Friday, November 11, 2005

My Post-Election Analysis

After the elections this week, the Republicans are licking their wounds, as well they should. And the Democrats are popping the champagne corks, as well they should.

Want to know what happened? The Republicans sold out over the past few years to become a majority party. Now, they can’t hold the group together because there isn’t any unifying message, no consistent philosophy, no cause they will give their lives for. Thus, the squishy middle, ever worried about public opinion, now controls the outcome of legislation, and things are bogging down. I also think President Bush is worn out. The constant state of war has taken its toll on him. Have you noticed how grey he’s gotten over the years? He’s ordering people to do things that no person, in their right mind, would want to do with joy. He’s sending our men and women to fight to the death against the Islamofascists, and he’s seeing grisly reports of the horrors of a covert war. And I’m sure the threat assessments he sees, concerning potential terror plots makes him sick to his stomach. On top of that, he had to fight a pretty tough re-election campaign, which I’m not sure he’s recovered from yet.

On the other hand, the Democrats have been whittled down to a focused core. They have an agenda, they are working together, they have a unifying message, consistent philosophy, and a cause they will give their lives for. They don’t have to worry about a squishy middle, so they aren’t bogged down. They are quick, and nimble. And they can team up to bash the President every day, all day long, without tiring. They also don’t have to deal with the horrors of war, because they have chosen a path that says they don’t believe such a war is necessary, and they have washed their hands from taking any responsibility for our national defense.

Which leads me to this.

What you compromise to gain, you’ll always lose. The Republicans are stymied because they have compromised on their conservative principles. Now, the battle is more about personality than principle, popularity than effective policy.

The Democrats are being true to their cause. So, they can play on the glaring weaknesses of the Republicans, and tie them completely up by appealing to the liberal/ populist Republicans who aren’t sure they can maintain their seats in a contested election.

As pro-dog advocates, we should not make the same mistake the Republicans are making, nor should we make the same mistakes that the Democrats are making.

We need to define our core principles and stick to them. Be razor sharp and focused. Don’t start compromising with the animal rights folks, like what we see Santorum doing with the PAWS bill. Get involved in dog politics, train your dog, go to dog events like dog shows and obedience trials, keep reading about dogs, study animal behavior, volunteer and do dog rescue work, have fun with your dog every day, and tap into those reasons why you got a dog in the first place. On the other hand, we can't wash our hands of the whole dog issue and assume it will all turn out OK in the end. I remember when the German Shepherd Dog folks said that breed bans wouldn't affect them, because the police need GSD's for patrol work... well, guess what? GSD's are now on many breed ban lists.

In life, you have to stay hungry. When you lose that hunger and drive for what you want, you die. That is the way of life and death, whether it is your own personal life, a species, or a political movement.

Stay Hungry is a philosophy of mine. You must always tap into those natural drives of yours, going after those hopes and dreams you had as a kid, and never quitting. When you stop allowing yourself to be driven, your life will wither away (NOTE: Almost all the “great” people in history made their major accomplishments before they were 30 years old… Figure out why that happens, and you’ll see what I’m getting at.).

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