Thursday, August 25, 2005

I've said before that I try not to do this, but today it can't be helped. This week I've read two articles that made the little debate-junkie inside of me wake up. The articles are linked below, and I hope that they cause some kind of reaction in you, too.

Until about six months ago I thought I knew what was going on. I knew that, although we never agreed on everything, I was a Democrat. My parents voted Democratic their entire lives. My mother wore a pin on her jacket that read "Make the Pro-Lifers adopt all the orphans." My mother's family still spoke fondly about JFK and my father's family were Missouri-born southern Democrats. We grew up with little religious influence and far away from the country clubs where Republicans joked about the performance of their stock portfolios. Growing up we were never expressly told that there was some kind of moral dichotomy, or that we were fighting the good fight; It was always just assumed. When I told my mother that I was trying to decide whether or not to vote for Perot the first time I was legally eligible, I thought she was going to hang up on me. But, like a good parent, she never imposed her will on any of her children purposely. She told me that it was my decision, and that it was something I would have to make my own mind up on.

I'm a far cry from calling myself proficient regarding the current political environment, but the past few months have been trying on my personal ideologies. Mostly, I try not to think about it, because abandoning something that you considered absolute for the greater part of your life is incredibly difficult. It feels like you're committing the ultimate hypocrisy. About ten months ago I was trying to convince The Wife to abandon Bush and come to the Light Side. I still think that Bush is a terrible, terrible president, but what would Kerry have done differently? For sure, we'd have different nominees for the SCOTUS and the energy bill would have been vetoed. But surely we'd still be Iraq, right? Would Cindy Sheehan be whining outside of Kerry's house, because the evil President killed her baby?

Yesterday I read two articles that made me question my allegiance to the Democratic Party as it currently stands. Scott Randolph wrote a post entitled "Cindy Sealed the Deal" on his blog, that is well written, thought out, and perfectly fair to progressives. The only real problem I can see is that he doesn't really have anywhere to turn *cough* if he is fleeing from fanatics. That is, unless we start talking about new parties or massive ideology shifts. This is far from unheard of. The Party of Lincoln, remember, was formed because Southern Democrats wanted to keep their slaves. Talk about a massive ideology shift.

The second article I read was on Murdoc Online. It's a response to a professor's comments criticizing Steven Vincent, a man who was working to secure a single Iraqi woman's flight to the U.K. He was not a soldier. He was not fighting in a war. He just wanted to help his interpreter in Iraq flee the country, and he was killed for it, as was she. So a professor in Michigan implied, in a public forum, that he was murdered because, clearly, he was cheating on his wife with this Iraqi woman. The response is from the dead man's wife. Please, please read it.

The only thing that I know for sure right now is that something is broken. Scott Randolph didn't jump ship because of one crazy woman. But ole Cindy sure isn't helping anybody, and she certainly isn't going to be the reason we pull out of Iraq. One professor doesn't speak for a political party, either, but he reinforces the idea that liberals can be, at heart, just as wicked as conservatives. I've recently read somewhere that people are beginning to believe that liberals want the U.s. to lose the war. I couldn't agree more. But I feel like Pat Robertson's comments yesterday (or two days ago, by the time I get this up) are part of the reason that many are staying loyal to the Party of the Working Man.

So, I guess my point is this: If you want me to choose between bat-shit crazy liberals who want to reintroduce lions to Oklahoma and restrict free trade, and bat-shit crazy conservatives who would like us to have mandatory flag-pole prayer sessions before school, then I say fuck it. Fuck both of you. Neither of you really get it right, anyway. Democrats want high personal freedoms and low economic freedoms, and Republicans want high economic freedoms and low personal freedoms. How about you both put on your big boy pants and let the people run their own lives. I'm sick of it. And if either Hillary or Condi run in '08, I'm moving to the Bahamas.


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