Double Talk from Elephants

While at a community event recently…a carnival-style event recently, really…I was enjoying a bean supper with my family.

OK, enjoying is a bit extreme. The beans needed some seasoning, half of the hot dogs (which were all sliced up) were something pale and anemic and more tasteless than mild bratwurst, the bread was white bread that made Wonder Bread look gourmet, and…I’m sorry, I digress.

Anyway, there is a candidate for Senate who is working his way through the crowd, glad-handing and trying to drum up voter support.

Cool. More power to him.

But as he approaches one guy, the potential voter asks, as he shakes the politician’s hand, “What party are you?”

“Republican,” Mr. I-Want-To-Be-Senator responds happily.

“Well, I won’t hold it against you,” Potential-Voter-Man replies amiably.

“You know,” says Mr. I-Want-To-Be-Senator, adopting a professorial tone of knowledge, wisdom and authority, “my opponent isn’t really a Democrat. She’s a Progressive.”

Naturally, as I eavesdrop on all this, you can imagine the startled gasp in my head. You mean that the woman I was leaning toward voting for isn’t a Democrat? She’s secretly a Progressive?

Dear God help us. Thank you for sending this honest Bible-loving family man who apparently has all the answers to the U.S. recovering fiscally (which no doubt involves heavy military funding and slashing all social services).

I mean, his line about his opponent pissed me off more than any other double-talk, means-nothing piece of drivel I’ve heard in a long time.

What is a Progressive, anyway?

Typically these days, it’s a certain flavor of liberal.

Am I supposed to be surprised that a Democrat might trend toward liberal ideology?

And yet, Mr. I-Want-To-Be-Senator has in the tone of his voice a note of warning. She’s a sneak. A traitor. A liar. She’s not what she claims to be.

I mean, if there were actually an active Progressive Party and you were telling me that she was really a member of that, and riding on the coattails of the Dems, I might give you some credit. Much like someone if someone were to theoretically tell me that Mr. I-Want-To-Be-Senator was really a Libertarian or Tea Party member and not a Republican.

But as near as I can tell in the United States, there hasn’t been an organized¬† political party called the Progressive Party since the 1940s, and of the three versions of the Progressive Party that have existed since the nation was founded, at least one of them was an offshoot from a schism in the Republican Party.

It’s the kind of double-talk that I’m finding tiresome among many Republicans, most particularly the hard-core conservative ones, who seem to like to plant labels on people that all seem to be code for “un-American.” As if the only true Americans are those who go to a Christian church, vote Republican across the board, cheer when abortion doctors are murdered and are in line waiting to date Sarah Palin should her husband suddenly drop dead (the men, at least).

Dear God, my Democratic candidate for Senate is a Progressive. Shocking.

Next thing you’ll tell me is that she isn’t really a woman…she’s a feminist.

2 thoughts on “Double Talk from Elephants

  1. Big Man

    Well, woman to feminist is a bigger leap, but I get your drift. I hate when people don’t have the faith in their arguments to just let them stand alone.

    Anyway, did you know that Robin Hobb has a new series out? I don’t know if you ever read the Liveship Traders books, but these new books take up where those books and the Tawny Man books finished. I thought she wasn’t going to go back to that world, but I guess she changed her mind.

    Anyway, the first book is called Dragon Keeper and the second one is Dragon Haven. I actually spent all of last night starting and finishing the first one and I found it pretty good. She writes these books from the third person point of view as opposed to first person point of view she used with Fitz.

  2. Deacon Blue

    Thanks for the heads-up…I hadn’t been aware of any new Robin Hobb action, my last foray with her stuff having been the Solider’s Son series. I’ll have to see if our library has grabbed up the newest series yet.

    I haven’t been reading much lately. Just plowed through the latest Dresden Files novel by Jim Butcher, which was finished all too soon, and I’m still wondering when George R.R. Martin is going to get off his ass and finish “A Dance With Dragons.” I love the Song of Fire and Ice series, but he has been plodding along since “A Feast for Crows” and it’s pretty irritating. I understand wanting to make a book as good as it can be, but for God’s sake, as a professional novelist, it shouldn’t take this long. 1996, then 1998, then 2000 for the first three, which is fine, then 2005 for the next one and still nothing for the followup and we’re well into 2010. At this rate, Martin will die before he ties up this series. I know you have a right to take things a little easy at 62 and enjoy life, but damn it, respect the fans a bit more than this.


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