Massachusetts Cop Forum banner

Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

4,210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not to sure who wrote this, my father sent this to me and I thought I'd share.

The media has latched on to a post-election narrative: our nation is deeply
"divided" -- and the President is the main cause of the division. According
to CNN's senior political analyst William Schneider, in the aftermath of
Tuesday's election, the electorate is "more divided than ever." On her
program last night, CNN's Paula Zahn interviewed a guest and said this: "So
you essentially just acknowledged that perhaps you don't think the president
did as much in his first term as he could to unite the country. What will
change this time around? There are a lot of people cynical or pessimistic
that he won't be able to do just that." In today's lead editorial, the New
York Times instructs us, "Mr. Bush could be that leader [one who makes
political sacrifices in order to stake a claim to the "middle ground" of
American politics]. He could be the uniter he promised to be, then failed to
become, four years ago." And at his press conference earlier today, the
President was repeatedly asked about what he was going to do to "bring
people together" and end the partisan divide and divisions in this country.

Let me make several points in response:

1. America is not nearly so divided as some people claim. The results from
the election demonstrate that the nation is not growing more divided; it is
growing more Republican. And the results of this election demonstrate that
the President enlarged the GOP base. To recapitulate some of the facts we
know: in the 2004 election the Republican Party made historic gains with
minority voters and women. Exit polling revealed that President Bush won 44
percent of Hispanics (up from 35 percent in 2000); 11 percent of
African-Americans (up from 9 percent in 2000); 24 percent of Jewish voters
(up from 19 percent in 2000); and 48 percent of women (up from 43 percent in
2000). And just as the Bush campaign predicted, Tuesday was the first time
in modern political history that an equal number of Republicans and
Democrats turned out for a presidential election. The four-point advantage
Democrats enjoyed in 2000 evaporated, with Republicans and Democrats both at
37 percent of the electorate in 2004.

These gains should be understood in a larger context: George W. Bush became
the first presidential candidate to win more than 50 percent of the popular
vote since 1988. He received the most votes by any presidential candidate in
history (more than 59 million). He became the first President reelected
while gaining seats in the House and the Senate since 1936, and the first
Republican President to be reelected with House and Senate majorities since
1924. President Bush received a higher percentage of the popular vote than
any Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. He garnered 8 million more
popular votes than in 2000 ­ more than twice the amount that President
Clinton gained between 1992 and 1996. And he increased his percentage of the
vote from 2000 in 45 out of 50 states.

2. The President is more than willing to reach out to members of the
Democratic Party. He showed as Governor of Texas that he can work well with
those in the opposition party. He showed the same thing in his first term
(the No Child Left Behind bill is an example). And civility and respect have
been hallmarks of his rhetoric. That said, it's important to see things for
what they are. Many of those who insist the President do more to "bridge the
divide" in American politics have another (transparent) motive; they want
the President to implement an agenda different than what he ran on, and won
on. In the aftermath of his strong victory, they want him to govern in a way
that is fundamentally at odds with his campaign commitments. It won't
happen. By now people know enough about this President to know that he says
what he means, and does what he says. And he does not take guidance on his
governing agenda from the editorial page of the New York Times -- which of
course makes our friends at West 43rd Street furious.

Earlier today at his press conference the President made several points that
bear on this discussion:

"I feel it is necessary to move an agenda that I told the American people I
would move. [There is] something refreshing about coming off an election...
you go out and you make your case, and you tell the people, 'This is what I
intend to do.' And after hundreds of speeches and three debates and
interviews and the whole process, where you keep basically saying the same
thing over and over again ...when you win, there is a feeling that the
people have spoken and embraced your point of view. And that's what I intend
to tell the Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the
President... and the people made it clear what they wanted; now let's work
together. ...Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the
campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style.

"Do you remember the No Child Left Behind Act? I think there's the model [of
bipartisanship] I'd look at if I were you... my goal is to work on the ideal
and to reach out and to continue to work and find common ground on issues.

"I'll try to get our bills passed... because results really do matter, as
far as I'm concerned. I really didn't come here to hold the office just to
say, gosh, it was fun to serve. I came here to get some things done, and we
are doing it.

"I readily concede I've laid out some very difficult issues for people to
deal with. Reforming the Social Security system for generations to come is a
difficult issue; otherwise, it would have already been done. But it is
necessary to confront it. And I would hope to be able to work with Democrats
to get this done. ...And I will remind everybody here that we have a duty to
leave behind a better America, and when we see a problem, to deal with it.
And I think Democrats agree with that. ...I am fully prepared to work with
both Republican and Democrat leadership to advance an agenda that I think
makes a big difference for the country.

3. This issue of division in America is not only vastly overstated; it is
also intellectually sloppy. Comity in politics is better than rancor; but
often the greatest advances in politics and human dignity come about only
after spirited, and even contentious, political debate. Those who wanted to
end slavery and segregation were "divisive" -- at least if you were a
slaveowner in the 19th century or a bigot in the 20th century. Many American
liberals and Europeans considered Ronald Reagan to be a divisive figure
because of his commitment to advance liberty and defeat Communism. Many
Labour Party members considered Prime Minister Thatcher to be a divisive
figure because she was determined to rescue the United Kingdom from its
torpor in the 1970s. And Winston Churchill was a deeply divisive figure in
England in the 1930s, when he was warning about the Nazi menace. The list
goes on and on.

At the end of the day, successful political leaders are not judged by
whether or not they are "polarizing." FDR and Reagan were; so were Churchill
and Thatcher -- and all four belong in the pantheon of great 20th century
leaders. Heads of government are ultimately judged on how well they govern;
on the wisdom of their decisions; on the good they do; on the legacy they
leave; and on the principles for which they stood and fought. By that
criteria, I believe history will judge President Bush very favorably indeed.
His countrymen already have.

4. Many critics of the President use Prime Minister Blair as an example of
what they wish the President were like. Prime Minister Blair, it is said, is
more diplomatic, less "arrogant," and less of a "cowboy" than President
Bush. I believe this view is simplistic and false, but for the sake of the
argument, let us assume it to be true. The fact is that Prime Minister
Blair, for all his virtues, is at least as polarizing and divisive a figure
in the United Kingdom as President Bush is in America. Prime Minister Blair
is reviled by many in his own country, and in Europe, for a single reason:
he (courageously) supported the liberation of Iraq. Prime Minister Blair
agitated some people because of the decisions he made, not the process by
which he made them. To put it another way: if President Bush and Prime
Minister Blair had held many more meetings with their critics in the Oval
Office or at 10 Downing Street, it would have made almost no difference.
Those who hate Prime Minister Blair and President Bush would still hate
them, even if they had been consulted more often and more earnestly.

I am all for civility in politics, and I hope our nation can become more
united. That is the hope of every party in power, and the President will
take steps toward that good end. But at the end of the day, I am not one of
those who believes that if Michael Moore and George Soros are angry, it is
the fault of President Bush. Nor do I accept the proposition that so long as
Mr. Moore and Mr. Soros are angry, America is "divided."

------ End

4,172 Posts
When the boss at Fox News fired Paula Zahn, his comment was "...I could get a larger audience if I put a dead racoon in the chair..."! :shock:(so every time the "Fox and Friends" guys mention her, they have a stuffed racoon on the set!) Nuff said, especially about the Communist News Network... 8)
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Not open for further replies.