Campaign 2016, Uncategorized

2016 Election Quake: Ten Expected Surprises

See all Ten Expected Surprises as published in History News Network, November 20, 2016. Now that may just be too many surprises at once!  Here below, you can take these surprises in chunks, 5 at a time….  See two essays:

1-Election Quake I: Five Expected Surprises in Cultural Trends and the Media

2-Election Quake II: Five Lessons from Recent History

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Campaign 2016

Constant Growth: The Elephant (and the Donkey) in the Living Room

Constant economic growth, constantly supported even when unhealthy, is the unquestioned goal of both major parties.  Few stop to ask about the ill effects of growth or the merits of maintaining good conditions when we get them (did we really get improvement when that store moved to the margins of town leaving a hulking building downtown?).  The unhealthy side effects of constant growth have become the elephant (and the donkey) in the living room–the unasked question for both Republicans and Democrats.

A shorter version of this essay was published as “An Economy That Grows Anger,” in the Huffington Post, September 24, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-j-croce/an-economy-that-grows-ang_b_12173172.html

Scroll down to see a revised version of this essay, expanded with more economic data and historical examples, and published as  “Both Parties Back Economic Growth–But Are They Wrong?” in History News Network, October 2, 2016, http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/163991.

In this election, we’ve got a well-informed Democrat defending a crazy system and a crazy-sounding Republican brashly calling for undisclosed changes.  Consider the sources of the craziness—consider an economy that can’t stay healthy with constant growth.  In medicine, that’s called cancer…. Continue reading….

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Campaign 2004, Uncategorized

Bush Achieves Goal In Spite of Criticism

President George W. Bush has received an unprecedented amount of criticism, and yet he won re-election handily.  How’d that happen?

A majority of Americans do not share his application of Christian traditions to a millennial vision of US mission; a majority of Americans believe that, while government cannot solve all social problems, it can give important direction, which contrasts sharply with Bush’s strong anti-government stance.

The Bush campaign put less emphasis on reasons to vote for him than on attempts to stimulate feelings based on his tough talk and reputation for decisiveness.  As a result, many voters for Bush will likely get four years of policies they don’t want….  Read whole essay here….

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Campaign 2000, Uncategorized

The Personal Is Now Political: Let’s Decide If It’s Presidential

“The Personal Is Political” was a slogan from the 1960s.  Women maintained that choices about their private lives were shot through with political consequences; African Americans presented the raw force of political power in every private act of segregation; and environmentalism became popular from awareness that private acts of consumption and waste have large public consequences.

Ever since the 1960s, there has been increased media attention on the private lives of public figures.  Democrat Jimmy Carter was the first president to appeal based on his folksiness, and Republican Ronald Reagan was even more adept in the arts of the personable leader.

In this campaign, the “compassionate conservatism” of Republican George W. Bush is a combination of conservative policies and a personable promise that he is a nice person.  By contrast, Democrat Al Gore has a lot of expertise and experience, but little personal flair.

Back to you, Dear Voters: the personal has become political.  Now is it presidential?…  Read whole essay here….

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Campaign 2000, Uncategorized

VP Candidates Set the Tone: Bush, Gore Should Listen to Dad and Uncle Joe

The Vice Presidential debates between Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat Joe Lieberman presented opposition with civility.  Central casting could not have picked better characters than Cheney as dad and Lieberman as uncle.

By contrast, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush presents himself as the “bad boy” in class, chopping down his rival and trying to be king of the hill, while Democrat Al Gore is the “good boy” who knows all the answers, but makes his classmates’ eyes roll.  By acting more their shoe size than their age, Bush and Gore have been tiresome squabblers.

Can Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore learn something from their elders?…  Read whole essay here….

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