Presidential candidate Bill Clinton says he wants change. The word “change” is in his every other sentence, which may be the biggest legacy of Ross Perot’s foray into national politics. But, as Barbara Jordan intoned: “change from what, to what?” Only the rhetoric has changed, certainly not the substance of what the Democrats are all about.
The largest single bloc of votes at the Democratic National Convention was not the New York or California delegation, but the teachers unions. The National Education Association (NEA) had nearly 400 delegates at the Democratic National Convention and, combined with the American Federation of Teachers, the teachers unions had nearly 500 delegates. That is more power than Mario Cuomo wielded.
The speakers all emoted about the poor, about having compassion, and about the American dream of starting poor in a rural southern town and making it to the top. But the top of what? Other than a few Hollywood celebrities, you would be hard pressed to find a delegate or speaker at the Democratic convention who had made a career in the private sector.
The one thing almost all the Democratic Convention delegates had in common was their membership in the highly-paid (and very profitable) “non-profit” sector, where their paychecks come directly or indirectly from raiding taxpayers’ pockets. This includes government officials and employees, the education establishment, and the public-interest and social-service groups that call themselves “non-profit” but actually profit handsomely from government programs.
Nearly two-thirds of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention reported family incomes of more than $50,000 a year, three-fourths were college graduates, and 44 percent had post-graduate degrees. These people have figured out that their cushy lifestyle depends on maintaining the big-spending programs of the Democrats, but that electing Democrats to office depends on pretending to be “moderate” and adopting the rhetoric of Republicans.
So we heard speech after speech built on the same vocabulary: family, values, middle class, compassion, investment, fairness, greed, and vision. But those words in Clinton’s mouth don’t have the same definitions as they do when Bush and Quayle use them.
To the Democrats, the word “family” excludes the unborn baby, the word “values” doesn’t include marital fidelity, “compassion” means starting a new government program (not private charity) , “investment” and “fairness” are code words for tax increases, “greed” refers to pay raises and perks for achievers in the private sector (but not to pay raises and perks for politicians and others paid by tax dollars), and “vision” means expecting Big Government to solve all our problems. The word profit is not in their vocabulary.
On his way to New York to be nominated, Clinton made an unscheduled drop-in at the Capital Hilton Hote1 in Washington, D.C. to thank the NEA Political Action Council for its endorsement and to invite NEA president Keith Geiger to stay in the Lincoln Room at the Clinton White House next year. A couple of days later, the 8,500 delegates to the NEA Convention endorsed Clinton by a record-breaking majority of 88 percent.
It’s no coincidence that the Democratic Party Platform reads like a carbon copy of the resolutions passed the preceding week at the NEA convention: more expensive government programs of all kinds (of course, financed by higher taxes), diverting savings from cuts in the defense budget to new domestic spending such as “a national public works” program, national health care (a.k.a. socialized medicine), statehood for the District of Columbia (so Jesse Jackson can be a U.S.’ Senator), opposition to education choice, tax-funded abortion, gay rights, federal daycare (babysitting), and support for the irresponsible National Endowment for the Arts.
Clinton roused the Convention to feverish applause by asserting that government has been “hijacked” by the “privileged,” and by repeating the refrain that he is “sick and tired” of it. The truth is that government has been hijacked by the Democratic liberals who have controlled Congress for the last 40 years, and we are sick and tired of it.
The Democratic Party is trying so hard to clean up its act that it hid George Mitchell and Tom Foley from sight at the convention. But underneath the new image is the same o1d bunch of liberal activists with one exception: the Democratic feminists today are more demanding than the radicals of the sixties.
Here’s one postscript to the Democratic Convention. After Clinton’s grammatical gaffe in his acceptance speech (“My mother held our family, my brother and I”), I hope we won’t hear any more about Dan Quayle misspelling potato.