Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Political true believers

Given election results in New Jersey, Virginia, and now Massachusetts, true believers in both the Republican and Democratic parties are presenting their parties as the last best hope on earth and the opposing parties as the foot-soldiers of the Antichrist. Both sides contrast their own parties in theory with their opponents in practice at best.

Republicans claim that they are the standard-bearers for individual liberty and smaller, less intrusive government, as opposed to those statist Democrats. Reagan campaigned on cutting government, but almost immediately set about cutting restraints thereon. Under his administration, the federal government ballooned in both cost and intrusiveness. His administration engaged in economic central planning, protectionism, and in some cases, such as Sematech, outright socialism. Bush I and in particular Bush II continued that proud tradition; indeed, George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" was essentially liberalism with the compassion squeezed out. Of course, on most social issues, Republicans are not even closeted statists, but militant, in-your-face statists. Finally, while I agree that we need an alternative to "tax, spend, and regulate" Democrats, I want that alternative to be something other than "spend, regulate, and pray for a economic deus ex machina" Republicans.

Democrats claim to be the protectors of the downtrodden, including the LGBT community, as opposed to those oppressive Republicans. When Clinton was elected to his first term, people commented that they felt liberated. Moreover, when Clinton took off his liberal sheep's clothing to reveal the conservative wolf, they made farfetched excuses as to how Clinton intended to "fix" bills that he had signed into law with considerable fanfare. Obama, the current Fierce-Advocate-in-Chief, is always too busy to give us the time of day, although he can so often make the time for the most inconsequential side issue. Indeed, Republicans have been known to excuse their homophobic positions by pointing out that Obama agrees with them. Finally, people who think that "tax, spend, and regulate" Democrats are automatically socially liberal must not have spent much time in my old home state of Maryland.

No comments: