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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on November 8th, 2004 (All posts by )

    I may be alone in this but I’d like to see the Democratic party stop pretending to be something it isn’t and just be honest about what it IS: the party of Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Ted Kennedy and Ralph Nader. The proud party of Big Government that believes it can make your life better by taking money from rich people.

    I think our political process suffers from having one side of the debate absent. I don’t want this just because I think it would lead to huge electoral victories for Republicans, I want it because the Democrats’ feigned move to the center has forced Republicans to do things that nobody who calls themself a Conservative should ever consider: Huge tax-payer funded give-aways to farmers and senior citizens, the doubling of budgets for previously endangered departments (under the “Contract with America”)like Education, Energy, Commerce, and even the friggin’ NEA, generally spending money like drunken sailors in order to buy votes to stay in office and maintain their committee chairmanships, loving Washington and wanting to stay there as long as possible and running up a huge deficit.

    -Reader DS, commenting on this post.

    UPDATE: William Niskanen published a paper around 1995 that was titled something like, “Why Our Two-Party Political System Doesn’t Work.” IIRC, Niskanen argued that the left-leaning cartelized outcome that DS laments is the logical result of our having only two major political parties. Unfortunately I was not able to find the paper online. Does anyone know where to find it?

     

    5 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Val Says:

      This is important and something I have experienced many times south of the border. Perhaps the two-party system allows for a bit more differentiation facing the electorate, but it is not armored against this temptation. A great part of the political history of Latin America is about the defeated party trying to outdo the successful populist party of the moment by offering voters their own goodies. Another way of looking at it is that it is the result of democracy itself, as Greeks and Romans knew well.

    2. DS Says:

      I seem to remember reading something like that from Niskanen as well.

      I’m flattered to be picked as the quote of the day, although I wasn’t so much lamenting the limitations of the two party system as I was waxing nostalgic for a time when Republicans proudly ran on the true conservative ideas of small government AND won elections. And Democrats proudly ran on the true liberal ideas of big government and weak national defense and lost elections.

      There is a reason that Bush SR. lost in ’92 and it wasn’t the economy stupid. It was the not believing in the core foundational beliefs of your party stupid.

      Reagan/Goldwater 2008.

    3. Richard A. Heddleson Says:

      On the other hand…reading this and thinking about how the South is solid again with the West and whom America’s richest voted for and gave their money to in the last election, isn’t it time for the Republicans to vote in a truly confiscatory income tax to temporarily support the war effort on those with incomes above say $1,000,000? How could Soros, or Gates, or Buffett or Heinz object?

    4. Neal Phenes Says:

      John Leo yesterday wrote about how the Democratic Party lost him largely due to their intolerance for views that were not in lock-step with the PC-Party positions on everything. He sited numerous instances where liberal Democrats were ostracized for not following every issue on the PC Hit Parade (see Zell Miller). Be pro-life and the rest of your liberal positions are irrelevant. Meanwhile, the Republicans continue to accept the McCains and Giulianis who are not lock-step conservatives.

      Leo talked about the clear contempt Democratic leaders (politicians, intellectuals, educators, press) hold towards religion, Christianity being the biggest focus of this animosity. He then stated how “moral values” meant a lot to voters in this election. Even issues like Iraq and the War on Terror contain morality as an element.

      I agree. This anti-Christianity offends me. Couple it with the multi-culture’s bending backwards treatment of Islamists and I see real hypocrisy from the liberal side.

      I recently told my mother, a life-long Democrat-liberal, how I feel liberals and her party are close-minded. She laughed at my “joke”. However, many times I have brought up topics such as vouchers, global trade, tax cuts, spending cuts, affirmative action, social security privatization and countless other “current” options being offered by conservatives to the myriad 1960’s programs we have been living with for so long. She is an avid reader and on top of many issues. None of her responses showed a recognition of the point being made.

      Her response has never been more than a sneer and a wave of the back of her hand.

      Basically, I have received the same response from liberals who are much younger and more educated over the years. Their marriage to the liberal dogma causes them to shut the door on innovation. What happened to these trailblazers? Is it as simple as there are too many jobs at stake in the multi-culture government apparatus that they cannot face their obsolescence. I was part of the liberal Democrat team until I saw there were indeed logical alternatives to their “programs” that had merit and faced the sneer and back of the hand response. Many of these alternatives were tried and true proved over centuries of success. I surely can understand trying out a better idea but you drop it after it has proved less valuable. Isn’t that a rational response?

      Add to this the under-handed use of courts to undo legislation. The refusal to fairly debate the issues among the electorate and to attempt to garner consensus through logical argument is disappointing. By using the courts, decisions are now foisted upon us from on high by 5 judges. That does not sit well with people. In a fair fight, to lose is acceptable. To be dictated to is not.

      There are many opinions held by my fellow Republicans about which I differ. I will argue my points with them with the confidence that they will be listened to. At least, I will be heard cordially with a civil response Libertarian-leaning Republicans have a voice and see a better opportunity to enact our ideas with the Republicans in the current administration than the interest-laden Democrats.

      Last, can the Democrats change to win the next election or the one after that? I do not see it. The over-riding tenet of their whole philosophy (besides peace at all costs-another losing belief) is that government can provide what individuals, groups and society need better than voluntarism, personal responsibility and the family. The liberals argue that with a benevolent dictator, or people with no profit motive, in charge, the ideal can be reached. The benevolent dictator model has been tried and has never succeeded. The special interests are there no matter how one tries to insulate the bureaucrat. (Actually, the insulation is part of the problem). Given this lifelong credo of fealty to the government and the clear trend of the electorate to non-governmental solutions, the Democratic Party has to be ready for a revolutionary change within. I expect that the response to those within the party to affect such a drastic change will continue to receive the back of the hand.

    5. Ginny Says:

      Isn’t it an ironic comment on the policies of both parties that one of them (with big bucks from an international billiionaire) paid to “get out the vote” and the other didn’t; the former was marred with the kind of scandals one might expect when people were being paid to register and paid to vote, the latter was apparently (and one of the good things about our system is that I have faith that the competing system would have ferreted out any big problems) honest.