I remember when I was a young child, my brother and sister and I would gather on the bed with my parents and every night my dad would read us stories like “The Chronicles of Narnia” or “The Hobbit.” When we were younger, he would read “Dr. Seuss” stories or “Winnie the Pooh.”
Unfortunately, being born in 1988 had its own share of disappointments. Paramount of these would be not being exposed the great literary accomplishment of Karen DeBrecht and her new children’s book, “Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!” Looking back on it, I can see I could easily have become a partisan hack by the time I was 5. Apparently, Rush Limbaugh has given her book a rave review and the book has shot up the Amazon.com charts, but I have to ask: Is this a joke or are parents really going to teach their children liberals are monsters?
The author and publisher aren’t to blame nearly as much as the monster they’re feeding. There is a huge market for name-calling, stereotyping partisanship. That demographic on both sides of the aisle is being marketed to in the form of cable news, talk radio, current events titles, blogs, magazines, newspapers and on and on. This is the American dream of the 21st century, where R’s and D’s run thicker than blood. Yet, the only real difference between the parties is their rhetoric used against each other.
It is an ironic time in America when Republicans can generalize about liberals’ socialism, while the GOP’s own president makes Bill Clinton’s presidency look conservative. The Right mocks liberals over welfare, but the Republican Party is building its own fiscally abhorrent welfare state. The GOP is unwilling to act on abortion, they’re all talk on homosexual marriage, and they have yet to prove anything in judicial appointments – the only real issues for which the conservative base remains loyal.
There is no immigration policy. Homeland security has successfully undermined civil rights. Education spending has grown somewhere around 40 percent under this administration, while President Bush’s early win on No Child Left Behind has proven to be an overly centralized bureaucracy. Alas, a rational thought process need not get in the way of partisan loyalty.
Yet, why can’t Americans be more intellectually honest regarding political allegiances? Is it possibly because partisanship appeals to the emotions, requiring sweeping general statements about entire groups of individuals?
On the one end, there are far too many Americans who are filled with unfathomable hatred and fear of this administration. They virtually believe President Bush will any day dispatch federal agents to terrorize their family, while Dick Cheney secretly directs Halliburton to take over the world. Their absurd loathing of this president is purchased only by their blind partisanship. These people will not accept that George W. Bush is a real human being, who has feelings, and is not mentally incompetent. They hold Bush in the same class as Hitler or Stalin and look at the Republican Party as a Westernized version of the Taliban.
Then, you find the naive fools who truly believe the Republican Party is out to help them. They buy the marketed lie that President Bush is merely an altruistic public servant. These types seem incapable of realizing that individualism has vanished because they drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago and now fail to grasp the reality that Americans are divided into easily appeased demographics, catered to with false promises in return for votes. It is true that never has America been more wrapped up in the political and social debate, but it’s all just reiteration. American politics has lost its voice for the individual as it slowly trades a constitutional republic based on the rule of law in exchange for a fiscally irresponsible socialist state ruled by an aristocratic class.
In conclusion, there are many problems to be solved in this country, but neither party is interested in offering a viable solution except when it can secure a victory in November. Thus, to continue to talk as if the “Left vs. Right” mentality solves anything is inexcusable. The name-calling may bring in the paycheck for many political pundits, but it is destructive to our nation, and to pass this feature of America on to our children is reprehensible.