Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Accuracy in Labeling: Fantasists versus Realists

"George Bush and Tom Delay are moderate conservatives." from Al.

What exactly is it that George Bush and Tom Delay are attempting to "conserve?" Not the environment. Not the economy. Not jobs. Not the military. Surely not America's position of leadership and respect in the world. Perhaps they are conserving "traditional American values" but only so long as that doesn't interfere with their heavy contributors' (Viacom? GE?) ability to make a buck over pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Labels are meaningless when one side- radical Republicans- gets to choose for everybody, including our party. I prefer my suggestion that we ditch the "liberal versus conservative" model and switch to "fantasists versus realists." The key difference between modern Democrats and modern Republicans is that Republicans would rather govern a country using their ideology, ignoring inconvenient facts- and the Constitution- that get in the way of their fantasy.

In contrast, modern Democrats aren't wedded to an ideological viewpoint, but are more interested in what works, while respecting the worth of individual human beings and the rule of law. We're the ones who balanced the budget, presided over welfare reform (albeit grudgingly), and, in spite of Republican propaganda to the contrary, did more to improve the modern military under Carter and Clinton than occurred under Reagan and Bush. We're for judges who will strictly interpret the law and the Constitution, because the written law is much more favorable to civil rights than the so called conservative judges can stand. The real "activist" judges are the right wingers, because our Constitution as written and amended is a very liberal document.

In short, modern Democrats look more like 1950's Republicans- without the McCarthyist Fascist overtones. We're the realists, with our feet on the ground, but our aspirations still reach to the clouds.


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