Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Power and Powerlessness

Filed under: — adam @ 1:07 pm

I’m not sure I necessarily agree with the conclusions, but it’s an interesting discussion anyway. It seems to me that the Democrats lost this election because they concentrated on the Republican-leaning voters (regardless of which party they’re actually affiliated with) who couldn’t stand to vote for Bush while completely ignoring the Democratic-leaning voters who couldn’t stand to vote for Kerry. While the former are extremely vocal, I think there are a lot more of the latter. The Kerry camp completely failed to give a strong answer to those people about why he’d be better than Bush.

"This diagram was set up to explain how a dominant power maintains its power, but you can relatively easily reverse-engineer the situation to figure out what to do if you’re the one being fucked with. For instance, let’s take a walk through this looking at the two-party system of American self-governance at the national level."

2 Responses to “Power and Powerlessness”

  1. Josh Koenig Says:

    That’s a good point, though with turnout at a record high on both sides and no third-party taking a decisive slice of the pie, I don’t know if the ABK group was really the factor. Clearly incorporating their concerns into the future development of the party is critical if the Dems are to rebound.

    But I’m thinking of people who were ABK for left-wing reasons (e.g. he’s too centrist). There are possibly other dem-leaners out there who were ABK for security or character reasons as well. I’d be interested in elaboration on what exactly you mean.

  2. Adam Says:

    I’ve spoken to a number of Republicans about this, and they’ve all expressed the same opinion. “Sure – Bush is bad, but I see no reason why Kerry would be any better.” I think they’re at least partially right. To be clear, I’m not a Democrat. If anything, I’m a Libertarian, except that I think they’re not currently viable as a political party on a presidential scale. I just happen to think that these Republicans are especially bad, and they don’t even behave like good Republicans. Like me, the ABK voters look at Kerry and see a lot of complaining about what’s wrong, but no coherent answers about how to fix it. When ABK voters look at Bush, they see a man who’s got no clear answers, but determination. When they look at Kerry, they see neither. This is pretty critical, I think. Personally, I’ve always thought that Kerry was a weak choice – he’s lacking in outward conviction, and his central message is “Bush made a mess on the carpet”. But if you look at his policy proposals, he doesn’t present any clear answers in reponse to that. How are you going to fix Social Security? (Don’t touch it.) What are you going to do about Iraq? (Call the Germans.) Are you going to vote for all the same crap that broke the system in the first place? (Yes.) I strongly feel that the Democrats need to field a candidate with conviction to make actual changes and a plan to fix things, not just make them less bad.

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