I’m not a Democrat, I’ve never been a Democrat, and for all I know I may never become a Democrat. That being said, you must have an extra chromosome if you think Democrats are worse than, or even as bad as, Republicans.
It’s not even that close, and that’s kind of sad. If the Democrats were an Olympic track runner, they would be that guy from Australia who didn’t even have legs. You’d think that would be easy to compete against, but the Republicans would be from the Special Olympics.
It’s almost shocking how horrible our options are. We have a choice of thousands of TV channels, but we only get two choices for president, and neither of them have been any good for decades now (if you’re wondering, I would personally say the last great president was probably Eisenhower).
Ultimately, you can learn everything you need to know about the political parties from the three presidential debates. No… not from the content of the debates. If you believe that shit, I have a bridge to nowhere in Alaska that I’d like to sell to you…
You can learn everything you need to know about the two parties by how people reacted to each debate.
Let’s start anachronistically with the second debate. By nearly all unbiased accounts, Obama won the debate. I watched it, as well as all the other debates, and I have no doubt that the second debate went in favor of Obama.
I checked my news the next morning, like I do every morning, and I noticed something odd… basically everyone was acknowledging a Romney defeat… except Fox News and some conservative sources. Now, to say I wasn’t surprised would be an understatement. I knew with almost as much certainty as the fact that the sun would rise that morning that Fox News would twist the truth.
I found plenty of conservatives, though, that did acknowledge the defeat, but always with these silly caveats. “Oh, Obama won on style, but Romney won on content.” I heard that enough that I decided to look into it, and found it was a common talking point within the Conservative Media Conglomerate™.
So basically… it appears that Republicans don’t know what to think until they are told what to think. When talking to a Republican, I am not having a discussion so much as I am being read a script. Republicans have such myopic tunnel-vision that most of them get their news from handful of the same sources, and then they have the shriveled, saggy old balls to suggest I’m the one who needs to read less biased sources (you know, besides the nine or so conservative sources I read regularly, from Fox News to Alex Jones to the Drudge Report).
It’s gotten so bad that I find if I read conservative news late at night, I know what Republicans are going to be saying the next day. I have literally taken the words out of people’s mouths before they spoke them, because Republicans are so embarrassingly lock-step.
It’s gotten to the point where I find it insulting when one of these know-nothing mouth-breathers gets upset with me for “not respecting their opinion.” The truth is I can respect a person’s opinion… if they aren’t borrowing it from arrogant corporate whores.
But I digress…
The Republican Party is less a cogent ideology and more of a loose contingent of hate groups, conspiracy theorists, selfish dipshits, and post-menopausal female Fundies.
They respect your right to life… until you are born, then it’s just capitalism when you die because your insurance drops you. They believe the government shouldn’t tell you what to do… unless you love someone of your gender, then your marriage isn’t as valid as Kim Kardashian’s. And boy do they hate immigrants… even though immigrants are propping up Social Security by paying into a system whose benefits they won’t be able to claim.
Republicans are stuck in the 90s, by which I mean the 1890s. They are not just throwing down “solutions” from another era, they’re suggesting failures that a lesson in basic civics can effortlessly counter.
And that’s ultimately the problem. Republicanism is the result of how dumb America has become. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of stupid spills over into the Democratic Party, but even the most erudite Republican scholar (three words that may have never been used next to each other before…) lacks a basic understanding of how the world actually works.
Compare the complete denial suffered by the right after Romney’s debate defeat to the reaction on the left after the first debate. There was a broad spectrum of reactions I saw, ranging from immediate denial by some to outright anger at Obama himself. It was the kind of reactions you might expect from normal people, not mindless automatons being told what to think.
And that’s why you can trust the opinions of some Democrats. Not all, not even most, but some. Some Democrats are capable of self-criticism, whereas Republicans appear to be incapable of taking any responsibility for the party’s failings.
It’s not that there are no trustworthy voices on the right, either, they just don’t identify with the Republican Party. They make an effort to distance themselves, describing themselves as conservatives, moderates, independents, Libertarians, or even anarchists. Sure, a lot of these people are also clueless, but some of them know what they are talking about… sometimes. These people at least have a metaphorical +1 in my book right off the bat for acknowledging how fucked the Republican Party has become.
The bottom line is this, though: Republicans are in need of a change, which does not bode well for them. If ever a political party blindly opposed pragmatic progress, it is the current Republican Party. Their strategy this year in the presidential campaign has been the same strategy they’ve been using since Reagan ran up the debt in the 80s and Bush got us embroiled in his Middle Eastern boondoggles: throw money at the problem, and if that fails, throw more money.
For being fiscal conservatives, Republicans blew a lot of money losing.