An Open Letter to the Democratic Party:
As I watch the pundits do post-mortems on the 2004 election from my home state of Ohio, I can't help but be somewhat bemused. I'm located in a strongly Republican county in Northeast Ohio. I’m a mere 45-minute commute from Cleveland, but I might as well be a world away when it comes to politics.
I'd like to offer my view on why Ohio voted the way it did.
The main issue with the Democratic party to Ohio voters is that it simply is not in touch with how the majority in the "great red America" feel.
I'm amazed at how wrong many Democrats and the media — who all too often parrot tired cliches and superficial thinking — can be about what it takes to "reach" average Americans.
To understand how far off the appeal is to the "great red sea" you have to look at the overall tone of this election. The Democratic Party has unfortunately adopted a theme of victims. But you know what? The average citizen simply doesn't aspire to be a victim. That's inconsistent with how the majority view themselves, especially here in Ohio.
Take, for instance, the economy. For months we've heard the incessant drum beat about Northeast Ohio's "lost manufacturing jobs." As a group of Ohioans groused recently at a pre-election social event that I attended, "that's old news — 20 year old news." Big Steel left in the 1980's and 1990's. So did Big Rubber. This area has long since transitioned to a much broader-based economy. We've moved on — why don't you?
But, even if job loss had been the overriding issue, the way the issue was presented was insulting to Ohioans' intelligence. Democrats, perhaps you want to think about not talking down to the electorate in future elections? Ad agencies, listen up too.
Some of the printed Democratic and 527 literature that arrived in my mailbox — well, it was depressing, over-the-top stuff playing on fear instead of logic. It was so negatively exaggerated and speaking to me as if I were some sort of IQ-challenged peasant that I couldn't take it seriously.