A liberal friend of mine who is genuinely fond of me is quite concerned that I’ve gone around the bend. Because I think the Republicans are now the better choice than the Democrats, he’s worried that I’ve become a groupie. When I press him, though, for ways in which the Democrats will be better than the Republicans, he’s unable to provide specifics. Instead, I hear that the Democrats have more “intellectuals” so that they have “more ideas” and a “better understanding of things.” I also hear that George Bush is “stupid, just totally stupid. He didn’t even know why he ran for President. Even his father said I didn’t talk to him, I just let him make up his own mind.” But while Bush is merely stupid, Rumsfeld is genuinely “evil.” I wonder if these opinions have any relation to this, which I know my friend receives.
Here’s the thing. This person really does care about me and really is worried about my political right turn. I’ve been wrong before (heck, right now I think I was wrong to cling to the Democratic party so long). Also, I’m malleable. As DQ knows, if you make an argument that appeals to me, I will change my mind. So, to any liberal readers, I’d like you to convince me that I’ve made a mistake here. It has to be a cogent argument, free of conclusory insults. I’d like you to address the following topics, taking into account the side issues I’ve raised:
How will the Democrats, if elected, be better for the economy? Please take into account the booming economy we’re experiencing now, as well as the big increase the government has seen in tax revenues.
How will the Democrats, if elected, be better at dealing with North Korea? If you recommend the previously used tactic of seeing Jong Il’s recent explosions as ill-phrased requests for Western aid, and you advocate a return to the Clinton/Carter policy of responding to his threats with material assistance, please explain why you expect a different outcome from that which we’re seeing here.
How will the Democrats, if elected, be better at dealing with the War in Iraq? If you speak in terms of phased withdrawal, explain why your position will be different from or better than the Republican position. If you speak in terms of immediate withdrawal, please explain (a) what your plans are if Iraq becomes Somalia-esque and (b) whether you anticipate that radicalized Muslims will view this as a weakness making America even more ripe for direct attack.
How will the Democrats, if elected, be better at dealing with the Iran? I have the same question here I had for North Korea: if you believe we should continue to support the EU position of endless negotiation backed up with material treats, why do you think that will create an different outcome from the threatening situation we’re seeing now.
How will the Democrats, if elected, be better at dealing with terrorism generally? This is an open ended question, but be sure to explain your answers. I don’t want this phrased in terms of “Bush has made the world hate us,” or “Bush is a cowboy.” I want to hear what the Democrats would do, and how it would diffuse tensions in such places as Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Turkey, Australia, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Damascus, etc.
I eagerly await your replies. As I said, I’m responsive to well-reasoned arguments.
UPDATE: Here’s Mark Steyn on why it might be foolhardy for us, in this close election season, to seek relief in Democratic promises. (You have to pay to read the whole thing, but it’s only a $20 subscription for a year of online access to the National Review.)
The question then arises: Why is it this close? We live in times of plenty. Possibly you disagree with that: You scoff that it’s a “jobless recovery,” or that gas is not yet below two bucks a gallon again. The rest of the world should have America’s problems. Unemployment in the U.S. is about 4.5 percent, which means Dee Dee’s taking a week off between quitting at Bud’s Grill and starting at the hair salon. In the Euro-zone, it’s twice that, and France and Germany get excited if it dips below double digits. As for filling up your car, gas has just plummeted to $5.63 per gallon in France, $5.86 in Germany, and $6.18 in Britain. Which is why, when Americans are shown to their rental vehicle at Charles de Gaulle Airport, they don’t understand why the parking lot’s full of what appear to be slightly oversized cup-holders. So, if you’re upset about unemployment and high gas prices, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to vote for a party whose broad disposition is that we need to be more like Europe.
If you’re accepting my challenge to give me a factual rationale why I’ve become a groupie for the wrong political rock star, you might also want to address the points Steyn makes.