Asking a logical, informed person with any sense of history to choose between the Dems and the GOP is like asking a condemned prisoner to choose between scaphism and crucifixion – it’s not going to be pretty, either way. The deciding factor in both cases is time: It usually takes a few days to die from crucifixion; death via scaphism can take more than two weeks. Similarly, the strongest argument for the GOP is that it will take longer to reach the full flowering of the current Dark Age under their policies than the Democrats’. Maybe. Note that this is based on what the parties do, not on what the parties say.
Lately, it may appear that I’ve been harder on Democrats than on Republicans. This is true, to an extent, but it is due mostly to the Democrats holding power at the moment. When the GOP regains the Presidency, I’ll turn the heavy artillery back on them.
Another cause of my focusing on the shortcomings of Democrats and the Democratic Party is geography: I live in California. For the last 30 years, I’ve lived in the Bay Area, including stints in San Francisco and Berkeley. Prior to that, in SoCal. As a result of this, the majority of my friends, acquaintances and coworkers are liberal democrats or farther left. Out and out Socialists, Communists and Anarchists outnumber real right-wingers among the people I hang out with. So let’s just say I’m familiar with the species in its fullest expression.
There are particular recurring themes in this crowd. First, the combination of an absolute certainty of their own personal moral and intellectual superiority coupled with a truly awe-inspiring degree of cluelessness, as exemplified in the charts I’ve lately excoriated. The same people unable or unwilling to understand the basic math problems presented in these charts are claiming superior intelligence – that galls me. The same people who will call somebody a stupid git for not grasping the awesomeness of Obama are unwilling or unable to follow the most basic logical construct (such as: if there is no truth, there’s nothing much to talk about ). This is not always true – but my 30 years of experience indicate that it is almost always true.
Next, a lot of my personal interactions here are with families at school, which is a Sudbury school. All kinds of parents bring their kids to the school for all kinds of reasons. Some of those people are almost cartoonishly liberal, but some are also Libertarians and Randians. Many times over the years I’ve seen shock on the face of a Liberal when they discover that not everyone at the school is a lefty – they can’t even imagine that the knuckle-dragging Neanderthals of the Right would turn their kids over to such an obviously ‘progressive’ school. Meanwhile, the right-wingers just sigh and take a ‘stopped clock is right twice a day’ attitude about the Liberals at the school, all the while seeing the individualism, boot-strap mentality and town hall democracy of the school as about as conservative and American as you can get.
Finally, my sense of irony and mockery is triggered by the control freak aspect of Liberals who, at one the same time, talk freedom and rights but seek absolute control over others. This is most apparent with their own children. Many a Berkeley mom and dad have left interviews at our school shocked (or pulled their kids once it became obvious) that we really, truly meant to let their kids do whatever they wanted to do all day long so long as they respected the school rules and the rights of others. Sure, they wanted freedom for their kids – in fact, *their* kids have total freedom – to do exactly what mom & dad want them to do, and are shamed & browbeaten into line by relentless and remorseless psychological pressure if they don’t.
When asked what he thought of a third party, Will Rogers replied that he’d be satisfied with a second party. Now Republicans really are the party of the rich, and really do make sure that the laws don’t touch their sugar daddies. However, ever since the Democrats abandoned private sector Labor with NAFTA under Clinton and government unions* have grown dominant, it’s pretty much a chocolate or vanilla choice on this point. Key Treasury and market regulatory functions are staffed via a revolving door with Goldman Sachs – under both parties.
And so on down the line. The only functional difference is merely which interest groups each party has chosen to pander to. They tend to do as little as possible for those groups – just ask the Pro-Life people – but sometimes they do if it serves a bigger goal, such as using gay rights as a tool with which to punish churches.
France seems to be the mid-term goal of the Dems; the Roman Empire is more like it for the GOP. France is circling the drain; the Roman empire lasted about 300 years in the West before getting routinely overrun by barbarians and entering the Dark Ages – we should be so lucky.
*Why go to all the trouble negotiating with – and possibly ticking off – Big Business for those small and shrinking private sector union workers when you can negotiate with your self for the benefit of public sector unions? That way, you can shake down BOTH workers AND Big Business!