Thursday, February 04, 2016


Hi, friends. It's been years. Let me spill my thought-guts somewhere other than Facebook, because this post is long and not polished and a bit ranty. Aaaaaand spill!

Perhaps this is a bit simplistic, but so it goes: 

  • Republicans tell you what [their definitions of the moral things] you can't do (abortion, gay stuff, drugs)
  • Democrats tell you what we should do with collective funds [heal the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry]. 
Yes, "collective funds" is the key term here. Of course charity is good, but should the state mandate it?

  • Democrats want civil liberties, while 
  • Republicans (at least the old-school ones I thought I knew) want private charities. 
And then the neocons and neoliberals want to monetize and privatize fucking everything. 

Protect the borders or open the borders?
Protect trade or free trade? 
Neither of the two previous sentences has had a consistent partisan champion in the last 20 years. 

And then there are weird outliers... Republicans say you get to keep your guns... but you can't kill... unless you're defending yourself... or "think" you're defending yourself (against 12-year-olds with dark skin and toy weapons, or Skittles, or an "attitude".


Will said...

So I am going to be unfriendly with words here. I think deontology is the problem. Too often we define our values by rights and responsibilities. However, there are so many cases of things where I don't want to require any particular individual to help, but that collective pooling of resources to help make sense.

IE. If you see someone in the street getting mugged, I don't want you to have to go beat up and catch the mugger or provide medical care for the victim. However, I am more than happy to require people to pay taxes for police, fire, and ambulance services.

I don't remember who said it, but I liked the idea that Politics is just a word for the things we decide to do together.

Great PurpleRobe said...

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, wrote a part anthology, part editorial book called The Dilbert Future. Between the visions of pointy-haired bosses and sucker-punching coworkers, he talked about the future of advertising, which would naturally bleed into other arenas of life, including politics. He introduced the concept of the Confuse-opoloy.

His theory was that, basically, products and services are largely self-definined, and that advertising that attempted to show differences between competitors was largely a shell game. Take cell phones and cell phone service: AT&T does not have special magic cell phone beams that deliver higher-quality information to their phones. They use they same technology (basically, a highly-refined radio transceiver). Same goes for Sprint and T-Mobile. How to choose a phone? Good luck reading their pamphlets and watching their commercials, because they shuffle special sales, promote certain phones at certain times, (when in reality they all work just fine), and swear that their brand has the magic gremlins that deliver your cat pictures with the speed of fairy dust.

The same thing, I believe, is what's going on in politics. Repubs and Dems aren't different, they just take money from different sets of special interests (Bill Maher said basically this same thing in August of 2000 on the Larry King show). Do you really get better 'service' from Democrats, or Republicans? No, it usually boils down to the individual politician who either espouses a cause and sees it through or not. Barak Obama would have been a great President, Democrat or not, because of his achievements, not what armband he wears on his uniform. --JB