It seems to me that when people become embroiled in Democrat vs. Republican arguments all the participants in said argument have succumbed to that age old temptation to argue about the wrong thing. It is as pointless as arguing which is better – vanilla ice-cream or chocolate. They taste a little different but they’re essentially identical, they are both ice-cream.
I have been writing criticisms of Obama and the Democratic Party for over a year and that is not because I think the Republicans are better in some way. It is because it was obvious that after the failure of the Iraq War and the tanking economy that the Democrats would be in power plus the realization that the Democrat leadership is just as gung-ho for imperialism as the Republican leadership, in fact I think you could make a solid argument that the Democrats are more gung-ho than the Republicans with the exception of W. Bush perhaps. If the Republicans were in power now it is quite likely I would be writing more about them but they aren’t.
I have felt for some time that American politics are identity politics where just like in the American car culture, the car that people choose to drive is in some manner an extension of themselves. Why did W. Bush buy a ranch in Texas and then do photo-ops of cutting brush? Identity politics, that’s why. I’m sure all successful politicians know that it is the packaging that counts, not what’s in the container. I suspect that this identify thing outweighs what any political party actually does in the eyes of people who choose to belong either party.
Ideology also plays a role in identity politics. According to legend the Republicans are the conservative party promising small government and fiscal responsibility yet when have they ever even remotely achieved this? Never. The Democrats ideology is supposedly more liberal and amendable to valuable domestic programs. Yet it was a Democratic president – Bill Clinton—who destroyed the Welfare program, a valuable safety net. The Democratic leadership also likes to portray their murderous wars as “Humanitarian” and sees itself as leading a recalcitrant world to a new liberal Democratic utopia. It goes without saying that when judging a politician that what party they belong to is irrelevant as is half of what they say. The only way to judge them is by their actions yet that is so rarely done in what passes for political discussion today.
So should I dislike someone because they support one or other of the two major parties? You would have to dislike an awful lot of people if that is the case especially if you don’t support either party which I do not.
The truth can be found in more than one place. The truth doesn’t belong to a particular ideology or political party. And if you find yourself dismissing a valuable insight from someone because they like Obama or Ronald Reagan or whoever then you are a victim of identity politics.