Republican Country Redux

Just after the foul 2004 presidential election, I wondered aloud whether the US was morphing into a bastion of conservatism. Ultimately, I decided that this initial concern of mine was an overreaction.

Perhaps this is not a Republican country after all.

Michael Moore has been saying this for years — scratch the surface of the heartland and you’ll find middle-of-the-roaders whose lives have not been improved by Bush and his cronies. Yet many of them voted Republican. The Democratic Party failed to reach them.

If we want to see positive, progressive change in the US, Liberals must figure out how to win credibility with moderates while battling the Religious Wrong. Additionally, they have to earn the hearts, minds, and trust of those who did not vote — 41 percent of the adult population. Yes, this will be a daunting task. But it just may be the only way to save America from the Bushies — and from itself.

Now, largely right-leaning Vote.com is giving me reason to consider the question again. Here is a snippet of an email that came in the inbox today:

What do the results of Election 2004 mean for America’s future?

Scott Rasmussen, the pollster who got it right on Election Day, says that Republicans now have the potential to control both the House and the Senate for at least a generation. He documents his case in a just released, 130-page, special report-The GOP Generation.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says, “The GOP Generation captures with clarity the dynamics that are propelling this Republican era to staggering new heights.”

Rasmussen says this is “not the result of a single election which the Republicans won by three percentage points. President Bush is in a position to close a sale with American voters that was first proposed by Ronald Reagan a generation ago… Republicans have gained ground in Congress under four of the last five Presidents.”

The report also notes, however, that success for the GOP is far from guaranteed. “Failure in the War on Terror could instantly wipe out all of the advantages that Republicans have built up…The only way that Nancy Pelosi’s party can regain control in the House this decade is if the War on Terror goes poorly under Republican management.

On cultural issues, Rasmussen asserts that “The role of the same-sex marriage issue has been overstated.” However, he adds, “The problems facing Democrats on cultural issues are actually far deeper and broader than is commonly recognized…Sixty-two percent (62%) of American voters believe that American society is generally fair and decent… Liberal Democrats see American society as “unfair and discriminatory.”

I suspect that the US’s fate lies in whether the Left or Right can win the hearts and minds of those in the squishy middle — or, from my vantage point, whether progressives can convince others of the FACT that American law is unfair and discriminatory.

But that is merely my thought. I am interested to know what you think.

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