Saturday, February 23, 2008

Conservatives: Avoiding a Political Deathwish

See the bottom of this column regarding angry e-mails (these ones by me)

A McCain supporter sent out an angry e-mail today that seemed designed to offend most of the groups John McCain needs to win the election. Let me give you one example: I had made the obvious point that Barack Obama has a tremendous online presence, one much greater at present than McCain's. (If you want to check that out for yourself, just Google Obama and then McCain and count the numbers, especially with emphasis on the past year.)

The McCain supporter said the following about Obama's online supporters: "When your core base is a bunch of stoned college kids spending mom and dads money with little else to do than make it to the next beer funnel . . .well you get the picture."

In other words, he's saying Obama's supporters consist mainly (exclusively?) of a bunch of drug-crazed college students "spending mom['s] and dad[']s money." Not exactly a "politic" statement.

Do I believe John McCain shares in any way his supporter's comments? I don't. McCain is a good enough politician to know that he needs support from all groups in America. He especially needs support from moderate-and-conservative young people (usually categorized as those between age the ages of 18 and 29).

McCain does well with people over the age of 45 (a demographic that includes me). But to win, he also has to do well with people under the age of 45. In fact, McCain's status as a POW/war hero and the father a daughter who graduated recently from college, should give him significant appeal to younger voters. There's no reason he should cede the nation's young voters to Obama, whose pretty words eventually will grow thin with all age segments.

In the months past, I've argued with my fellow conservatives about their political shortsightedness. We can't afford to hand over huge segments of the electorate -- including younger voters -- over to the Democrats.

In the mid-1960s, we basically gave the Democrats a big political gift: the nation's Black vote. In more recent times, some conservatives have appeared ready to give up on the Hispanic vote, which comes from the nation's largest -- and fastest-growing -- minority group. (Blacks are the second largest.)

Young people (under 30) aren't a minority group, but if they were they'd be almost as big as the Black and Hispanic minority. Many conservatives have also given up on the gay and lesbian vote, about 20%-25% of which went to George Bush (according to CNN exists) in 2000 and 2004. In fact, if George Bush hadn't won tens of thousands of G/L votes in Florida eight years ago, well, President Al Gore would be nearing the end of his second term. Thus, in one sense, GWB won Florida because of the gay vote!

Currently, we conservatives also aren't doing well with working women who, in the primaries, are voting by huge majorities in the primaries for the Democratic candidate. For decades, women professionals (lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists) have been deserting the GOP in droves. We must turn that around.

Again, much as I love older white males, being one myself, they aren't enough by themselves anymore to win elections.

We Republicans can't prevail with strong support only from angry white males, such as the McCain supporter cited above. We don't need to agree with every group on all issues, but we do have to listen to their concerns, treat them with respect -- and ask for their support. We don't need to stereotype diverse populations and dismiss them as somehow contemptible..

John McCain desperately needs support from every group I've mentioned. If we imply otherwise, we're playing a role in sinking John McCain's heroic effort.

Note: John McCain needs your love and support, but he also needs your money to remain competitive. Obama has raised a whole lot more money than McCain. So, please click on this link and make a contribution.

There are a few (blessedly few) people who are supposedly McCain supporters who are doing everything possible to damage John's chance of winning. I sent out the following ABOUT them, although not too them.

In regard to some e-mails I sent out today, I always got a kick out of the line in Apocalypse Now that goes, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." I also like the following line, "It smells like victory."

The McCain Campaign should take the following as its motto: "We are well behind now, but we are committed to doing everything it takes to prevail." As Churchill once said, "Victory at all costs."

I remember in 1967, during Israel's war with ALL the Arab states, my wife nervously asked me, "How is little Israel doing?" I said, "It appears they are fighting on five fronts and winning on all of them." Anyone who wants a good summer read should take a look at (Major and Professor) Michael Oren's book The Six-Day War, especially the part about how the Israelis destroyed the entire (and huge) Egyptian air force in a period of about two hours. (Hosni Mubarak was one of the Egyptian pilots.)

Israel likes to wage wars by committee, with a whole bunch of politicans exerting "administrative control" supposedly and taking votes (and usually not taking votes). The way miltary people like Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin, and Moshe Dayan got around that was by basically ignoring the committee. Since they won, all was forgiven (and they also let the politicians take credit).


Beth said...

AMEN, Steve! What more can I say?!

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Beth, thanks so much. Since you're wonderful, I value your views very much. :-)