This is the second of two posts from an early blog of mine, provided now to give some context to my belief that not voting – and counting those non-votes – is the quickest route toward reforming our broken system. This post and the one put up yesterday are further proof that the more things “Change” – to quote a sitting president – the more, under our current electoral system, they stay the same.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Ahh, the Democrats. Arbiters of what is “just” and determiners of whom should benefit in the name of “civil rights.” As much as I hate to agree with rhetoric spouted by any political party, I’m afraid I have to go along with the GOP and laugh heartily at what some (O.K., pretty much ALL) of the ideas which Democrats espoused and/or introduced in the name of “equality” have morphed into. Sadly, “political correctness” really is a far more apt and accurate name for what has become of what began as a well-intentioned push for equal rights for everybody.
Of course, the unfortunate truth is that we are not all equal. Sure, all men (and women) are created equal, etc. etc. But after our creation, anything can happen and usually does. Democrats’ attempts to ignore this truth is not unlike ignoring a cancer diagnosis and hoping the disease will go away. While there have been plenty of Democrat-sponsored programs that have taken an active approach to eliminating some of the inequities in society — Affirmative Action, Head Start, and any number of New Deal and Great Society programs spring to mind — the party’s become lazy and worse, scared. Its leaders, beyond being too willing to climb into the pockets of the special interests and sell off their idealism to the highest bidder, are far too forgetful of what idealism — backed up with action, rather than lip-service — can achieve.
I said in launching this blog that I *think* I’m a freethinker. I’m not sure — but I’m pretty certain that no Democrat holding national office would make that claim. A Republican might, but they’re mostly liars anyway. One thing you gotta give the Democrats: they’re by and large pretty honest, even when honesty is the dumbest policy. In fact, I sensed (along with many others, I think) that what Bill Jeff Clinton did with Ms. Lewinsky was never the issue. It was that he lied about it, because prior to that, I think the overwhelming feeling in the nation was that the GOP had the lying market pretty much to itself.
People called Jimmy Carter many things (“boring,” “dull and boring,” and “intolerably boring” among them) but “liar” was never one of those things. And Oval-Office Democrats down through time had always enjoyed at least the perception of being the more direct of the two parties. Bill Jeff pretty much queered that deal, and it started with his spinelessness on, of all things, queers. Within months of taking office, he’d caved on his promise to lift the ban on allowing openly gay and lesbian men and women to serve in the military. “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” What a load of crap. What a spineless compromise. To me, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” neatly encapsulates the thinking of today’s Democratic leaders. They seem content to be idealistic only to the point that they can do so without being called “too liberal.” Their “I’m O.K., you’re O.K.,” kind of non-action is another way of saying, “Don’t ask (if I’ve pushed for anything idealistic lately, because I) don’t tell.”
I feel, about the American system of government, pretty much the way I do about major-league baseball: It’s bankrupt, from a moral standpoint. It’s still the best system in the world, but I choose not to invoke that truth as so many others do: as a kind of permit for us to continue tolerating it, like, “See, it’s *still* the best in the world! What are you complaining about?” I feel instead like I’ve got plenty to complain about; that very attitude, for starters.
Is it really O.K. to be the least-worst? Is that what we’re gonna settle for? Isn’t it far more thrilling to imagine what would be possible if we worked at bringing ourselves out of bankruptcy, at really being a shining example to the rest of the world? We think we are already, but are we?