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Jewish World Review Dec. 8, 2000 /12 Kislev, 5761

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas
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What happens next? --
AT THE END of our "long national nightmare'' election, what next? If George W. Bush is declared by a court to be the legitimate winner -- the elected authorities in Florida are not legitimate in the eyes of Democrats and most of the media - what might we expect?

One thing we should not expect is bipartisanship, at least not from Congressional Democrats. There's a lot of phony talk about "fairness'' from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and other Al Gore partisans. They want equal representation on Senate committees because of the 50-50 split between parties. That ploy was initially rejected when Senate Republicans named a conservative leadership team to preside over the next Senate, but appeals from Democrats for "cooperation'' won't cease. Such calls for cooperation and power-sharing are simply means to the end of eventual control. When Democrats win power outright in Washington, they abandon all notions of fairness, bipartisanship and coalitions.

This is the culture of Washington. Republicans want to be liked, even praised by the liberal political and media establishment, so when they win they fall for the line about getting along and how the public doesn't like to see our leaders fighting. But when Democrats win, they regard power not as something to be shared, but as something to be used to enact their agenda. And, unlike timid Republicans, they do have an agenda and they stick with it.

Republicans play Charlie Brown while Democrats play Lucy. Charlie Brown Republicans believe that this time Lucy won't pull the football away and they won't land on their kiesters. But Lucy always pulls the ball away. It's her nature.

Republicans promote individual initiative, but Democrats win more votes by trolling for victims. Human nature dictates there will always be more political fish in that sea. Republicans see government as a safety net. Democrats see government as a roof under which they'll provide everything else.

Republicans think government should be on the fringes of life. Democrats see government at the center of life -- in some cases, life itself. Republicans want people not to ask what their government can do for them, but what they can do for themselves if they're allowed to keep more of the money they earn and the power inherent in the phrase, "we the people.'' Democrats want people to rely on government, believing they are unable to do much without it. They are unable to do much with it but Democrats don't want you to know that.

Democrats think people are a problem, so they want to abort large numbers of them, indoctrinate those who are allowed to live in schools run only by people who believe as they do, regulate the cars we drive and nearly everything else, tax success and subsidize failure. Republicans think that liberty is a wonderful idea and that people will make decisions that mostly benefit themselves and others if they have the widest possible freedom to do so.

Democrats see themselves as having more caring hearts than Republicans, whom they regard as having no heart because they don't agree with Democrats. Republicans want to be told that they have a heart, rather than argue for the correctness of their ideas, and so they too often let Democrats take their pulse. When Democrats tell them they are heartless, Republicans fret and try to prove they are not by adopting the Democrat agenda.

Should George W. Bush take the oath of office on January 20, he will parachute into the midst of these opposing ways of thinking and doing. He can labor mightily to be a "uniter, not a divider,'' but in Washington, unlike Austin, he will pay a price. Or he can attempt, as Ronald Reagan did, to go over the heads of Congress and appeal directly to the people for support.

Democrats will be happy to praise Bush for being a "compassionate conservative'' so long as he yields to their agenda of more spending for Democrat programs.

The only reason to have power is to use it. In the era of identity politics, George W. Bush will fail if he puts a higher priority on "uniting'' the country than he does in showing why Republican ideas work and Democrat ideas don't. He might even call it vision.

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