HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

4/24/2001

Ideology


I suppose most people in the US go through life not concerned whatsoever with having a political philosophy; they only vote for candidates (and referenda, in our Progressive states) with little regard for anything except what strikes their fancy at the time, assuming they vote at all. Of the rest of the people, most will just identify themselves with one of the political parties, whether that's from heredity or general belief in most of the policies or whatnot. As for myself, I always identified myself as a Democrat when I was a young 'un, but by the time I became a registered voter I was widely disillusioned with the two parties. What do you do when no party represents your point of view? I've tried to formulate a personal philosophy that makes sense and it's tough. It's tougher when you have to deal with two parties that might as well be set in concrete in the middle of our political discourse.

The Republicans. I was going to link directly to their platform, but they've helpfully removed it from their page. Thus, you could go to their site, poke around, and still not find out anything they believe except a virtual pep rally for the Shrub. Fortunately, other sites still have it up. First observation; it's absolutely impossible to figure out what they mean when everything is ensconced in such linguistic curliques as the "American Dream Down Payment." (that's a proposed one time payment to anyone getting a federal rent credit, ostensibly so they can buy houses) Second, Republicans have a terrible grasp of priorities; they'd rather waste a lot of time trying to pass a flag burning amendment than pass legislation that would, say, create a more equitable dairy pricing mechanism than the one we have now. It goes without saying that the latter would certainly benefit more people, especially the GOP's supposed constituency, than the former. The GOP has some things right, of course; they want to restrain spending, and keep taxes down, and promote limited government. On the other hands, the Republicans are terrible hypocrites. They want to keep spending more on the ridiculous War on Drugs, on the military, and now to subsidize religious groups; they are for local determination unless that locality includes the Florida Supreme Court; and limited government only goes until we're talking about freedom to own a dildo, or have sex the way you want to, or otherwise exercise personal freedom. So, the GOP is pretty much morally bankrupt. I haven't even mentioned their demonstrated fealty to corporate types.

Then there's the Democrats. They've had all the issues for so long; benefitting the poor, aiding the environment, increasing access to health care, the works. But a funny thing happened on their way to power; the people didn't care. In fact, the Republicans, long the minority party, began making serious inroads into Democratic constituencies in the eighties and the Democrats caved. Soon they were couching their progressive platform in pithy platitudes; making mealy-mouthed mumblings about the moderate majority; and then electing Bill Clinton to be only the second Democratic president since LBJ. Unfortunately, Bill turned out to be the most polarizing figure yet, which is shocking because his politics resembled Goldwater's more than Johnson's. He moved the Democrats into their current position as the less corporate party of the center, but by no means a progressive party. Bought and paid for just like the Republicans, people got turned off of politics when they realized neither party was in favor of departing from the status quo in any real way.

On the other hand, what's so great about being progressive? Well, it depends what you're for. I'm not terribly sure that more democracy is such a great idea. Our founding fathers definitely wrote the constitution the way they did to shield the republic from the shifting proclivities of the populace. Hmmph. I'll pick this up tomorrow.

Running out of gumption, running out of the basement

I can tell that this spring and summer will be taxing on my blog time, mainly because I'm not going to be indoors so much. I guess I need to maximize my writing while at work, heh heh heh.
I've mentioned before that the existence of webcams is a good argument for what the internet is doing to bring the world together. This link is a collection of webcams by state. Go look for your city! It's awesome.

What was revolutionary about the Green Revolution? I bet you'd say it was Nitrogen. Unfortunately, Nitrogen has some very deleterious effects on our environment. This bodes ill for our future.

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