So last week I waxed eloquent upon the upcoming presidential election, which is increasingly becoming a toss-up, as in “I’m about to toss-up my breakfast.” If you missed last week and wish to avoid being totally lost, you may peruse it here. Said post, as designed, sparked a short conversation with my first-time-voting progenic offspring regarding the purported leading and distressingly fingernails-on-a-chalkboard candidates seeking the aforementioned public office.
“All I know,” said Thing 2, “is that one wants to build a wall and the other really wants to be president,” which honestly sums up their campaigns rather nicely for someone who doesn’t pay attention and frankly didn’t see the need to care until we went to see Cabaret wherein the characters do little more than eat and drink and have sex willy-nilly until they end up in concentration camps. I do love a rollicking, feel-good musical.
This statement by her in turn sparked a desire in me and myself to once again do the negligent media’s job and offer a bit of an educational rant such that she and her sister could intelligently enter their local polling places and appropriately choose a mouthpiece bought and paid for by the banks and corporate fatcats to which to sell their souls. Fortunately for the office of president there are more than just the two varieties of shrill screechiness, but for options lower on the ballot there are often just Republicans and Democrats, which I will henceforth refer to as ‘Reps’ and ‘Dems’ to save myself some typing. (Unnecessary typing is always bad. Why authors choose to give their fictional characters such long names, I will never understand. Can you imagine typing out Zaphod Beeblebrox or Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov over and over? I’d rather eat a bowl of aspic. If I ever write a novel, the main character’s name is going to be ‘Bo’. And he will be of Chinese descent.)
You will notice I do not use the terms ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ as Republicans have little to do with conservatism anymore and Democrats have nothing whatsoever to do with classic liberalism. At least the Dems have recognized their shift and now call themselves ‘progressives’, as in ‘progressing toward socialism’. But using the terms ‘progressives’ and ‘progressives-lite’ would lead to confusion, so I’ll just stick to Dems and Reps.
While at first glance it would seem the differences between Reps and Dems are legion (which I have written about here), if one were to be honest with one’s self, a herculean feat for most Americans, their variances on the issues can be seen as really only two-fold—and by two-fold I mean there are four because you cannot fold anything twice and not end up with four segments. Since this is my blog and I can cry if I want to, I will briefly expound in an admittedly highly generalized manner. You are of course welcome and encouraged to disagree with me and that’s okay. I would love to hear why you are wrong in the comments section below.
And the issues are (in no particular order)…
Abortion: Dems are in favor of abortion but like to use code words for it like ‘Choice’ or ‘Women’s Health’ because in most circles ‘Dismembering A Fetus By Sucking It Through A Tiny Vacuum’ is a tough sell. They religiously stick by Planned Parenthood despite its proven illegal activities as if it is the only abortion option around and will do almost anything to avoid revisiting Roe v. Wade (the court case which gave us this ‘right’) because science is no longer on their side. Reps are against abortion saying, “If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime.” Many Reps make inconsistent exceptions however, such as rape or incest or ‘to save the life of the mother’, the last of which pretty much never happens but sounds compassionate. Reps tend to claim, “Life begins at conception” while Dems say, “Life begins at birth,” both of which are unprovable and unknowable. Reps say we as a society should thus always err on the side of life (except in cases of capital punishment and police action), while Dems say we should thus always err on the side of individual ‘choice’ (so long as said choice is limited to abortion and not something like healthcare, schools, vaccinations, light bulbs, expression, etc.). Dems also say we should favor the individual over
The Rule of Law: Reps see the law as the law; it is concrete and inviolable. The Dems not so much. Reps TRUMPet “Law and Order” while Dems parade known law-breakers around the campaign trail as heroes struggling against the oppressive system (which they helped create, btw). Such leanings are manifest in various sub-issues, one of which is immigration. Reps say enforce the laws, Dems say nah. Another sub issue is the role of the courts. Hillary exemplified the Dem position in the final debate: the courts should “stand on the side of the American people,” she said. “The Supreme Court should represent all of us.” The Reps, summoning their finest Dwight Schrute impression, say “False.” The courts should stand on the side of the law and represent the Constitution. Speaking of which, the Constitution, say the Dems, is a living and breathing document to be interpreted based upon the times and the needs of the people—particularly when it comes to the first and second amendments. Reps say the Constitution is amendable, yes, but there is a process for that and it has nothing to do with the courts. The only thing that separates order from anarchy, ‘us’ from ‘them’ is adherence to The Rule of Law. Thus, Reps tend to be wary of
Globalization: Dems consider us a member of the global community and would like to see Swiss cheese-style borders such that social justice can be served and world-wide economic equality can be achieved. Reps say borders are borders for a reason and such Utopian economic equality will place everyone at the lowest common denominator; ‘Murica is the greatest country ever no matter what and if you don’t like it, don’t let the ocean hit you on the way out. Dems say that the U.S. has more than enough resources to share and are willing to place said resources under the control of corrupt and wasteful global bureaucracies, while the Reps prefer to keep such control within the corrupt and wasteful bureaucracies right here at home. Reps, I think, have an aversion to globalism largely because of their apprehension toward eschatological Zionism, which stems from their view of
God (prepare to be controversied, as I am now stepping in it): Dems have pretty much spit in the face of the traditional Judeo-Christian (and Muslim) God through their stances on things like abortion and the rule of law and same-sex whatever. They actually booed God at their 2012 convention and would probably take any divine references off our money and pledges if it weren’t politically contentious. They don’t like the idea of a higher authority over their human institutions. Reps like to talk about and say they believe in God, but it is less the Judeo-Christian God and more the American God of respect and affluence. They bow to the God of the golden age of peace and economic prosperity of the 50s wherein everyone went to church and wore a belt and knew their place. Theirs is a civil Osteen religion wherein America is ‘blessed’ by God so long as their candidates are in charge and goes to hell when they are not. They don’t like the idea of a higher authority that might disagree with their human institutions.
Those are really the only real differences that I see. Now, figure out where on these spectrums you fall and vote accordingly. And while our situation may seem hopeless, just remember: it probably is.
Life is a cabaret, old chum.