Friday, August 01, 2003

It's Friday, which means it's time for…

Wrapped Up Like A Mailbag

Dear W.U.L.A.D.,

godammit, stop ragging on dennis kucinich. see, you're more guilty than most because you can actually appreciate the value and potential of a department of peace, but you still belittle it because him for it because it makes him "unelectable." he is only unelectable because people like you, who are intelligent and informed, won't grow some cajones and support the motherfucker. he's just trying to run for office with honesty and integrity and make some real changes. He's certainly better than howard "politician face" dean who, once in office, will certainly continue to support the status quo and pat himself on the back for making minor clintonesque changes that will be utterly forgettable and reversible the minute some snaggle-toothed conservative sumbitch takes over the office again.

—Obstreperous at Your Office
Well, Obstrep, if I'm guilty of anything, I'm guilty of caring too much. But seriously, "Department of Peace" smacks so much of the 60s hippie "liberal" stereotype that has been forced down the collective American throat by the right (and effectively, I might add—it's no wonder liberals now want to be known as "Progressive") that you may as well nominate Slim Goodbody or Grandpa Al Munster. The sad fact is that much of our electorate doesn't know that they agree with liberals or progressives or whatever on many if not most issues—just like many women don't want to be called "feminists" but they want equal opportunity and pay and sexual freedom and all that other jazz that feminism stands for; it's the idea of feminism they don't like, an idea carefully cultivated and stigmatized by its enemies. So I believe it's important that a potentially successful democratic nominee not oversell his peace and love credentials. Bush, for example, said all the right words about unifying the country, tolerance and blah blah blah to appeal to mainstream voters (who incidentally would have elected Gore in a landslide if not for the endlessly insulting breaches of trust of Clinton), but once elected (or whatever you want to call it) has of course revealed himself to be further to the right than Reagan.

The American Left is lacking something all right, but it's not cojones—it's the ability to build a coalition based on common ground with the Center, and there is a lot of it. And that means being sensitive to the fears of the mainstream populace who have been brainwashed to believe that liberals can't wait to run up the white flag and hand the country over to Osama. And if by some miracle Kucinich were elected and began instituting "real changes" to the government, there would most likely be enough voter backlash (we don't after all, live in Denmark, and the right will continue to be a major force for the foreseeable future) to hurl him out of office faster than a speeding Peace Train and possibly finish the Democrats as a major party for good.

This doesn't mean I think Democrats should say what the voters want to hear just to win the election, or pretend to be conservative (a la Daschle), or actually be conservative for that matter (a la Lieberman, who I'm convinced is a Republican plant); I think they should look for the areas where they can build support (the economy, corporate welfare, the environment, sensible foreign policy, civil liberties) and leave the ruinously divisive ones (gay marriage, the death penalty, disarmament, etc.) for later, when we actually have some clout. In closing, help me Al Gore, you're my only hope!

Dear W.U.L.A.D.,

Enough with the endless political diatribes. Show us something funny already.

—Groaning in Greenland
Fair enough. Here it is.