Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What's wrong with the Democrats?

Are the Democrats really progressive?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Perhaps the very worst problem afflicting the Democrats (of course, the same and worse bedevils the Republicans), is mindless acceptance of any orthodoxy put forth by the Democratic hierarchy. These are myriad and multiple and they hobble the thought pattern of the vast majority of those who style themselves as 'liberal' or 'progressive' Democrats.

Among these orthodoxies are:

  1. The overriding insistence on 'gun control'. Quite simply, the Democratic Party has long insisted on, what is in essence, unilateral disarmament of the populace in the face of increased militarization of the various federal, state and local police agencies. The simplistic dual arguments are, a) what good is an armed populace when faced with the overwhelming power of the state and b) guns in the hands of the people are the basis for crime, school shootings, domestic violence, etc.

    Quite simply, both these arguments are bosh. If, as the commonly expounded thesis is framed, an armed populace can muster no resistance to overwhelming armed force, why are both the Iraqi and Afghani insurgencies proving to be such a massive problem to the world's sole remaining hyperpower? You mean we, the U.S., with the largest nuclear stockpiles, the most advanced military in the world, undeniable air, land and sea dominance, can't gain control of a society armed primarily with small arms and homemade weapons? Where does that leave that argument?

    The common Democratic meme is that "guns are evil!" According to this argument, it is the mere presence of guns that make society 'dangerous'. Of course, this neglects the fact that there are societies which are even more heavily armed, per capita, than the United States. Switzerland, for example, has virtually every home stocked with military weapons. Virtually every home has a military (i.e., fully automatic) rifle. Every 3rd house has an operating machine gun, every 5th house has an RPG (with ammunition). Canadians are as well armed, in terms of handguns and long guns, as the United States. Oddly enough, neither of these 2 heavily armed countries have anywhere near the level of gun violence as the United States. What the Democrats (and other gun grabbers) refuse to face is the fact that perhaps, just perhaps, there are social factors in the United States that lead to the high level of violent crime that we experience. The main reason, IMHO, for this is well encapsulated in a quote from Shakespeare:

    “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves if we are underlings.” ~ William Shakespeare quotes

  2. The idiotic idea of 'political correctness' (which, BTW, is also embraced by the Republicans, on the other side of the spectrum). The government cannot, no matter what, force people to accept groups 'not like them'. This is not to say that the government doesn't have every right, even a positive duty, to withhold any semblance of government support (tax credits, tax rebates, special legislation, etc.) from any individual, group or entity that discriminates on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, etc. What it does say is that the government goes beyond the pale when it attempts to 'legislate' tolerance or even acceptance of people of different practices, no matter what those practices are. The Right has its demands for say, 'prayer in school'. Fine, you then legislate 'prayer in school', now on whose religion will that prayer be based? In areas where you have relatively homogenous religious communities, this may actually work. However, in any diverse area (virtually any town or city of any appreciable size) you will have a diversity of religions and religious practices. By favoring any particular religion or religious practice you will, automatically, be slighting others. So, you see the problem.

    On the left you have the demand that people 'accept' say people from the GLBT community. First and foremost, it is of NO concern (or should be of no concern) to any but the individuals involved what any person's sexual orientation is. It certainly should never be allowed to be the basis of any kind of discrimination (whether housing, employment or any other activity or social benefit). Certainly, you will have those who insist that if they are say, renting a property, they should be able to discriminate on any basis they choose. If this is the case then, again, should any discrimination on any basis (race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc.) occur, then the individuals/organizations so discriminating should be disallowed any federal, state or local benefit (tax breaks, etc.). As I said earlier, one cannot force tolerance or affection upon an individual, however, social pressure (especially by peers, co-congregants, relatives) can well modify social behavior.

  3. The repeated acceptance of the 'lesser evil' argument in terms of Democratic candidates. The Democratic process, as has been seen in at least the last several election cycles, always tends to exclude truly progressive and independent candidates and favor 'Establishment friendly' candidates. This means that true progressives and progressive policies get short shrift from the Democratic Party as it increasingly panders to its most 'Establishment' (read: corporate friendly) candidates. In this way, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party (one could argue, the most energized and solid base of the party) has been increasingly disenfranchised and the policies championed by most true liberals and progressives fall by the wayside or are so dramatically emasculated as to render them meaningless. For example, in this presidential race we are faced with Tweedle Dee (war criminal John McCrazy) and Tweedle Dum (Barrack Obama). Both are solidly enmeshed in the concerns and affairs of their corporate backers (though the outcome would have been the same had it been McCrazy and HR Clinton). Early on in the contest, both by For Profit Media's not-so-benign neglect as well as their outright derision, truly progressive candidates such as Dennis Kucinich and, to a lesser degree, John Edwards, were sidelined and forced from the race. This is a recurring pattern that is seriously, if not fatally, undermining the so-called progressive Democratic Party. Today, the Democratic Party is in most particulars, barely distinguishable from the Republican Party.

If there is to be any semblance of hope for truly progressive and liberal Americans (more than likely, a solid majority of the populace) all the above will have to be overcome by a revolution from within the ranks of the Democratic Party itself.

Byzantine Blog