I'd like to consider myself a moderate Republican. While I believe in the basic tenets of the Republican platform, I tend to disagree with several of the more...ahem...religiously motivated pillars. Meanwhile, I married a hard-core Democrat ten years ago. Want to know what's scarier? Both of us voted for Bush.
After spending some quality time with my wife last night, I think I figured out why she voted for Bush. I also think I have figured out how the Democrats can get the White House back in two easy steps.
Step 1: Listen to country music. Not selectively listen to country music, either. Don't just listen to the Dixie Chicks...listen to all of it. You'll find a lot of stories about the South, about building yourself back up from nothing, about losing it all. You'll also find a lot of extremely patriotic music that really resonates with the core of America. ("Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" by Toby Keith comes to mind.) Country music doesn't villify a person who sends someone off to do battle for the U.S.A. Country music honors the sacrifices made by our soldiers.
Any candidate that the Democrats pick for 2008 not only must resonate with those values, but have a past that also resonates with those values.
Step 2: Ignore Hollywood. Mainstream America sees two political factions in Hollywood. You have the leftist liberal Hollywood stars, who use their sandboxes to bring attention to their pet charities and demand donations and support. Mainstream America mostly sees the "I'm famous, so do as I say, not as I do" side of Hollywood. For every Ed Bagley, Jr. who actively drives an electric vehicle, there are fifty Streisands who sue photographers for exposing her hypocrisy. Then there are the moderate Republicans, who have Arnold Schwartzenegger as their poster child. Arnold was an immigrant child who went from having nothing to having a successful bodybuilding and acting career and finally worked his way up to being governor of California. He's not saying, "I'm famous, so you should do what I say." He's saying, "I did this by working hard for what I believe in. You can, too."
I'm not saying that the Democratic party should abandon their ethics, but if you let your ethics be decided by people who have no basis in reality, how can you realistically expect to win an election?