Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Understand Your Man 

They're winning. They're sabotaging the social safety net and trying to make it look natural, so they can dismantle it on account of it "not working." And if they ever came out and said their goals, if they said they wanted to reverse the New Deal and the Great Society and the government doesn't owe you a damn thing, if they listed all the programs they believe with religious fervor should be gutted, they'd be gone in minutes and no one would miss them.

In the old days, the "character" of a politician didn't matter a whit compared to the party, because a guy voted based on which party represented his interests. It didn't matter if the Democrat was a corrupt tool of Tammany Hall, there was simply no reason to put a Republican in power if their party didn't care about your kind. If it's 1864, and you're a Northern Negroe, you're not going to vote for McClellan even if you think Lincoln's beard is untrustworthy or you think Andrew Johnson's too puffy.
(just a reminder -- it's still Civil War Joke Day)
Of course, what that kind of situation requires is an understanding of each political party's ideology, which is impossible in a media world where buzzwords and pretty phrases pass for statements of political intent and long-term goals. Honestly -- do you think today's political "debates" compare at all to the (wildly popular and constantly reprinted) Lincoln/Douglas debates in terms of complexity of argument? There were ad hominim attacks and character assasination back then, too, and it got even nastier in many cases, but people actually understood what the parties stood for ideologically.

Of course, they still do. Republicans believe in American Values, getting Tough On Crime, and Fighting Terror. Democrats seem to believe in Higher Taxes (which go towards... what, exactly?) and Hating God.

Once again, too much Neil Postman.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com