What I learned from the Republican debates

Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence;
conservatism, distrust of the people, tempered by fear.
William Gladstone, Prime Minister of England, 1868 – 1874

I can’t think of any generalization that is always true. The world just doesn’t work with that kind of absolute certainty. And as one who tends to see shades of gray instead of black or white, generalizations don’t always come easy to me.

Having said that, this shows how far apart the two sides in our culture war have become. There are no shades of gray, just black and white certainty on either side.

And, unlike the alarmist emails I get from my friends on the right, which could have easily been checked by Snopes or FactCheck.org, I’ve included links so you can check the generalizations as you read them.

Republicans yearn for the safety of yesterday.

Democrats look forward to a better tomorrow.

Republicans think that God gave stewardship of the earth to mankind so we can eradicate entire species and pollute it as much as we want.

Democrats think stewardship means that God expects us to maintain and treasure His creation.

Republicans believe in the Pentateuch (Torah, The Books of Law, including the10 Commandments).

Democrats believe in the Gospels with the story of the Good Samaritan and the Beatitudes.

Republicans think most English colonists came to America to establish a church-based government like England.

Democrats think most of our Founding Fathers had no desire to establish the United States as a Christian country, having left England to escape church-based government

Republicans think the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against any and all taxation.

Democrats think the Boston Tea Party was about challenging the right of England to tax the American colonies.

Republicans think the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930’s was an act of God.

Democrats think killing off all the buffalo, plowing the prairie grass under and abandoning the wheat crop when prices fell caused the “Dust Bowl.”

Republicans remember the Franklin D. Roosevelt era with disdain for the government programs that were started.

Democrats remember the Franklin D. Roosevelt era as the first time the federal government created institutions to assist the least wealthy in America.

Republicans remember the McCarthy hearings as a bright spot in American history.

Democrats remember the McCarthy hearings as a paranoid witch-hunt that discredited American East Asian experts just years before their Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia expertise was needed.

Republicans think Fulgencia Batista was a legitimate leader working toward a democratic Cuba when overthrown in 1959.

Democrats think Batista was a military dictator enriching himself and his friends at the expense of the poor.

Republicans think Nixon should have stepped up our efforts in the Vietnam war.

Democrats think the war would not have been fought if the 1956 Vietnam reunification election (as agreed to in the Geneva Accords)

Republicans believe that a lower voter turnout favors them and they work very hard to suppress the vote.



Democrats believe everyone should vote and work to ensure that end.

Republicans think the Bush III tax cuts for the wealthy were fair and equitable.

Democrats agree with Ronald Reagan (see above video).

Global Defense Spending


Republicans believe the Defense Department budget should never be cut.

Democrats believe matching the rest of the entire world’s defense expenditure nearly dollar for dollar is a sign of inefficiency and waste.

Republicans believe that Social Security should be funded through private investment.

Democrats know that the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted in the stock market crash of 1929 and didn’t recover to the same levels for 25 years.

Republicans believe that health care is adequately doled out by the health insurance industry.

Democrats believe that the advances in medical knowledge, funded with tax dollars, and the assistance given to medical schools and hospitals, also financed by tax dollars, should be shared by all.

Republicans believe people need semi-automatic weapons to protect themselves.

Democrats believe they need protection from people with semi-automatic weapons.

Republicans think Tort law and the ability of individuals to sue for damages is a nuisance and waste of time and money.

Democrats believe that Tort lawyers defend the individual against abusive corporate behavior and misdeeds.

Republicans think the Food Stamp program is costly and unnecessary.

Democrats think that we all pay for federal farm subsidies (over $80 billion per year), that benefit the richest 10% of farms with 76% of the subsidies, so no American should ever go hungry.

Republicans despise unions and believe big business is good for America; feeding the sparrows by giving the horse more oats.

Democrats don’t trust big business and believe unions represent “the rising tide that lifts all boats.”

Republicans trust the “science” done by big corporations.

Democrats trust publicly funded science.

Republicans trust the theory of gravity, but reject the theory of evolution because it’s only a theory.

Democrats wonder about the theory of “intelligent falling”.

(Most) Republicans believe the 3% of American scientists skeptical about man-made climate change.

Democrats think that big time contributors like the oil billionaire Koch brothers and the Exxon Corp. support the Heartland Institute, whose purpose is to discredit, not disprove, man-made climate change, that is protecting their dirty industries.

Most Republicans are white.

Most non-whites are Democratic.

Republicans are born afraid, so they believe things like Girl Scouts are Communist Lesbians.

Democrats need a good laugh now and then.





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I've worked in book manufacturing for over 30 years, closing my company Baker Johnson, Inc. in 2005. Currently I work freelance with a large group of publishers, advising them on the printing options available to them as the book industry endures major restructuring.
My wife Cathy is a retired psychologist and spent most of her career working with the youth at Maxey Boys Training School. She is a small mammal rehabilitator with Friends of Wildlife.
Our daughter Whitney is a PharmD working in the Denver area evaluating the pharmaceutical requirements of nursing homes. Our son Eliot lives in Waterloo and is an editor at Mathematical Reviews in Ann Arbor.