Why? Why do liberals who capture their party’s presidential nomination say things like this? Why are they so afraid to say, “I’m an out and out card-carrying liberal and I’m proud of it!” Why do they try and hide their liberalism behind “competence” and screeds about “the past and the future”?
There is a reason. There are lots of reasons, as a matter of fact. Liberalism did not become a laughing stock overnight. It took a while since it began to rule the political roost in 1932 for Americans to understand that what once was considered an honorable philosophy had come to represent repeated and vivid lapses in common sense and good judgment. So the past Senator Barack Obama wants Americans to ignore will do nicely for illustration purposes. It is — how could it not be? — a mere update of why then-Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis tried the same denial routine once he secured the Democrats’ nomination in 1988.
What exactly is in the liberal past that makes these people want to run from liberalism when the presidential campaign spotlight goes on? For Dukakis it was furloughed murderer Willie Horton and a disdain for fighting for the Pledge of Allegiance, to name but two liberal ideas that brought Dukakis to his proclamations about competence over ideology. But what is it that drives Obama to say essentially the same thing in 2008? Why would he be concerned that a voting majority would flee modern liberalism — and his candidacy — if they understood, as they did twenty years ago, what it was really all about?
Let’s look in just one policy area that we are all acutely aware of and use one of America’s most famous actors to illustrate precisely why Obama wants to run from liberalism just as Dukakis did in 1988.
Energy is the issue. Leonardo DiCaprio the actor.