Ideology, Not Party Process, Dogs the Democrats

The Opinion page column, "How Bush Will Win in '92," Feb. 18, seeks to explain why the Democratic Party has been so unsuccessful in recent campaigns for the White House. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that a party apparatus which is competent enough to elect congressional Democrats is somehow too inept to aid presidential candidates.

In the past two decades, politics has become much more of an "individual sport." Candidates in both parties assemble their own campaign staffs, draft their own platforms and raise their own money. The party serves as an additional resource for these campaigns, both for local candidates and presidential hopefuls. If, as the author suggests, state and congressional candidates do not enlist in the national campaigns, it is usually because they have not been invited to do so by the party nominee.

The real problem is not the process. Few Democrats want to return to the smoke-filled room method of candidate selection. It is that a majority of the American public does not agree with the ideology forwarded by Democratic presidential nominees in recent elections.

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If George Bush wins the 1992 election, it will be due to the inability of the Democratic nominee to bridge the ideological gap between blue-collar Democrats and those party supporters who are more interested in pursuing a liberal social agenda. Peter Rex, Olympia, Wash.

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