If there's any lesson the Democrats can learn from the reelection of George Bush, it's that Hollywood, MTV, and politics don't mix. Or they at least don't translate into votes. The tremendous efforts of Michael Moore, P. Diddy, MTV's "Choose or Lose: 2004," and practically every celebrity in America proved totally futile in the face of utter voter apathy. The percentage of young people who voted this year was 17%, the exact same percentage it was in 2000. If this doesn't send a clear message to celebrities that their support does nothing to help a candidate, I'm not sure what can. I've never been sure why celebrities felt themselves masters of political theory anyway, as if memorizing lines and repeating them or making some crappy songs suddenly gives them more political clout than the rest of us. Anyway...
I'm not sure anyone was surprised at the utter ass-handing the Democrats also got in Congress. The south has now solidified its shift into Republican hands, as was evident from the election of the first ever Republican senator from Louisiana and the narrow victories of Republican senators in Kentucky and Florida. Most importantly, in South Dakota, the Republican John Thune edged out the Democratic incumbent Tom Daschle. This was a huge blow to the already battered Democratic Party as Daschle was also the Senate Minority leader.
But why was George Bush reelected? Most Americans feel the war in Iraq was not worth it, especially since the publication of the Duefler Report, and most feel as if the country is heading in the wrong direction. So why vote for the guy who screwed it up? It's the morals, stupid. When exit-polled, most people who chose Bush did so because they feel he is the better person to lead America morally. The weekend after the election, many religious leaders, including the always interesting Rev. Jerry Falwell, announced that they were responsible for the Republican victories on election day. Falwell even went so far as announcing that there was an “evangelical revolution” occurring in America. Clearly, the religious right is expecting some sort of political “thank you” from the Republicans it helped into office.
It’s clear that we, the Democratic Party, have some major reflecting to do over the next four years. We’ve let the Republicans paint us as the “gay-marryin’, gun-takin’, baby-killin’, tax-raisin’ pansies” who want nothing more than to let the French determine our foreign policy. We have got to change that perception. Naming Harry Reid, a moderate from Nevada, as the new Senate Minority leader is a good start. We’ve got four years to change our image. In politics, four years is a long time. To paraphrase a rather famous Republican, “We WILL be back!”