Republicans believe in attack. If they don't like anybody, attack. Somebody says something they disagree with, attack. He or she may become a political antagonist in the future, attack.
They attack because they believe in competition and they know for a fact that they are better than anyone else. They know that conservatism is the best philosophy. They are positive that they are right and their opponents are wrong. Theirs is a grand faith, underwritten by God, so how could they be wrong? Besides, they believe it's better to attack an opponent or even a would-be opponent - preemption - before your opponent attacks you. This is a dog-eat-dog world.
Karl Rove is top dog. He is an attacker par excellence. He represents today's conservative Republican philosophy better than anyone. He knows whom to attack, when to attack and how to attack. And he knows how to attack without showing his hand - the "hidden hand" attack. Rove is the master attacker.
His major tool was Fear. All during the campaign he had Bush talking about 9/11 and the terrible things that would happen if Kerry were elected - like more terrorist attacks. Have you noticed that lately there is no talk of terror alerts? However, there was plenty of talk before the election. Here's Franken:
"From the first terror alert on February 12, 2002 until the November 2, 2004, election, the Bush administration raised the nationwide threat level to orange, meaning a 'high risk of terrorist attack,' six times."
The only reason for it was to scare us to death and it did. Many people succumbed to fear and voted for Bush.
Smears was another tool. This he applied with his "hidden hand." All of a sudden the Lying SwiftBoaters appeared and they pummeled Kerry with lies. With their smears they destroyed Kerry's well deserved reputation as a hero and a great American. Yes, there were enough people in the country who believed these lies, enough to hurt Kerry's chances for winning.
Then, when the Republicans did not feel comfortable about winning, Rove brought out the next tool: Queers. Instead of talking about real issues, he had Bush announce the so-called marriage amendment. They offered a piece of red meat to the religious right. This sector of the Republican Party reacted in a way that brought ignominy upon Kerry - including denouncements from clergy.
The political tools of Fear, Smears and Queers were extremely effective. However, now that everybody can see the results of such endless attacks, they will not work as before. Democrats, who previously did not properly answer these attacks, are ready and keen to answer them now. More than that, Democrats are ready with their own political tools.
Our tools are very different. While Republicans are attackers, Democrats are builders. We don't want to tear the country apart; we want to build it with the aid of all its diverse sectors. We don't want to instil Fear that diminishes our country; we are eager to give Hope to the aspirations of the people. Instead of Smears we favor Truth. Instead of knocking Queers, we want to make all Americans feel good.
This November think about it. If you want conflict and aggression, vote for Republicans. However, if you are eager to to fill our country with harmony and peace, vote for Democrats.