"The Toothpaste Election"
Both Parties Try to Exclude People from Voting
By NOAM CHOMSKY
03/12/05 "Counterpunch" - - Presidential candidate John Kerry's platform and program were way to the right of popular opinion on just about every issue in the 2004 U.S. elections. To the extent that anybody could even understand the program, people didn't favor it. People who voted for Kerry are people who were concerned about the economy and about health issues. Do you think those people could tell you what Kerry's health program was or what he was going to do for the economy? I mean, I couldn't tell you. You have to do a research project to figure out what the program was. And it's not that people failed to know it because they're stupid. It's because it was not presented as something comprehensible.
Of the people who voted for candidate George Bush, the major categories were people who were concerned about terror and about national security. It's claimed that people who were concerned about values voted for Bush, but that's mostly a statistical artifact. When you asked the further question, "What values do you have in mind?" it turned out that the major values were things like, "I don't like this society because it's too materialistic," and "There's too much oppression." Those are the values. Is that what Bush stands for? Getting rid of that? As far as terrorism is concerned, the administration very consciously chose actions that it was expected would increase the threat of terror and, in fact, did. It's not because they want terror, it's just not much of a priority for them.
People who voted for Bush tended to assume that he was in favor of their views, even if the Republican Party platform was diametrically opposed to them. The same was largely true of Kerry voters.