Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Death of Democratic Party Imminent: Film at 11

You know that a party's gotten a leeeeeetle bit extremist when you see things like this from Thomas Cahill (and never mind what he wrote, 'cause he ain't gettin' my money ever again till he apologizes). In fact, I feel like a little fisking is in order.

Republicans: Others have taken the trouble to tell me how disturbed they were to read reports that I had said (in answer to a question at the end of a talk) that I failed to understand how someone could be a Republican and a Christian.

Can't understand why they'd be disturbed. I mean, wasn't my meaning self-evident?

What I actually said was that it seemed to me that "Republican" -- at least in its current usage -- and "Christian" had become contradictory terms.

Ohhhhhh! Well, that makes it all better!

Of course, I know there are many people who consider themselves to be both (and some of them are even good friends of mine).

And very loving and forgiving Christians they must be, too. Still, we are supposed to take care of the mentally ill and those who have lost their way.

I am also well aware that historically there have been many Americans who were both good Republicans and good Christians, Abraham Lincoln perhaps most preeminently.

Well, garsh, that's mighty nice of you, Mr. Cahill, sir. And historically, I'm sure there've been at least a few Democrats who didn't go to Hell for worshipping strange nameless gods in caverns under the sea, their vestigial gillslits flapping as they chanted, "Ia, Ia, Cthulhu fhtagn!" In fact, my little brother claims they've even stopped doing readings from the Necronomicon at the Democratic National Convention.

But the Republican Party in its current incarnation is racist (racism being the clear premise of its "Southern strategy," pursued so singlemindedly since the days of the ineffable Richard Nixon)...

Ohhhkay. So everybody down South is a white racist. Now that'll be a surprise to all those black and Vietnamese voters, nevermind the Cherokees.

Do remind me which party is obsessed with categorizing people in terms of race.

... and the enemy of the poor.

And that would be why so many blue-collar and working-poor folks support the Republican party. They enjoy getting their faces ground into the mud by the relentless assertion of their party leadership that they are somebodies and can make something of themselves because America is still the land of opportunity. Creating jobs and a better economy and encouraging entrepreneurship makes the poor starve and die in hopeless squalor; and if that ain't enough, Laura Bush stops by their houses and steals their candy.

I would find this more amusing if I hadn't just been reading, on one of my mailing lists, a rather bizarre complaint about sf writer Orson Scott Card's editorial about how "Some of my fellow Democrats are unpatriotic." Now, I would expect criticisms from a liberal Democrat such as 'Card is all wet', or 'too severe'. I might even expect the odd ad hominem attack based on Card's rather erratic levels of excellence in writing, or the fictionalized fantasy version of Joseph Smith's life that is his Alvin Maker series. But what the lady in question said was, "How can someone as conservative as Card even pretend to be a Democrat?" And others agreed.

Note that. Nobody said, "Well, of course Card's a Democrat. His father was a Democrat, his mother was a Democrat, and his family still feels grateful for the New Deal and winning World War II." Noooo. Ideology -- one axis of ideology -- is the only allowable criterion for party affiliation as a Democrat.

Meanwhile, it doesn't even occur to the Republican Party that an ideology test is required. If anything, conservatives sometimes think of Bush as being a little too willing to flirt with moderate and liberal stances.

Two words, kids. 'McGovern'. 'Whig'.


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