Both Parties are WHAT Now?

Just this morning, I got a message in the email account reserved for this blog. It was from a “liberal” I have actually known for many years. In other words, I know it’s not a Russian bot. But this person added at the end:

“I know this will piss you off, but we have to get real. The two parties are basically the same; corporatists who care more about money than the American people.”

Then, a salutation and their name. And I know this person’s email address, although we haven’t really corresponded for a couple years. Instead of writing them back, I decided to answer publicly, thus getting the word out to more people that just this one friend of mine. (And yes, they are still a friend, even though we don’t speak often. This is a very good person and this response is not personal, obviously.)

First, I want to address the bullshit in their email.

I’m not sure what the hell a “corporatist” is. I mean, I know the dictionary definition, but, though I have been a registered Democrat since 1976, when I turned 18, I have never met a Democrat ever, who wanted to hand the government over to corporations, and certainly none who wanted to incorporate the government. Hell; I have only met a handful who don’t think the country hasn’t gone overboard with the “privatization” craze. Therefore, that claim has no meaning and certainly no basis in fact.

On the other hand, Republicans have never met any government function they didn’t want to “privatize.” They treat the government like it’s their own piggy bank, and they take as much as possible for themselves, while starving the elderly, the poor and children.

As for the “money vs America” thing, well, that’s just a crock of shit, too. If Democrats cared that much about money, they wouldn’t lose as much as they do. Democrats always raise taxes on the rich, while reducing them for everyone else. They created Social Security, welfare, unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation insurance. Democrats created the GI Bill, Medicare and the ACA. On the other hand, name a program to help the poor and working classes that Republicans haven’t actively tried to destroy, including Social Security, Medicare and the ACA.

Here are some other obvious differences, off the top of my pointy little liberal head:

    • Democrats would never allow someone like Donald Trump win the nomination. One reason they have “super delegates” is to prevent exactly that.
    • Democrats have repeatedly tried to expand insurance programs, so as to expand access to healthcare to more people. In case you haven’t heard, Republicans have been trying for decades to maintain the impossibly complex and unworkable system we had before the ACA, with no proposal EVER to fix the system in any way. The GOP had to be shamed into adding a prescription drug benefit, but even then, they added provisions preventing the government from negotiating drug prices and they created the “donut hole,” which made it almost impossible for many people to afford their medications.
    • After Republicans killed several bills to establish the DREAM Act, to allow immigrants who came here as children to stay here and become productive citizens, a. Democrat established the DREAMers program. Meanwhile, Donald Trump single-handedly killed the DREAM Act and Republicans in Congress stood behind him.
    • Trump and the Republicans want to waste tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on a wall that won’t ever be built and which wouldn’t work if it was. Check out this ad, sponsored by the ironically named “One Nation” to supportMartha McSally and David Schweikert in Arizona. Note that one of the first images is two people CLIMBING OVER A WALL:

    • No Democrat has ever created a policy like the one being implemented now, where it is apparently illegal for a foreigner to set foot on American soil, and the infraction is so severe as to warrant the seizure and warehousing of their children. Meanwhile, Trump and Sessions, both Republicans, implemented exactly that and the entire Republican establishment did nothing to stop it or slow it down.
    • Republicans were apparently all in on helping the Trump campaign cheat and use Russian help to do it.
    • Republicans fully supported the multiple Whitewater and Benghazi investigations, which went on for six and four years, respectively and resulted in ZERO indictments and which actually cleared all targets, but the Mueller investigation is too long.
    • Oh, by the way, the top donor industries to Republicans in the last four election cycles have been banking and financial services, fossil fuels, gaming and big tobacco. The top donor industries to Democrats are labor, trial lawyers, academia and those who are retired.

There is so much more I could do. Suffice it to say, anyone who says “both parties are the same” is saying something profoundly stupid and needs to stop, since that kind of rhetoric causes voters to stay home and helps prolong this hell Republicans are putting us through.


Also published on Medium.

5 Comments

  • MaryAnn Betts says:

    The group that I find hardest to counter are the one issue anti war people. What ever anyone says in defense of a Democrat or criticism of a Republican is countered with some statement of a body count under the Democrat. The idea that Hillary was more of a threat to peace than Donald was ridiculous. Any thoughts?

    • Milt Shook says:

      The unicorn progressives have been around for a long time and they have been bashing Democrats irrationally for a long time. The Hillary bashing was the last in a long line of ridiculous moves. Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Carter… all lost because of these bozos, because their notion that both parties are the same and other nonsense.

  • Alan says:

    In Internet forums you can find hundreds if not thousands of examples of “both sides are bad” within an hour. Then bunches of blog posts and articles. Some make a career doing it.

    I don’t know if this helps you but after over 40 years of listening to it I think I know mostly happens. (Yes it far outdates the ascension of the public Internet. I remember my sister complaining to my mom about Angela Davis seeking the Democratic nomination.)

    The root cause is that politics and the government that depends on it are complicated and very few people really understand most of it. The vast majority don’t have the time or motivation to even make an effort. They can complain about something when it doesn’t go the way they want, or opine loudly about how things out to be, and most of all imagine that things would be so much better if they themselves could dictate what everyone else will do. (Remind you of someone in office?)

    So many people who show up on Internet forums get into a debate about candidates — or policy — they quickly get in over their heads. It doesn’t even matter if someone who knows what they are talking about shows up and argues against them. The fact that they did so once in the past is enough. They don’t want to appear stupid. They want to appear mature, knowledgable, and world-wise.

    So the inevitable output is “both sides are bad” and they believe that nobody sees through it. They believe this makes them appear dispassionate and most importantly Above It All. That makes them feel that whatever positions they have they don’t have to defend because they Aren’t Really Republicans.

    This benefits Republicans who can exploit this and hurts Democrats who cannot. It is a problem to be solved but all I can say is that it is rooted in human nature and won’t be cured simply by better rhetoric.

  • Good God…how can anyone still believe that nonsense? I mean, the Nader voters were spewing this out in 2000 and they were proven 100% wrong by Bush’s actions. There is no excuse for it now, NONE.

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