, gentler nation really mean-foreign policy impotence, budget nightmares, and economic un-competitiveness resulting in national insecurity.

Now John Kerry and John Edwards, albeit having flipped and flopped for awhile, have picked up where Dean left off. They now say we are engaged in the “wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time,” that we have spurned the international community, that too many Americans can’t afford healthcare, and that the “good jobs” are leaving the country… all because of President George W. Bush. And thus for these reasons, in Kerry and Edwards’s Two Americas, they are the us and Bush is the them. Bush, they say in union labor halls and rural Appalachian towns, is the fortunate son of an aristocratic political dynasty, while they represent the true America.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Nevermind that Kerry is the male equivalent of a “trophy wife” to a billionaire heiress, and never mind that Edwards has accumulated millions as a trial lawyer, in that shameful business of fleecing others for maximum profit. Bush is no pauper either, though for some reason he comes across as an amiable, regular old guy-someone who fits with the beer-and-pretzel crowd-while Kerry seems proud, pompous and condescending, like the proverbial Frenchman sipping wine and ingesting brie on toast. The truth is, the divided country of us and them is a phantom; there is only one America.

Some Americans don’t understand this, and are in fact told the very opposite in a ploy of sham populism and opportunism orchestrated by the Democratic Party-the conductors: John Kerry and John Edwards. In response to a necessary and vital, albeit bloody war, and an unavoidable recession coupled with a lackluster recovery, they tell us (not them) that our government should be less involved in the world and more involved in our lives. They want, in short, an America that, using my previous analogy, would be more like France: A big-talking do-nothing in world affairs, and a burgeoning socialist bureaucratic giant at home. Then our problems would really begin to disappear.

This is predictable and sophistic jargon, yet by sowing the seeds and preaching the politics of division, Kerry and Edwards have found an audience: the disaffected, the disappointed, and the disbelieves in America. Theirs is an essentially negative message, thus, for those of us who remain positive about this great country, it lands on deaf ears. We don’t need their us and them attitude; we need an expression of national purpose. This, we hear nearly every day, from our president, George W. Bush.