Simon Says

Roger Simon has some interesting comments on the current state of the Democratic party, in the context of its inability to take the war on terror seriously:

The Democrats lost in the last election much more seriously than is commonly understood. A swing of three million votes is gigantic in our society where party allegiances are formed in childhood and reinforced by an omnipresent media. We can see the primitiveness of these allegiances in the remaining popularity of Howard Dean, a man who a very few years ago presented himself as a pro-gun centrist, jumping around like a re-upped version of Jerry Rubin to appeal to a segment of the Democratic Party that hasn’t changed one view about anything in thirty-five years. But… and here’s the crux… these people are not that exceptional. Few of us change our views over a lifetime.
Yet, three million did.
If I were the Democratic Party leadership I would be very nervous.
Fortunately, I am not. If there’s one thing I have learned in the last few years it’s that allegiance to any political party should be transitory. I don’t care what the party thinks. I care what I think. The minute it is the other way round, I have lost freedom of thought. The same thing is true of “isms” for me. So unlike Peter Beinart, I am not worried about resurrecting “liberalism” (or applauding “conservatism” for that matter). What interests me is getting more citizens of this country to support our militant position in the war on terror and to support our intervention in Iraq. The spread of democracy is extraordinarily difficult, but it is by far our most serious work. Democracy should be what we are most concerned about. At the moment, it’s the only label that interests me.


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