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Table of Contents

Introduction--March 15, 2011

Week 1: Taking a Stab @ It

Week 2: Lacking Klout

Week 3: Welcome to the Party

Week 4: I Believe in Me

Week 5: Listing to the Right

Week 6: Twitterdreams

Week 7: I Blame Aristotle

Week 8: Electile Dysfunction

Week 9: You Can't Keep a Down Man Good

Week 10: Manifesto Destiny

Week 11: Shames People Play

Week 12: Tweets and CHiRPs

Week 13: Beck and Call

Epilogue: The Perfect Tweet

« Truth is a Funny Thing, and That's a Fact... | Main | Acknowledgements & Thanks »
Thursday
May102012

Manifesto Destiny: How to Recognize Democrats and Republicans

UPDATE: On this Tueday's episode of THE MIDDLE GROUND, we'll be discussing what we mean when we talk about "Democrats," "Republicans," and "Independents." To weigh in on this topic (and to tell us what you think are the most pressing issues facing us today), please take our brief, five-question survey HERE.

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The following is an excerpt from Week Ten: Manifesto Destiny...

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have manifestos, though I doubt either would willingly admit it.  They certainly don’t use the word publicly. A search on Twitter for the words “Man­ifesto” and “Republican” returns only one sarcastic tweet.  Note the hash tag:

NotAChance:  The Republican Manifesto #lessinterestingbooks

The same search for “Manifesto” and “Democrat” returns only one link as well, this one for a political party in Scotland.

The Democratic manifesto requires allegiance to a set of beliefs based on the self-evident need for a government-sponsored, government-provided, cradle-to-grave safety net.[1]  Democrats want us all to believe that everyone’s welfare is everyone’s responsibility, that it’s possible (and wrong) to have too much of something, that many people are entitled to assistance and should take it even if they don’t want it or need it, that big business is bent on consolidating wealth and power in the hands of the few, and that the overall needs of the many are more important (and ultimately more valuable) than those of the individual. It also helps if you have just a little bit of unadmitted prejudice for those who haven’t attained a college degree or read anything by Dostoevsky. 

The left’s unwritten manifesto at least attempts inclusivity.  The Democrat comes from anywhere and everywhere: poor and rich, white and black, east and west. The Republican manifesto, in contrast, acts as gatekeeper, litmus test, and all-around vetting machine, St. Peter at the Pearlies passing judgment on a long line of aspirants. It’s a rigid, get-in-line approach to manifesto—and the line is always on the right. Anyone who doesn’t abide by the party principles can expect a rapid trip to the woodshed. Candidates, in particular, have a tough time of it; any that refuse to abide by the manifesto’s unwritten principles have very little chance of winning the nomination. 

First, you must accept that taxes are bad and spending cuts are good, ignoring the obvious triteness of this Aristotelian statement.  There is no middle ground, no situation under which additional taxes on some people might make sense. Second, America and its populace are blessed by God; we are the greatest country in the history of mankind and our way of life is almost (if not totally) perfect. Any attempt to prove otherwise (with facts, for example) is simply unpatriotic. Third, there is nothing—nothing—laudable that a Democrat can do because Democrats are the “liberal elite” parading around with slightly lifted noses and talking down to the common man while trying to take everyone’s money and give it to them. Fourth, there is always a them.  Finally, the manifesto requires that any viable candidate unequivocally support any and all positions promoted by the religious right wing of the party, including the absolute wrongness of abortion, the absolute rightness of bearing arms, the absolute certainty of Christian principles, and the absolute blind obedience to the loudest voice in the room.[2]

Bottom line: to gain the Democratic nomination you have to pretend that you care about everyone whether you do or not, but if you want the GOP nomination you may very well need to check your soul at the door.

 


[1] There’s plenty of justification for this, by the way.  People are notoriously prone to instant gratification at the expense of their own future, and then whining about it later on when things tighten up and some benevolent overseer (whether parent, school, or government) won’t step in and help out. Ditto for corporations.

 

[2] It also helps if you fawningly admire all of the rewritten American history used to support these views.

 

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