“Republicans think Democrats are stupid. Democrats think Republicans are evil.”
Heard that quote this weekend from Charles Kraughthammer this weekend, and while there are some exceptions to that, I think it’s very telling to how differently Republicans see politics than Democrats do.
Republicans, by and large, think Democrats are idiots. We know their ideas won’t work. We know they cost too much. We know they can’t manage the monstrosities of government programs they create. We know, in the end, they won’t work. Poor people will still be poor. The earth keeps spinning. The global temperature will be whatever the sun makes it, and if we had a worldwide singular effort to change the global temperature 2 degrees, we’d never ever be able to cause it.
Democrats, however, don’t really care much if their ideas don’t work. They don’t really care much if they wind up making the problems worse.
Democrats think that only someone who is intrinsically evil could oppose programs for children or the poor or the downtrodden. They think Republicans oppose social programs because we want people to starve. They think Republicans oppose Obamacare because we want people to die. They think we oppose abortion because we long for the days when only men voted.
Democrats think the only people who could oppose their proposals are hateful, evil people.
That’s where the game of politics is a mismatch. Each campaign is when these differences show their ugly faces, with Republicans trapped into the dynamic of spending their entire campaign overcompensating and trying to prove to everyone that they aren’t evil hatemongers who want people to starve and die.
What’s the biggest attack we have for Democrats?
“Their plans are too expensive.” “They can’t pay for them.” “They’ll raise taxes.”
Doesn’t quite match up to “Wants to outlaw healthcare for women” or “Wants more mass shootings” or “Wants to ban birth control” or “Would rather you die than have health care” or “Will bring back slavery”
Or, as a Democrat-elected official wrote me on Facebook, “women may lose the vote” if Cuccinelli is elected.
I think Kraughthammer is right on this.
Republicans think Democrats are wrong. Democrats think Republicans are evil. If that continues, voters will choose people who might be wrong but at least mean well more often than not. We have to level that dynamic.
Until we fight fire with fire, the playing field is tipped in the Democrats’ favor.