Thursday, May 24, 2007
Crypto-Donkeys and Pseudo-Elephants
The animal mascots of the Democrat and Republican parties are meant to symbolize something essential about the individual core attitudes and policies of the parties. Or, rather, they used to do so. All that's really left of this concept is more at the level of branding than actual representation.
The parties capitalize on their past achievements and stances. They've learned to refer to the past without actually endorsing and implementing such troublesome concepts as defending the poor or fiscal responsibility in government. No, but Republicans are happy to speechify on Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves and Democrats are fond of recalling FDR's accomplishments.
At the risk of sounding like the cynic I am, almost no one runs for higher office in this country without selling their souls in the process, often quite happily and eagerly. It happens gradually and often without clear indicators. "I can do a lot if I attain this position so a few little compromises along the way are OK. I'll turn it around once I get into office." This is a case of ethical death by a thousand cuts. A little bit here, some more there, soon to find commitments and promises to big ticket contributors adding up to over 100 percent of your accumulated political capital.
Our national political world is dominated by cults of personality and image prevails over substantive discussion most of the time.
Welcome to our political Thunderdome, where sycophants of power vie and lie, sincerely and quite earnestly.