Advocating an Uprising (Part 1)

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parties.jpgI have always registered as a Democrat, being a fairly liberal minded person. I support a woman’s right to choose. I also believe in protecting the environment, and affording equal rights and protections, marriage and otherwise, to my gay/lesbian brothers and sisters.

I feel that in many ways the Democratic Party has hijacked these and other liberal themes not because of idealogy, or that it is representative of their core values, but simply to target that part of the electorate that does not consider itself conservative or part of the religious right. When the main course is gone, you go for the left overs. The convictions of the conservative movement rarely waver, so the Democratic Party is left to identify interests and issues that are important to the remaining citizens and take them up as their causes. I don’t present that this as some startling revelation, nor a recently developed trend, but classify it as a personal realization that I believe has more truth in it than not.

So I must be a Republican now, you ask? Not exactly. Maybe if I was a straight, wealthy, gun-collecting, god-fearing man with 16 children, a Hummer, and a home-built atomic shelter out behind my doubledecked trailer, then yeah, maybe I am a Republican. While I am kidding, (thought we needed a brief moment of levity), I feel the general gist is true. I don’t identify with much of what they stand for. Though there are some aspects of the Republican Party I think are good things… a strong military, less government, and less taxes. But aren’t these among the core staples of the Republican Party? Allow me to pontificate for a moment. Is it possible that those Republican issues I have a problem with are coincidentally shared by the demographic that wants less government and taxes and a stronger military? In this sense, are they any different than the Democrats? I know I am dangerously close to oversimplifying this beyond all hopes of repair… Today’s topic: Pandering makes you neither a pimp nor a politician. Discuss.

So what does that leave? Do I throw my hat to Nader? While I do identify with him on some levels, I don’t see him as someone who could affect change, even with a significant base.

And that’s what it boils down to. Affecting change, and I don’t mean the nickels and dimes in your pocket. I mean bringing about change in this country and this government. And am I’m afraid voting doesn’t really cut it any more, despite all the good intentions of our founding fathers.

More to come…

update on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 08:09AM by emurks

In the interest of fairness I would like to bring to the front a comment posted by my good friend Mark D’Elicio:

“Since you have identified a Republican as “wealthy, gun-collecting, god-fearing man with 16 children, a Hummer, and a home-built atomic shelter out behind my doubledecked trailer,” I am curious as to how you identify a Democrat. And since you offer this apparent stereotype in the spirit of levity (yet chose not to do the same to the Democrats), let me offer mine in the spirit of fairness. I suppose I would be a Democrat if I were a “Marin County, Vegan, welfare receiving, entitlement adovacting, VW driver with a frequent flyer card to Planned Parenthood and while espousing myself to be open-minded, fair and appreciative of all points of view, to actually be very narrow in my tolerance of the views of others.”

He of course is absolutely correct. When painting a political party with broad strokes you’re likely to splatter some paint. Not everyone is the same. Not every Republican believes in the same things; nor do the Democrats. Much of what Mark injects in the spirit of fairness and levity, doesn’t apply to me, and I suspect little or none of the levity I injected applies to him. But want to be clear though that I did not make a conscious choice to deny the Democrats their deserved due. It simply didn’t enter the flow of my thinking, which certainly suggests a bias from years of sitting on the Democratic side of the fence. Plus, I would have been ill-equipped to do such a quip justice, which Mark has so admirably done.

I am disappointed however, all quipping aside, that my attempt at levity has been a distraction from the point (which serves as a prelude to an argument that is forthcoming) that I was trying to make: the more you look at the parties, the more they are the same. No matter who you vote for, you are voting for the status quo, and for people who prefer to maintain their positions of power and serving the people only when it serves their interests.

Post by ILO on 10/18/04 at 9:51 pm