Friday, June 03, 2005

A Discussion of Values

     A lot has been made of "values" politically for the past 20 years. Mostly by the Republican party, but that's obviously because Republicans own values. Democrats just wander through life wondering why they exist, no one thing more important than the next. I don't know if this all started with Dan Quayle's "Murphy Brown" speech, or earlier, but Republicans have taken the word "values" and run with it.
     Since we have participants who are in love with dictionary definitions, the definition of "value" is: "A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable". OK, so what do Republicans find worthwhile and desirable enough to spend time and energy on?
     They would like to say, Life, especially when discussing abortion or Terri Schiavo. Since that clashes with their positions on the death penalty and war, we'll have to dig deeper and see that the common denominator is their own religious beliefs. So Value #1 is Their own Religious Beliefs.
     They would also like to say, Family, with their stance on gays marrying and anti-sodomy laws. But despite a call for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, they are silent on divorce. In addition, they also oppose gays in the military, gays in the library, gays in the classroom, and gays in Rhea County, Tennessee (not coincidentally the site of the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial). Also based on religion, Republicans obviously consider Value #2, Homophobia, worthwhile and desirable.
     Republicans would like to claim they value Individual Liberty. They point to school vouchers and tax cuts and claim that ending Social Security would free Americans to save for their own retirement. But on the other hand, they pass intrusive laws, like the Patriot Act, ostensibly in the name of security, which overreaches and steals liberty from Americans. They support tough drug laws banning the private consumption of mind-altering substances. They support sex laws banning the sale of sexual aids like vibrators and dildoes and inflatable dolls. (OK - I put those in there just for the Google searches) So complete liberty isn't exactly forefront on their minds. They use liberty when it relates to money. So Value #3 is Money.
     There are more, but it's 5:00 and time to start my weekend of lawn work and bill paying and replacing the mailbox that some punks have knocked down. To recap: Republican values are Their own Religious Beliefs, Homophobia, and Money. I know the temptation will be there for Republican apologists to try to come up with a list of Democratic "values", but unfortunately Democrats never campaigned on values to begin with. Democrats never claimed to be the party of values. Luckily for the Republicans, so many middle Americans support these three values that they've been swept to power. Good luck to them. Me, I'm just waiting for some of that Individual Liberty.

15 comments:

Mainline Mom said...

Now THAT was some intelligent rhetoric. So thoughtful. So original. So well backed up by deeply researched facts. The party of diversity and tolerance, huh?

Johnny Virgil said...

ouch. do you really believe this, or are you going for the "shock jock" effect? ha

Mike said...

I don't know how we're supposed to have intelligent debate and solve the issues of the country when the left talks like that. I'm not even going to respond to it.

Ben said...

Yeah Scott. For someone who likes to bash me for making generalizations about "the left" without backing it up... Ah, nevermind, I'll go with Mike. Not worth responding to any further.

sideshow bob said...

Neither will I comment on that, except to say to the previous commenters that this is obviously a "sharp stick poking" post, and a fairly well done one at that...and by the way, I'm aware of the irony of posting a comment in order to state my lack of any comment while then going on to leave a comment, so you needn't bother pointing that out.

Ben said...

There are two reasons why people might not respond. One, the argument is so insipid as to create a reaction of derision, and two, it is so truthful and thought provoking that no one knew how to respond. Nop matter how you might try to spin it, this post falls in to the first category.

Sylvana said...

Scott, I know what you are saying, and I agree. Republicans are HUGE hypocrites and can't stand it when other people point that out. In fact, I think you hurt their feelings.

Ben said...

I think, as I said before, the hypocrites are right here, the people who whine when the right generalizations positions on the left, and then the left comes right back to generalize the right. The old "it's only bad if you're doing it" attitude that seems so prevalent.

Mike said...

My feelings weren't hurt. In fact it makes me laugh how completely ridiculous the left has become. I like watching you throw temper tantrums like little kids because you are out of power and didn't get your way. Do you guys really think calling the majority of Americans a bunch of greedy homophobes is going to win elections for you? Oh that's right, you guys think YOU are the majority. You must be losing elections because you aren't packaging your message correctly. Or maybe you just don't have enough "boots on the ground." Keep telling yourselves that. Keep asking the Howard Deans, the John Kerrys, and the Ted Kennedys to lead you. Keep serving the most radical left wing of the country. We would love to hold power for the next 30 years.

ignerens said...

Probably the best way to respond to this is just to list out your values, your reasons for supporting the Republicans.

Generalizations? Even in our two party system, you are free to agree with or politely dissent on any of your party's general positions. But everyone here has got to agree that the "Gay=Bad" idea has only been written in red ink... Right? (ha!)

Don't worry. I know that most of you right people care more about the money/liberty thing rather than the bashing gays. Or maybe you like the Iraq war or something. Just state your case.

Mike said...

Sorry, ignerens. This bait Scott has put out there is not worth taking. I'm taking the high ground on this one.

Shannon said...

This post made me laugh. I actually spit some coffee out on my keyboard at the line "Democrats just wander through life wondering why they exist." I pictured some biblical 40 years in the desert search for meaning...

Sometimes Republicans do seem this way to the left. We all have agreed that the media spins ideas and generalizes groups, left, right, straight, gay, yankee, hick, etc. There's a difference between Republicans seeming this way based on what the media presents, and understanding that individuals have more complex and thoughtful opinions. I hope when it comes down to it, the "right" can aknowledge the same of the left.

ignerens said...

I didn't notice that line... does that mean that all Democrats are undergoing an existential crisis?

Scott said...

Well put, ig. It's incredibly telling that all theRighty commenters can just react in shock, and I think Bush's words were, "It's absurd" and "It just is". SSB - this is a little bit of poking, I admit, but JV, I do believe a lot of this, although it applies to Republican party values, not necessarily the values of each individual Republican, despite Ben's protestations that the worst thing I said here was generalizing. The Truth is, these 3 things are very important to the Republican party. And from the comments, it's obviously not something individuals like to examine very closely. Ig, perhaps the best way to respond is for them to try to explain why these values are good things. Because it will sure take a lot of explaining before I believe that Republicans personal religious beliefs aren't one of their most important value. And yet they protest. For the sake of protesting. Without once saying I'm wrong.

Mike said...

The principle here, Scott, is when someone says your beliefs are those of a greedy homophobic bigot just for the sake of getting under your skin, the mature thing to do is to turn the other cheek. I don't care to answer your baseless accusations and get in a pissing contest with you on this. But I will say if you beleive these are the 3 most important values of the Republican party, you are wrong...way wrong.