Thursday, July 03, 2003

Neither Donkeys Nor Elephants Wear Pants

I found the first comment by Francis W. Porretto to be stunningly inciteful. Money quote:
Over time, an institution will tend to specialize pragmatically toward its core mission. Political parties are institutions whose mission is to seek political power --"vote-maximizing machines," in David Friedman's pungent phrase. If it doesn't, it will be surpassed in efficiencey by its competitors that do specialize, and eventually will cease to be relevant.

The Democratic Party has specialized much more dramatically and rapidly than the Republican Party. At this point, to the Democrats, only electoral results matter. In consequence, their standard-bearers are unable to talk non-ridiculously about rights, honor, patriotism, or a host of other things.
This explains why my old party, the Democrat Party, seems so devoid of honor, and well as why my current party, the Republican Party, is almost as bad. It also explains why third parties seem so honest, even if a bit eccentric. The post is by Kevin Baker.

Update: If your current party is the Democrats you may feel these positions are reversed. I'm cool with that. The reason I am cool is that it really does depend on your point of view. I'll revisit an old issue to put this in perspective. An abolitionist, when considering someone who defends slavery, would have had a hard time considering them honorable, since the defender is championing a gross violation of human rights by greedy, arrogant and power-mad folks. A defender of slavery, on the other hand, would have had a hard time considering an abolitionist honorable, since the abolitionist wants to deprive folks of their hard-earned property, and is a rabble-rouser who wants to disturb the way of things since time immemorable. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to apply this principle to the right to life, gun rights, etc.