Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blinded by the Light

A very good friend of mine told me something the other day that scared me, not because I found it horrifying or because I couldn’t understand it. Really, I thought it was amazing that liberalism could be so influential.

I have known this young woman for a year now and we have gotten to know each other pretty well. She knows that I am a Republican, I know that she is a Democrat, and we like to bust each other’s chops because of it. But it wasn’t until just recently that I asked her why she was a Democrat. Her answer was like many others I have heard. She believed that it was the Democrats that were best equipped to handle things like women’s rights. Alone, this is not all that surprising. It’s the sort of reasoning I have come to expect. The odd thing is that she is basically a conservative at heart. If you didn’t know that she calls herself a Democrat, you’d swear that she’s a Republican. At some point in her life she decided that since she’s a woman she had better be a Democrat, and that the Republican Party would do anything within their power to suppress her.

I see the same sort of thing in our elder Americans as well. My grandparents are about the most conservative people I can think of, yet they consistently vote Democrat despite their obvious dislike for what the party stands for. I’ve gotten the hint that a lot of this sentiment has its roots in the past. Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, was instrumental in lifting the U.S. out of the Great Depression and worked tirelessly to fight fascism even up to his death. But FDR is hardly an ideal model for the modern Democratic Party. He did things in the thirties and forties that would send today’s Dems into a conniption fit.

It has been my observation that many individuals vote Democrat against their own principles purely because they believe it is what is expected of them for one reason or another. Much of this is due to the incredible influence that they have over certain groups.

The Democratic Party, to their credit, is very good at telling many different kinds of people exactly what they want to hear. Their appeal to minorities is strong and well founded, but spotted and inconstant. If they genuinely cared about the rights of minorities they would stop building programs that keep them hopelessly dependent upon their assistance. If they genuinely cared about the rising cost of health care they would encourage the growth and development of better health care providers rather than universal bureaucracies designed to control them, and swallow more and more funding in the process. If the Democrats cared so much about national security, as they claim to, they would step back and let the president do what he was elected by a civil majority to do. I could think of many other ways that they play on our fears and uncertainties, but they are best left for future blogs.

By the time that I was old enough to vote I had already decided that liberalism was not for me. I grew up with the honorable Bill Clinton as president, and while he had his good points (none actually come to mind right now, but I’m sure there were a few) he did some things that even a young-en like me understood to be shameful. And it was not just Bill, but his entire party as well. I saw them as a gaggle of hypocrites that would continually say one thing on camera but do another off camera. I see many liberals as little more than very gifted actors and actresses, which is probably why they’re so popular among Hollywood celebrities.

Liberalism has a strange sort of glamour that can easily captivate Americans of all ages and backgrounds. Many of the promises that they make are ideals that all of us hope for to some degree; be it affordable health care, a cleaner environment, or equality for all. But I am left to wonder exactly what their motives are. Is it to build a stronger, happier society? Or is it simply to gain political recognition among certain demographics as a means to pursue power and influence?

History, I believe, would not refute that it is the later.

1 comment:

Tom Forbes said...

Very well put, RK.

I credit Bill Clinton for one thing: screwing up so badly in his first two years that we have enjoyed a Republican House and Senate for the last 12 years.