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The phony fifty-fifty split
By Bruce Walker
How many times have we heard it? "America is so evenly divided that this election could go either way." The implication is that America is evenly divided on what direction the nation should head and what values the nation should cherish. There is no evidence that Americans are divided, but rather deceived.
Has John Kerry or John Edwards ever even claimed to be liberals? Or have they rather condemned the putative "far right wing" that President Bush supposedly represents? The "evenly split" nation is a boogeyman which the Left always raises when it is out of power or about to lose elections.
Clinton, of course, never got a majority of the popular vote and the two candidates to the right of Clinton did get a majority. Since the end of the Second World War, the Democrat candidate for President has gotten a majority of all the ballots cast precisely once -- in 1964 -- a year after John Kennedy was assassinated.
More to the point, candidates to the Right of the Democrat candidate received landslide percentages of the popular vote in 1952, 1956, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992. Candidates to the Right of the Democrat candidate received a majority of the popular vote also in 1960 and 1996.
Small wonder that Hillary Clinton was so troubled about a "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"- the "conspiracy" included most of the American population: that is some "conspiracy" isn't it! As I have noted in a number of articles, about sixty percent of the American people either consider themselves "conservative" or "very conservative" while about only thirty-five percent of Americans consider themselves "liberal" or "very liberal."
Why, then, is the most liberal member of the United States Senate, who has selected the third most liberal member of the United States Senate as his running mate, even on the charts at this point in the election? The establishments elites have made it their business to hide who the identity these particular two johns.
So the surreal comedy of john Kerry railing against deficits or john Edwards standing up for the common man go unchallenged in the seamy, steamy scene that is uncut Leftism. Neither john could be called conservative (as most Americans define themselves) or moderate or even simply "liberal."
Voting ratings by ideological organizations are intended to be objective. They are compiled over the a period of time during which the importance of a particular legislator does not matter - the votes matter. These are two liberals who out-liberal even other liberals. What makes this more amazing is that john Edwards comes from a conservative state.
The battle in the next three months, then, will not be over issues - both johns will run as "moderates" and try to paint President Bush and Vice President Cheney as "extremists" - but will rather be whether the truth about the ideological of these two johns can be exposed as simply very liberal.
The task may be much simpler than pundits presume. Zell Miller is reflexively called by establishment elites a very conservative politician. That is simply absurd, and people in Georgia and neighboring North Carolina and Florida know it is absurd. Miller was a leader of the "centrist" branch of the Democrat Party that nominated Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and Gore in 2000. Zell campaigned throughout the South in the last three presidential elections for Clinton and Gore. How can Edwards explain away Miller's support for Bush?
If Miller was a loyal, centrist Democrat in the last three elections, Ed Koch has been a very liberal Democrat his whole life. He supports the reelection of President Bush. Is Koch part of the VRWC? No, Koch is an honest and unapologetic liberal on domestic issues, but very concerned about the craven surrender of his party to terrorism.
John McCain has been repeatedly praised by Democrats as not being an "over the top conservative." Kerry has even offered the Vice Presidency to McCain. Yet John McCain is supporting President Bush. So are self-styled liberal or moderate Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani and Colin Powell.
Here is a question which may answer who will win the battle to describe the other candidate ticket as Left or Right: Is there a single prominent Republican politician who is supporting Kerry-Edwards? Is there a single recognized conservative leader who is supporting Kerry-Edwards? No, there is not. Why? Because American is not divided evenly between conservative and liberal voters. It is overwhelmingly conservative. Once the true Kerry and the true Edwards are known -- and they cannot hide for three months -- then the election is over.
Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
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