I do not contemplate that I will convince conservatives to switch from their entrenched position. Nor do I care to preach to the choir of another 30 percent who stubbornly hold to diametrically opposed positions. My desire is to present some personal observations and conclusions hoping to inspire fence-sitters to fall left.
In the 20th Century, Democrats resided in the White House for 48 years; Republicans for 52 years. Most interesting is how the Democratic presidents captured the White House.
- Woodrow Wilson, 1912: Teddy Roosevelt ran a third party opposing his chosen successor, Taft.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1932: Hoover's USA had sunk into the Great Depression. The public was desperate for a change.
- Truman succeeded FDR, who died in office. He was re-elected in 1948.
- John F. Kennedy, 1960: Defeated Nixon in a very close race that many will say was surrounded by concerns of voter fraud in Illinois. Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded Kennedy and was re-elected when opposed by Goldwater, whose conservative philosophy did not mesh with the voting public.
- Jimmy Carter, 1976: Watergate had blackened the Republican Party's reputation. Reagan defeated Carter in 1980 when a third-party candidate provided an option to Carter's very poor administration.
- Bill Clinton, 1992: George H.W. Bush promised "no new taxes," then signed a bill authorizing an increase in the gasoline tax.
The point of recounting the history of Democrats in the White House is to point out that Republicans often lost because they shot themselves in the foot. Whether the echo of the gunfire will continue to November 2008 is anyone's guess.
Here are some of the bullets:
1. The Bush Supreme Court reinstituted Separate But Equal, alienating many blacks who may show up to vote in the next election.
2. Talk radio and television demagogues, darlings of the right, pushed denial of an immigration policy. Hispanic voters who helped elect George W. Bush may have switched loyalty to the Democrats, most of whom, in the Senate, supported the change.
3. Three Republican candidates for president stated that they do not hold to the theory of evolution.
4. The Imperial Presidency returned in force, personified by the vice president who has become known in many circles as "Tricky Dicky II."
5. The 2006 election turnout that put Democrats back in majority control of Congress has had little impact on why the public voted this way.
6. The Bush Administration continued its poor management of the Iraq War, failing to provide the resources for fighting the initial source of terrorism in the U.S. - Afghanistan.
I must admit the Republicans seem to be able to arouse a passion in the electorate that Democrats, except for the Iraq War, have not achieved. When only a slight majority of the electorate votes, that passionate corps can achieve victory. That is not my message, it is that of Karl Rove.
The topics of a progressive agenda contrast with the messages of the conservative agenda:
- A woman's right to choose - Infanticide
- Universal health care - A woman's right to choose her doctor
- Documenting the undocumented - Amnesty for illegals
- Federal support for education - Education is a local matter
- Get out of Iraq - Support our troops
- Protect the environment - Self-sufficiency for energy
Reading the conservative editorials in the Pilot & Today, I have little hope of swaying this group to support more than one of the items in the progressive agenda. My only hope is that those of you on the fence begin to clearly see the road this group is leading you down.
Tucker is a Steamboat Springs resident.