Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Dying Fire

Have you ever sat and watched a fire? Today was a rainy, foggy, half-light and cold kind of day. While working, I lit a fire in the fireplace. As I was partaking of my one addiction – a cup of coffee – I sat watching the fire burn. And while doing that I made an observation.

As a fire burns, it tends to collapse in upon itself. When it does that, new flames spring up, eagerly consumes the new fuel that is exposed to the core heat. That process continues until all of the wood is consumed, and then the fire dies out. The only way to get around the eventual burn out is to add new fuel – to add more wood to the fire.

OK. Now I know you are wondering where I am going with this. As I watched this natural process, I realized that there is a very appropriate analogy to a fire. And that is ideas within a political party. Each political party has a base foundation of concepts and ideals. This foundation is represented in the analogy by the initial fire. New ideas – the trying of new things; the willingness to adapt new concepts and strategies – are the fuel – the new wood – which is added to keep the fire going.

And that brings me to my point. For the last six years, the Democratic party has been using the exact same ideas to fuel their “fire”. And people are getting tired of hearing the same mantra. In essence, the fire is dying. They are even starting to lose their base – except for the radical left.

I have no fancy statistics to back up my observations. But maybe some anecdotal evidence is in order. As many of you know, I live in the seriously Democratic state of Connecticut. This year, besides the contentious senate race between Independent Joe Lieberman and Democrat Ned Lamont, there are three major House races going on. Nancy Johnson (R) vs. Chris Murphy (D), Christopher Shays (R) vs. Dianne Farrell (D), and Rob Simmons (R) vs. Joe Courtney (D). In each of the latter three races, the TV advertising for the Democrats is almost exclusively based on, “The incumbent votes with George Bush. Because of that you should vote for…” the Democratic candidate. No issues; no, “Here’s what I stand for.” Only “vote for me because the other guy voted for stuff Bush supported.”

This tactic was used by John Kerry during the last Presidential election, and turned out to be a complete failure. Yet, with that particular fiasco behind them, the Democrats have chosen to use the exact same strategy – one that already has been shown to be ineffective. If just one Democrat would come up with a new idea, they might gather more votes. But no – no new ideas; no espousing of their “plans” to take care of the problems we face as a country. Simply the same old thing. Don’t get me wrong. People like Unready Neddy have ideas – spend more on education, raise taxes, and promote universal health care. Of course, the proposals are only general ideas, and at that, the same ideas that the Democrats have promoted for the last 30 years. Raise taxes, bigger government, more entitlements, and government involved in every part of your life. My goodness! Can you even imagine what it would be like if the government took over health care? They can’t even buy mil-spec hammers for a reasonable fee – there is already too much bureaucracy.

Now I know that some of you will wonder what is different about the Republicans. Well, all I can say is that the reason to vote new people into office is dissatisfaction with the current situation. We have a booming economy, have had no terror attacks on our soil, have new (if watered down) immigration legislation, successful campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the disemboweling of Al Quaeda , and a myriad of other accomplishments. We have seen the government adapt their tactics to further the goals of the country. That, in effect, is adding new ideas. Go figure.