Remember when the GOP was called the party of ideas? That was when it was flirting with libertarianism -- limited government, free markets, and other such notions now mostly abandoned in the quest for votes. Power still corrupts.
Not that Democrats are any better. Democrat "ideas" -- to dignify the donkey party's dogmas -- amount to a handful or two of sound bites. Here's my translation of what passes for conventional wisdom among Democrats nowadays:
We hate terror -- it's so inconvenient -- but we don't know what to do about it, so we're just going to criticize Bush's method of dealing with it.
It's all about oil, anyway. (And it's a good thing; otherwise, we might have to start driving small, ugly, sluggish, dual-fuel cars.)
A lot of us Democrats became rich thanks to the market economy, but we don't like to talk about it. We'd rather raise your taxes than support our favorite causes out of our own pockets.
We think that people who support capital punishment, believe in the right of individuals to bear arms, oppose abortion, and oppose gay marriage are just plain stupid, but we can't say that so we imply that they're bigots and religious psychotics. It keeps our "base" happy.
Health care and energy are among the many "problems" that are too important to be resolved by the market. A few liberal economists and smart (Democrat) politicians can solve any problem.
It's more important to save (replaceable) trees than it is to make housing more affordable for low-income people.
And just look at the income gap between the poorest 20 percent, where I used to be, and the richest 20 percent, where I am now. I guess it's a permanent state of affairs for everyone but me.
Illegal aliens are okay because most of them vote Democrat and do our yard work for a few bucks an hour.
We'll always have the poor and people of color with us -- that is, with us Democrats. We know how to condescend to them better than Republicans.
Some of us practice religion because it's the "right thing" to do, but most of us believe that religious people are psychologically unbalanced. We're not, of course. We just hate a lot of things about America these days because it isn't the way we want it to be. Wa-a-a-a-h!
Finally, underlying everything, are these two axioms:
It's the government's money, not yours, and we know how to use it better than you do.
The government is sovereign, not you, and we know just how much freedom to give to you to keep you in line.
And, in conclusion, the Democrat party's unofficial motto: "When we feel guilt everyone does penance."
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