Jewish World Review Sept. 18, 2000 / 17 Elul, 5760
It's the liberalism, stupid
GEORGE BUSH'S biggest problem is not Al Gore, but voter complacency
stemming from our prosperity. Bush must remind voters why this election
is vitally important.
I am not knocking prosperity. In fact, one of the best ways Bush can
distinguish himself from Gore is to show how his domestic agenda will
preserve economic growth. Because Gore misunderstands the source of our
prosperity, he will squander it as surely as a teenager would throw away
an inherited fortune.
Gore fails to grasp the wisdom of the proverb, "Prosperity is
something the businessman created for politicians to take credit for."
Ronald Reagan understood it, which is why he invested every fiber of his
being (not otherwise committed to defeating the Soviet Union) to
reducing the government's smothering effect on America's entrepreneurial
spirit. Bush understands it, too, but he isn't emphasizing it enough.
Gore apparently believes that the government creates wealth, so he
sees no risk in expanding the federal government even further. By
devising novel uses for the projected budget surpluses instead of
accepting them as evidence of over-taxation, he has unmasked his vision
for America. Unhappily, that vision is incompatible with the American
dream, which champions individual liberty over cradle-to-grave security.
This election represents a crossroads for America because Gore is
seeking a mandate for collectivism over individualism, victimhood over
responsibility, mediocrity over excellence, statism over capitalism and
liberalism over conservatism.
Bush needs to focus Gore's liberalism in his campaign sights and
begin firing from now until Election Day. If Bush doesn't highlight the
fundamental contrasts between himself and his opponent, no one else will
While I do not share the pessimism of some of my conservative
colleagues about Bush's prospects, I think he would enhance his
likelihood of victory by throwing caution to the wind. He should reject
the conventional wisdom that politicians can't walk and chew gum at the
same time -- that he must choose between policy issues and character
issues. He must use every arrow in his quiver. He has an overwhelming
advantage in both categories, and it would be foolish to sacrifice
either avenue of attack.
The public is still more conservative than it is liberal. If it's
moderation the swing voters want, Bush is much less extreme a
conservative than Gore is a liberal. Do you think that a majority of
Americans enthusiastically endorse partial-birth abortion like Gore? Do
you think they want gay Scout leaders forced upon their children? Do
they want their children trapped in failed public schools? Do they want
socialized health care? Do they want to penalize achievement? Do they
want to segregate the races? Do they want to dilute the distinct
American culture? Do they want an America powerless to protect itself
against foreign aggression and defenseless against nuclear missile
During the debates, George Bush might ask Al Gore these questions:
Liberalism, when exposed, can still be defeated, so Bush
shouldn't be afraid to make it the
- Just what part of the American dream do you believe in?
- When you say that you represent the people, not the powerful, are
you saying it is wrong for people to strive to get ahead? Should they be
punished if they do?
- Do you want to use the tax code to eliminate rewards and risks
from our society? To chop off the invisible hand of the market?
- Do you believe it is healthy for our leaders to be pitting people
against people on the basis of envy and greed?
- Do you realize that the business interests you demonize are
largely responsible for the creation of the wealth you seem so intent on
redistributing -- and ultimately destroying?
- What part of Martin Luther King's dream do you believe in?
- Do you believe people should be judged on the content of their
character rather than the color of their skin? Does that include your
Secret Service detail, by the way?
- Do you believe that "powerful" politicians such as yourself and
Bill Clinton should be accountable for their misconduct, or should they
be excused on the basis of phony campaign promises?
- Are you committed to American sovereignty, or is it less
important to you than your devotion to environmental causes?
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09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?
© 2000, CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.