Divisiveness and Class Warfare Aren’t Buying Votes This Election Year

September 15, 2002

by Mary Mostert, Analyst - Banner of Liberty

During the 2000 Election campaign, one of the reasons I supported George W. Bush was because he came across to me as a person who could bring people together, rather than divide them. For many years class warfare, as defined by Karl Marx, along with divisiveness and conflict have been requisites for a story to be considered "news" by reporters and editors.

An example of this technique has been media reports of a supposedly "impending unilateral military attack on Iraq, by the Bush Administration." It was the World Socialist Website that (reported in February: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/feb2002/iraq-f16.shtml) (1) "In an appearance by Secretary of State Colin Powell before a Senate committee, as well as through selected leaks to the press, the Bush administration has confirmed plans to launch a war with Iraq in a matter of months.

"Powell’s statements to a Senate Budget Committee hearing Tuesday were the most categorical by any top US official and scotched any illusions - apparently common in European governments - that the secretary of state would serve as a restraining force on psychopaths like Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz.

"Clearly distinguishing between Iraq and the other two countries that Bush included in his State of the Union "axis of evil" diatribe, Powell said, "With respect to Iran and with respect to North Korea, there is no plan to start a war with these nations."

The socialists then claimed that, because Powell left out Iraq, it was "obvious" that the Bush Administration intended to attack Iraq. That didn’t sound like Colin Powell, so I looked up his testimony that day to the Senate Budget Committee on the State Department Website. (The only comment Powell made http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2002/7957.htm) (2) about the "axis of evil" was: "You touched on the "axis of evil" earlier, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to end my prepared testimony by responding in kind by saying that I think this is a clear-headed, realistic policy. Even though it has caused some distress here and there, I think most people understand it, and I think most people understand the President is not looking for a war; he is looking for peace. But you don’t find peace by sticking your head in the sand and ignoring evil where it exists"

On September 10th, (ABC’s Charlie Gibson asked http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2002/t09092002_t0909sdgma.html) (3) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if he thought, "Americans are prepared to send sons and daughters to war (against Saddam Hussein) on the belief that he might have nuclear weapons?" Rumsfeld pointed out that Iraq is a "terrorist country that has weapons of mass destruction already, they’ve already used them on its own people, and is aggressively trying to acquire and develop a nuclear capability."

Gibson kept pressing Rumsfeld with provocative questions based on the premise the President Bush was about to order an attack on Iraq. Finally the Rumsfeld said: "First of all the President is going before the Congress and the United Nations and will lay down his case on September 12th to the world. He’s not proposed going to war with Iraq."

This year it seems that candidates who try to bring people together, rather than divide them, are winning upset victories. Three weeks after Georgia voters ousted Rep. Cynthia McKinney who accused President Bush of "knowing about" the planned terrorist attacks on 9-11, they also ousted her father State Rep. Billy McKinney, a 30 year veteran of the Georgia House, in the Democratic primary runoff in the 44th House District and elected political newcomer John Noel.

Billy McKinney’s comment on learning of Noel’s victory was that the black people" did not turn out for me. They wanted a Klansman, a son of the Confederacy." Noel is a member of the Sons of the Confederacy. Noel commented, "That’s the kind of crud we don’t need anymore. The days of divisiveness are over."

In an interview by the Atlanta-Constitution, Jed Kenna, who voted for Noel, observed: "People were immensely motivated to get the son (McKinney) of a gun out of town. 9/11 has changed things. Extremism is less appropriate."

Those viewed as "extremists" - on the left OR the right, are losing elections. Rep. John E. Sununu (R-NH) defeated Sen. Bob Smith, a feisty 2-term conservative from New Hampshire, who left the Republican Party briefly in 1999.

9/11 HAS changed things. Divisiveness is not buying votes this year.

To comment: mmostert@bannerofliberty.com


  1. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/feb2002/iraq-f16.shtml - World Socialist Website - February 16, 2002 - Bush administration confirms plans for war against Iraq

  2. http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2002/7957.htm - State Department Website - February 12, 2002 - Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Testimony before Senate Budget Committee

  3. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2002/t09092002_t0909sdgma.html - Defense Department Website - September 9, 2002 - Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Good Morning America


Mary Mostert was writing professionally on political issues as a teen-ager in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1940s. In the 1960s, she wrote a weekly column for the Rochester Times Union, a Gannett paper and was one of 52 American women who attended the 17 Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to ban testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere. She was a licensed building contractor for 29 years, as she raised her six children. She served an 18 month mission as Public Affairs Director for the Africa Area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1990-91. In the 1990s she wrote a book, Coming Home, Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America, edited the Reagan Monthly Monitor and talk show host Michael Reagan’s Information Interchange for seven years. She now operates the website, Banner of Liberty.

Send the author an E mail at Mostert@ConservativeTruth.org.

For more of Mary's articles, visit her archives.

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