This was printed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today, but I doubt that even Ben-n-Austin believes all these things. Maybe he can let us know which ones he does not agree with.
What Democrats believe
Bradley R. Gitz
Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008
As the coronation of “The One” draws near, it might be useful to summarize the most important things that Barack Obama and those who will be crowning him in Denver agree upon. The fuzzy language of the actual Democratic platform and the candidate’s recent centrist makeover notwithstanding, it will still be safe to say that he and the vast majority of his fellow Democrats accept, among others, the following propositions.
That exploring and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, offshore or just about anywhere is bad. So, too, are nuclear power, coal and any other kind of energy source except windmills and solar power, which no one expects to provide more than a small fraction of the nation’s energy needs for decades to come. Because being green and reducing CO 2 emissions are far more important to Democrats than reducing gas prices, the energy issue should be fudged as much as possible by blaming everything on Dick Cheney and Big Oil, even if it doesn’t make much sense.
That racial preferences must be preserved because assumptions of group entitlement and grievance are central to how most Democrats perceive American society. Group rights are now more important than individual rights as we move toward a new caste system based on race, ethnicity and gender. Anyone alarmed by such trends is racist or sexist.
That a woman’s right to an abortion must be defended, even if no one can identify precisely where in the Constitution the alleged right is lodged. Since a fetus is roughly equivalent to a tomato, there are no tradeoffs in terms of the rights of the mother vs. the rights of the unborn and no need to engage in reasoned debate over what constitutes human life or when it begins.
That the use of American military power is to be avoided and appeasement of various kinds should be used instead to deal with potential aggressors like Iran and North Korea. Democrats are the doves of American politics and no Democratic president should continence the use of military force without the United Nations and France on board. When war does break out or acts of terrorism are committed somewhere, it is most likely America’s fault anyway.
That health care should be reformed by moving toward some version of socialized medicine similar to the British system, or at least Canada’s. Any proposals that would shift health care (or anything else ) in a more market-oriented direction are, accordingly, to be vigorously opposed. Socialism may be dead as a viable ideology, but Democrats still hanker for a follow-up to the New Deal and the Great Society, with universal health care as the centerpiece. Besides, the more people dependent upon government for the necessities of life, the more Democrats there will be.
That the war on terror should be halted because the terrorist threat is overblown. Indeed, the far bigger threat all along has been the Bush administration and its overzealous anti-terrorism policies. National Security Agency wiretapping, rough interrogation tactics and saying things that make Muslims angry are worse problems than Muslim terrorism.
That all nominees to the federal courts must embrace the idea of a “living” constitution, defined as a constitution flexible enough to mean whatever liberals want it to mean. This way, liberals can achieve through the courts and ideologically congenial judges those things that the Constitution might not permit and / or which elected legislatures won’t enact.
That the strictures of political correctness are to be energetically upheld because they are useful in suppressing criticism of liberal pieties. This means that nothing that can be construed as critical can be said about any member of any officially “protected” group, defined as everyone but white Christian males. Truth is no defense.
That tort reform must be stopped because what appear to be absurd classaction lawsuits are actually just efforts to stand up for the little guy and make corporate America more accountable. American society might be suffering from an excess of litigation, but the more relevant consideration is that the more huge paydays the trial bar wins, the bigger the campaign contributions to Democrats by grateful ambulance chasers.
Obama inwardly agrees with all of this, of course, but also shrewdly recognizes that such a mélange of environment extremism, abortion on demand and blame-America-first pacifism doesn’t appeal much beyond the faculty lounge; hence, the slipping and sliding and obfuscating and repositioning that will occur between Denver and November.
—–––––•–––––—Free-lance columnist Bradley R. Gitz teaches politics at Lyon College at Batesville.