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Democrats “vs.” Republicans

Posted by Rick · November 7th, 2004 · No Comments

There’s a lot of talk right now about what strategy might have improved things for the Democrats, along with talk of a potential civil war within the party.

The talk is unnecessary and premature.

Truth is, there’s only one difference between Democrats and Republicans. And it’s closer to the difference between my wife and my best friend’s wife than it is to any deep philosophical difference.

It’s a matter of taste. My wife, for example, prefers “earth colors” like terra cotta, brown and green. My best friend’s wife prefers what I’d call “sky colors” like blue and white.

And so it is with the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democrats favor ignoring the Constitution in favor of creating an Administrative State focused on social values. The Republicans favor ignoring the Constitution in favor of creating an Administrative State focused on corporate values. When it comes down to it, neither side represents America — at least not the America upon whcih the Constitution was founded. It’s just different styles, or, as I said, a matter of taste that rules these days.

The irony here is that the Republicans managed to hijack the election by spinning their values as if they were social values.

In retrospect, it wasn’t that hard to do. Ignore, for the moment, that the average American would not know who Benjamin Franklin is; even if they know who he is, they will not know that the following quote comes from him; and even if they know who he is and that he said these words, few Americans would agree:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

Most Americans believe, on the contrary, that if you don’t have anything to hide, you shouldn’t mind a minor thing like scrapping the Constitution. After all, the only people who need to worry about illegal searches and seizures are criminals. The only folk who really believe we should try cases before juries — and with a presumption of innocence — are those who end up as the subjects of Court TV, the Fox show, CNN or the others who less-than-lovingly mock bloggers because bloggers are supposedly too biased to accurately report the news. (CNN had such a commentary this morning, regarding the fact that bloggers were using exit polls that were incorrect. The networks, of course, didn’t have that problem — at least in their opinion. But this is a blog entry for another day.)

At any rate, the natural concord betwixt corporate values and the war in Iraq (or anywhere else, for that matter) combined with the natural concord of valuing society and the desire to preserve it by any means possible that taxes the mind of the average Joe contributed to a sure-fire Republican win. All it took was the right spin to accentuate the concord betwixt the concordances!

The only thing that surprised me is that I was predicting a 5 to 7% point spread and it turned out to only be 3%. Perhaps there weren’t as many electronic voting machines out there as I thought. That would lower the score. (Am I the only one who remembers that the CEO of Diebold, in a fundraising letter on August 14, 2003 said he was committed “to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year”? Am I the only one who noticed that Ohio’s vote didn’t start turning towards Bush until it was needed?)

What folk don’t realize is that neither the taste preferences of the Democrats nor the taste preferences of the Republicans are constitutionally-supportable. The reason for this is that neither side, team, view or whatever you want to call it recognizes that our government is supposed to be a limited form of government. Under the Constitution, we should neither be expanding our federal government to deal with mandated social programs nor be transforming ourselves into the world’s premiere corporate-driven pre-emptive strike force.

I’m not sure that even voter-approved taxes to support social programs are constitutional when they depend upon Congress’ spending power, the Commerce Clause, or the Necessary and Proper Clause for support. But certainly those that are not approved by voters would appear to be beyond the reach of Congress.

Unfortunately, Republicans are owned and operated like any other corporate subsidiary by large business interests that cannot tolerate people like me speaking against them — at least when and to the extent that we’re effective. This blog only gets about 225 visitors per day. If I were as successful at getting people to listen to me as Kerry was during his campaign, you can bet the Republican mud machine would have been lying about me — moral values apparently require that, when telling the truth would cost you votes.

This blog held off supporting Kerry for a long time for the reason that the Democrats are just as wrong as the Republicans when it comes to their interpretation of governmental authority under the Constitution. I finally kicked in with an outright endorsement of Kerry only because of this:

When Democrats void the Constitution, they do so in order to pick my pockets. When Republicans void the Constitution, they’re after my rights.

While both are wrong, without my rights I cannot fight either of them.

Now that Bush — perhaps thanks to Diebold’s promise concerning Ohio — has won his first election, look to see our rights eroded even farther. After all, Karl Rove is already complaining about the exit polls and talking about how angry they made him. Combine that with the fact that people who put up websites making fun of George Bush during the 2000 election evoked his never-repeated “there ought to be limits to freedom” comment and his new “mandate” and I can only wonder how long before the First Amendment is either judicially-obliterated or finds itself facing modification via constitutional amendment.

Categories: Politics-In-General


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