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DEMOCRACY: Government & Politics | February 16, 2005


An E-Mail to a Democratic Activist

In Response to the Article "The Truth About Arnold", by Peter Byrne

Both "Ahnold" and "Dubya" claim to be populists, hurting the people only by accident, never by design. It's usually a losing proposition to try to prove someone intentionally "mean spirited" (unless there's a mike that just happens to be open at an inopportune time); it's usually a winning proposition to demonstrate to people at large how they and their loved ones (including the country as a whole) are being hurt by bad policies, both in the short term and (harder to demonstrate but still doable) in the long term. The best way to undercut the support of demagogues is not so much attacking them personally (after all, they are "beloved" by many people) as it is relating to the everyday concerns of everyday people (the ultimate source of power in the country, regardless of what any inflated ego in Sacramento or Washington might want everyone else to think) -- beating the phony populists at their own game, with honest, down-to-earth information and concern.

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