Thursday, January 15, 2009

Journey

I have always considered myself to be a liberal and for years as a liberal I had always thought that the Democratic Party represented my interests as a liberal. However as the George W. Bush years progressed I was forced to reassess what the Democratic Party was, what it stood for, and what it means to be a liberal. I find it repugnant to resort to labels as labels are often misleading yet it is the most expedient way to express my thoughts on how my own world view has changed.

I hate to admit it but my loyalty to the Democratic Party was based on assumptions and worse still, on lazy thinking or worse yet, not thinking at all. This is in no way an endorsement of the Republican Party who I personally consider to be disgusting. In fact for the most part I despise the Republican Party who I feel panders to the most ridiculous people who exist in, and are the product of, U.S. culture. And for that matter I find U.S. culture to be almost entirely disgusting. To be sure there are no doubt cultures that are worse but at the same time there are cultures that are, from my own view, better but that is not germane to my journey of what I like and hope to believe is an improved awareness of political realities.

The one factor that led to my disillusionment with the Democrats was their failure to oppose George W. Bush who represented to me the quintessential Republican. I found Bush to be coarse, a braggart, cocky, childish, moronic, a bully, arrogant, macho, and a con artist. All the things that are so predominant in U.S. popular culture that I find abhorrent. Perhaps I could take it one step further and call Bush the quintessential American for these are the qualities that are enshrined in U.S. culture. These qualities are reflected in and throughout the entire history of the United States. These are the qualities that we are trained from the moment of birth and on into adulthood (if such a thing exists in this nation) to admire and aspire too whether we are aware of it or not or if we wish to admit it having been made aware of it. Never-the-less I for years, and still do, identify this less than complimentary opinion of U.S. culture with the Republican Party with all its paraphernalia of tribalism which manifests in an artificially exaggerated display of flag waving patriotism. Unfortunately the Democrats are no better the differences being mainly those of style rather than substance and now I also attribute the same negative aspects of the Republican Party with the Democratic Party.

Even after it should have been quite clear that the Democrats were horrendous I was still firmly entrenched in my belief that the Democrats were somehow different from the Republicans. There were signs all around yet I steadfastly refused to see them. There was the blank check given to Bush to invade Iraq but even though this should have been the clearest of road signs I blew it off with the same excuses I hear today. It was pragmatic, it was due to political realities, it was this, that, and the other but still these are only excuses and delusional as well. Yet once I fully realized how bad the Democrats actually are it soon turned into an avalanche of realizations. Who entered the United States into WWI? A Democrat. Who entered the United States into WWII? A Democrat. Who was responsible for the Korean War? A Democrat. Who was responsible for the Vietnam War? Two Democrats. These are only a few examples yet from my view are entirely damning in their scope for what is more evil than war? And more recently it has been the Democrats that have gone along with Bush to the point of actually aiding Bush to reduce our freedoms with the forming of the Homeland Security, the domestic wire-tapping, the destruction of habeas corpus as well as the Democrat support of an unjustified war that was not only based on lies but was illegal by every definition of international law. None of this can be disputed for it has been in the news (albeit in a very twisted form) and therefore well documented no matter how people try to justify and excuse it. These are facts. And the most recent was the disgusting and sickening display put on by Congress when they voted their support for the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. This is unforgivable, utterly unforgivable and every Congress-oid who supported this unholy approval of inexcusable violence should hang their head in shame for it is a far more despicable thing than any whore has ever enacted.

One part of my re-thinking or perhaps more accurately the beginning of my thinking was delving into U.S. history where I concentrated on the role of the Democratic Party down through the years. Some of it I already knew and much that I did not know yet even for the history I was already aware of I now saw in a much different light. Another part was the writings of different individuals. One of those individuals was Arthur Silber who has consistently presented some of the best writings on the realities of politics in the United States I have ever come across. For example you could and should read his recent essay Those Who Enable the Triumph of Evil, and the Choice Before Us which goes into much greater detail and provides much better insights than I am capable of producing. Here is a brief excerpt.

Link

So which is worse? Those who support evil, but insist they believe it is good? Or those who support evil while claiming, at least some of the time, that they actually know it is evil? I didn't write [an intended] post in the form I originally planned for only one reason: given the nature of the evil involved -- the complete destruction of liberty domestically and an unending series of murderous, ungraspably destructive wars abroad -- I consider distinctions of this kind ultimately to be morally insignificant to the point of invisibility. The only fact that matters is that Republicans and Democrats -- two or three honorable exceptions aside -- all act to destroy liberty and to further criminal war abroad. But in a psychological sense, I probably would have to say the Democrats (and certain of their apologists) are worse: to say you recognize evil to any extent at all, yet to fail to oppose it or, which is still more reprehensible, to act for its furtherance, consigns one to the lowest rung of Hell.


But do go read the whole essay and be sure to click on the links for you will seldom come across a more educational and insightful material anywhere.

2 Comments:

At January 15, 2009 7:18 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Rob, I wonder how many of your readers are nodding their heads at your post and thinking, as I am, "I could have written that." We've awakened from the dream of the democratic party we thought we knew and now are out in the cold. Where can we go from here?

 
At January 15, 2009 11:36 AM, Blogger rob payne said...

Hi Mimi,

I believe that the underlying issue is one of cultural proportions. What we teach our children is what they will be. But cultures do change over time, lots of time. I believe that no significant and permanent change will happen in our lifetime for to believe so would be to underestimate the power of culture. For example this nation was founded on slavery yet we eventually abolished it, but it took a long time for that to occur but it did occur so there is every hope that humanity can move forward to better days. Racism is of course still a part of our national makeup but I expect someday we will move past that as well. The same goes for using military solutions. It may well be that things will have to get worse before they get better but I do believe that they will get better.

 

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