Monday, January 19, 2004


I'm in the process of changing jobs and moving to Houston. While cleaning out my old sent emails (all 3000+ of them) I came across one that I had written to the Bush campaign over Labor Day weekend 2000 that I thought you might enjoy:

Unsolicited Campaign Strategy from a Republican

Dear Sirs,

I am becoming increasingly dismayed at your campaign.

Your message is too general - it sounds like more political double talk.

I have NEVER voted for a Democratic candidate at any level, yet you have me wondering what difference it makes whether I vote for Bush or Gore (and I have an enormous DISTASTE for Gore dating back to his days in the Senate).

Map out YOUR plan and for heaven's sake take the offensive. You let Gore and Lieberman lay out all of this BS as though they are the VIRTUOUS HIGH MINDED SAVIORS OF THE COUNTRY while Bush and Cheney are all about handing the country over to the rich to pollute and abuse as they see fit. HOGWASH!

Why don't you point out the pollution problems of the Sugar industry in Florida (big Clinton/Gore supporters) or, better still, the pollution problems of the mine that (if I'm not mistaken) is on the Gore family property. I didn't read this stuff in National Review, I read in Harper's just this summer - why don't I see it in campaign discussion (I mean, if Dick Cheney's compensation at Halliburton is news, then certainly documentation of the environmental record of the past Administration should be). He is the one that has staked out the environmental/moral high ground for himself - use it against him. It is not dirty politics to point out that your opponent talks out of both sides of his mouth.

Gore wants to pump more money into a seriously flawed Social Security system. Point out to the electorate that budget surpluses are a VERY recent occurrence and that not that long ago we had to bail-out the system to keep it going. Social Security was not originally designed to be a Federal Retirement system - REFORM the thing, CHANGE it so much that it can't ever be changed back. Demonstrate to the Country how much it would help the middle class to have a part of that money to invest on its own. Paint Gore as he really is - SAME OLD THING.

Make Campaign Reform an issue, come out for term limits. Believe me, there are a whole lot of people in this country who are dying to get involved - they just don't see much coming out of the campaign that energizes them (why do you think that John McCain stirred up so much excitement - he spoke frankly about things and didn't appear so status quo). Make an issue of all of the Hollywood ties to the Democrats and the kind of liberal agenda being pushed...also the Gore reversal on Tipper's Crusade once he became a part of the ticket.

Stop playing the game Gore's way, a little pandering here, a little dole there, don't upset this group, let's not be controversial! Stir things up.

If you think I've missed the message of the campaign, then that should tell you something. I watched the Republican National Convention and read the paper every day, desperately searching for some sign of taking the fight to Al Bore. I can't believe that he actually has a chance of becoming President (Ugh!).

This Labor Day I am re-reading a biography of Barry Goldwater. As I read the accounts of his campaign in 1964, I was once again struck by the man's steadfast determination not to compromise his vision for the country. Yes, he was crucified by a hostile media, division within the party, and the ruthless LBJ machine; but his cause changed the political landscape in America. Clinton/Gore was a thinly veiled return the "anything for a win" politics of Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon and without an economic crisis to awaken them and no LEADER to blaze a new path, the fat and happy American electorate will turn a blind eye to all the graft and sleaze and let the country slide down for another four years.

You are deserting your base - the Conservatives. Not the RELIGIOUS RIGHT, but the Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan Conservative Republicans and Democrats. You've got to get these people mobilized...it takes more than money...it takes LEADERSHIP AND A MESSAGE.

People, I had my 64 year old grandmother convinced (I was sixteen) to support Ronald Reagan in 1976, if he had gotten the nomination, and she had never voted for a Republican candidate in her life. The Democrats, of course, had convinced her over the years that the Republicans would take away her Social Security check if they ever got into power. I was energized by that campaign and had a conviction born of shared ideology. Where is the message in this campaign to get me involved? Compassionate Conservatism? What does that mean - that we Conservatives were not compassionate before? It doesn't mean anything and that's why nobody is excited.



Before 9/11 it didn't make much difference whether Bush or Gore had won - over the intervening two and a half years the difference has become strikingly clear.

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