November 8, 2004


Assuming Wrong (Earl Ofari Hutchinson, November 5, 2004, AlterNet)

Liberals and progressives made far too many wrong assumptions about Bush. They assumed that millions were so enraged at Bush for the Iraq debacle, in fear of his possible Supreme Court picks, angered at his corporate tax cut giveaways and the loss of thousands of jobs that they would storm the barricades to get him out. They assumed that spending a fortune on rock the vote drives, mass mailers, anti-Bush Web sites and media blitzes would drive millions of new anti-Bush voters to the polls.

They assumed that African Americans and Latinos were so furious at Bush snubs, assaults on civil rights and civil liberties, and the slash and burn of education and health programs they'd vote unanimously to oust him. They assumed that Bush voters were deluded, misinformed, poorly educated, Christian fundamentalist fanatics or racists. Bush got more votes than any other president in U.S. history, won a majority of states, and topped Kerry in the popular vote.

That wouldn't have happened if these assumptions were right, and they weren't. The number of Latino votes hit record highs in some areas. But their votes as wrongly assumed didn't all go to Kerry. Nearly 40 percent of Latinos voted for Bush, and one-third of them described themselves as born again Christians. Though the black voter turnout was greater this election than in 2000, more than 10 percent of blacks voted for Bush, and in crucial Ohio, it was 20 percent. Many blacks and Latinos were more wary, and distrustful of Kerry, and less hostile toward Bush and more conservative than was assumed.

The majority of Bush voters in the so-called red states were not the stereotypical religious crackpots and racists that progressives delight in painting them. They were white, and increasingly Latino, small business owners, ranchers, farmers, middle class professionals, and suburbanites. They are pro-business, anti-big government, pro-religious and family values.

Imagine how much the urban white elites will hate blacks and Latinos once the latter are majority Republican?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 8, 2004 3:17 PM

Well, liberals HATE racists. And they say you eventually turn into what you hate.

Oops, that would mean I'll have to eventually turn into a liberal. Oh, wait. I don't hate liberals, I feel sorry for them.

Posted by: M. Murcek at November 8, 2004 3:37 PM

You know, at some point we're going to have to stop referring to them as elites. They're not going to have enough power to warrant that title.

Posted by: Brandon at November 8, 2004 3:42 PM

Who are these "progressive" people mentioned above? I believe in progress, in the sense of more or less continual improvement as rational humanity tries out different ways of thinking and acting and select those ways which are better adapted to survival .

Most of those using the name "progressive" seem rooted in maladaptation and failure. Often they are express reactionaries, hearkening back in their dreams to some ancient time before ages when things were so much better.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 8, 2004 3:46 PM

Brandon - It's not the power achieved, but the power desired and fantasized about, that makes an elite.

Posted by: pj at November 8, 2004 4:16 PM