Ruth Dudley Edwards: Republicans' focus on the positive brings success
Grand Old Party's stress on what unites Americans presents President Obama with a challenge, says Ruth Dudley Edwards
THE polarisation of political opinion worries all sensible Americans. The right believe Barack Obama is set on turning the US into a secular, wimpish, welfare-dependent, debt-laden, abortion-loving social democracy, where freedom of speech is suppressed by thought police and only gangsters have guns.
A neat example of the vitriol from the left came last week as Tropical Storm Isaac threatened to disrupt the Republican National Convention. Actress Ellen Barkin, ex-wife of our own Gabriel Byrne, retweeted without comment this message from a follower: "C'mon #Isaac! Wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-woman, xenophobic, gay-bashing, racist SOB right into the ocean!"
Against that background, with attack ads portraying Mitt Romney as filthy rich, tax-dodging and cruel, and with the polls showing the Democrats way ahead with women, African-Americans and Hispanics, the Grand Old Party made the sensible decision to be positive rather than negative.