Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Divisive Nature of Election Season Discourse

It is an unfortunate truth of the season that Progressives are not of one mind at the moment.

The root of the problem lies with the party loyalists. They strive desperately to justify the actions of the Democrats. They quickly breeze past all the broken promises by Obama. They trumpet the empty accomplishment of the so-called "Health-Care Reform" and "Financial Reform" bills as though they actually reformed something. They refuse to even respond to comments and questions about the uglier issues like death squads, the Patriot Act, Guantonomo, signing statements, and the death of Habeas Corpus.

They say things like "Well, it took Bush 8 years to break things, you don't think the Democrats can fix everything in 2 years, do you?". Of course, this ignores that the Democrats haven't fixed anything in 2 years, or even made more than a half-hard pretense of trying. Mostly because they were too damn busy selling us out to the corporations and pandering to the rich.

And when all else fails, the Party Loyalists trot out that tired old false sympathy ploy. "Possum, I'm not any happier with the Democrats than you are, but golly jeepers, we can't let those nasty old Republicans get back in office!!!!!!111111oneoneone"

I know the Republicans. I was once a Republican myself, back in the dawn of time, though all gods great and small bear witness, I am not proud of the fact.

Though voting for the lesser of two evils is often necessary, I loathe being forced into that position, as my mother loathed it when I was a small boy. This is not a new situation for American voters.

The truth of the matter is, dear friends, that the two-party system is broken, hopelessly and completely broken. And yet the shambling zombie corpse of the system staggers on, driven by precisely the sort of thinking that these Democratic Party Loyalists so blindly adhere to. They are obsessed with the idea that there only two choices.

It's called boolean logic, (though there are other meanings to that phrase). The concept is that there are only two states possible; on or off, zero or one, yes or no, true or false, Democrat or Republican.

"Third party?!?", they shriek in tones of horror, as though you'd just confessed to an unhealthy carnal passion for sheep, "but that's just throwing your vote away!"

And this is if they're being generous. More often you get the line that "a vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for the Republicans!", an accusation almost as insulting as it is unjustified.

Perhaps worst of all is the religious zealotry with which these party loyalists attack any Progressive who dares to question the logic of the party line. Logic be damned! Facts be damned! Qualms of conscience and moral considerations be damned! Heil Demokraten! Barak Obama ist Der Sieg! Those who doubt are heretics and must be punished! You're either with us, or you're against us!

Frankly, at least in style, these Democratic Party Loyalists start sounding very much like Republicans.

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