- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I was raised as a liberal in the era of a patriotic Democratic Party. But the present party and its presidential candidate John Kerry are a source of great disappointment to me and to millions of other former Democrats.

That once-honored party has now turned dangerously leftward, establishing itself as the anti-American party, creating an unprecedented defeatist, disloyal opposition. Even during the Vietnam War, there were individual protests, but both parties refused to play partisan politics as long as America faced a difficult struggle.

Today the historic credo that the opposition should not give comfort to the enemy has been thrown out the window. The Democrats, in their not-so-slow drift leftward, have crossed the bounds of decent patriotic conduct during wartime, undermining the effort by impugning the honor and honesty of the president and commander in chief. If the polls are correct — the Democrats will pay for their disloyalty on Nov. 2.

That day, patriotic Democratic rank-and-filers will most likely join Republicans in protecting the reputation of America and its decent motives in fighting for freedom whenever and wherever possible.

We should never forget that since Pearl Harbor, America, at great cost in blood and treasure in World War II, Korea, and the Cold War, has through a bipartisan coalition, freed more than 70 nations — from France to Japan to the Soviet Union to Afghanistan — people who once lived under tyranny. Now, all that has changed, for the worse. This new Democratic party is not your father’s or your grandfather’s.

Using the social and international good created by Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, the left has infiltrated the Democratic Party and taken over its machinery to create a disloyal opposition, perfectly exemplified by candidate John Kerry.

That boring-from-within began during the leftist melee of the 1960s, and was completed by 1972 when the Democrats chose George McGovern as their presidential candidate, only to see him overwhelmed at the polls after he announced his solution in the struggle against the Soviet Union was to cut our defense budget 30 percent.

We now see a replay of this present Democratic disloyalty in the person of John Kerry, who has voted against virtually every weapons system designed for the armed services.

Over the years, the man who-would-be-president has shown himself not only a critic but a lifelong enemy of America, obsessed with weakening the nation’s power. At age 19, as a Yale sophomore and head of the Political Union, he characterized America as an “imperialist” power, a false phrase borrowed from Soviet propaganda.

Then, in Mr. Kerry’s antiwar testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971, he said Asians feared American “imperialism” more than communism, again gratuitously favoring the Soviet Union over America.

Mr. Kerry and the Democrats have been labeled by the media as “liberals,” an insult to such liberal patriotic American presidents as FDR, Truman, Johnson and Kennedy. Like most leaders of his party, Mr. Kerry is clearly a “leftist” and a defeatist, and not a “liberal.” He should be properly termed by the media. Judging by his words and his record, Kerry himself is best described as an “ultra-leftist” or even as an “extreme leftist,” who now seeks to make anti-Americanism popular.

The Democratic Party is in a slide toward oblivion as it forgets its honored past and attempts to create a disloyal opposition, a new unfortunate trend in American political life. America needs two patriotic parties, but now has only one. The other, whose standard-bearer is John Kerry, can only destroy this nation with perennial defeatism and comforting our tyrannical enemies.

Martin L. Gross, a frequent contributor to these pages who has written three New York Times best-sellers on politics and government, is a former official of the Democratic Party.

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