Sunday, August 31, 2008

My New Personal Statement of Belief

I don't know who Sarah Vowell is, but trust me, I'm gonna find out. Reading her Op-Ed article this morning in the NY Times, I ran across this gem:
"I am a registered Democrat. That first night’s convention speech by Senator Kennedy about his life’s work reminded me what being a Democrat means. I have spent the last eight years so disgusted with the incompetent yahoos of the executive branch that I had forgotten that I believe in one of the core principles of the Democratic Party — that government can be a useful, meaningful and worthwhile force for good in this republic instead of just an embarrassing, torturing, Book of Revelation starter kit."

Sarah Palin may put a fresh face on the Jesus-loves-the-little-children-Don't-abort-them-or-you're-going-to-hell-asshole-but-HEY-you-have-a-nice-day crowd, but the Republican party is still the party of Karl Rove, and Donald Rumsfeld, whose global ambitions made pit bulls look like teacup poodles with pink-painted toenails, and lest we forget, this is also the party of the grandpoobah of knownothingism, George Dubya Bush. January 20, 2009, that sneering little sniveler is going to slither back under his rock and the global community can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

In light of the past eight years, when being a Democrat felt like being the starving waif looking through the windows on the ball at the castle, it's occasionally difficult to remember why I am a Democrat.

I am a Democrat because...

  • I believe victims of rape and incest shouldn't have to carry babies to term
  • I believe in equal rights for all irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference
  • I believe that insufficient investment in at-risk communities fosters a dependent underclass
  • I do not believe that our current economic woes are more important that the health of the planet
  • I believe that world peace is an objective worthy of our effort and that it is best achieved through diplomacy
  • I do not underestimate the greed of the wealthy and doubt they will ever allow their wealth to "trickle down"
  • I do not believe that limiting the types of weapons available to the general public imperils the second amendment
  • I believe in investing in the education of our citizens, especially those for whom a college education is otherwise out-of-reach
Perhaps most importantly, I believe that it is possible for America to undergo a paradigm shift with respect to energy. I believe that, should I live a nice long life, I will see an America where oil, if it is still even available, will be a laughable relic of our past. I believe that energy will be cheap and readily available worldwide, such that third-world economies are a thing of the past.

Oh, I don't think the Democratic Party will lead us to Nirvana, but I do think it will do a better job of leading us into a better future today.

I am a Democrat because I believe in the future.


  1. Hmm. I guess you don't belong to the tragically hip hipster followers of Ira Glass' "This American Life." I perhaps spent rather too much time complaining about This American Life, despite the fact that I actually do like the show. Sarah Vowell is a regular on that (and was the voice of Violet in the movie "The Incredibles," btb) and has written books exploring US history from the wry hip detached POV that I think she's helped innovate with Glass. Any roads. I like her, she's got a unique and wry and intelligent voice, but she also has been from time to time a sort of wishy-washy too-detached semi-center-left progressive voice that I really, really don't enjoy. The sort of "Well, the Dems are sucking it up, but what else are you going to do?" As one may see on my blog, I have some opinions on this.

  2. Sort of similar to what you say about energy, I feel (hope) that I'll live to see the Democratic/2 party system of today be a similarly funny relic of the past as oil... and I tend to believe either that'll happen, or the whole fossil-fuel based still-torn-by-empire-and-culture-wars US of today will still be around and going strong while rotting, um, Stronglier. Yes.

  3. I swear, I have tried to be a tragically hip hipster, but I think hipness is a slippery slope and I lost my footing somewhere in the middle of my failed experimental marriage. The closest I get is being a NYT junkie and spending FAR too much time reading the headlines everyday.

    Yeah, now that you mention it, I have heard Sarah Vowell on TAL but I am so bad with names, I have had to have people remind me that the guy I think is hot is George Clooney. At least I think he's the one.....

    In the end, I am a sucker for a good turn of phrase and hip or not, she hit it with that one. I love it when someone can stop me in my tracks and make me re-read and savor the moment. It happened a lot in Kerouac's On the Road but alas it happens far to infrequently these days.

    It seems I'm going to have to do some backreading on your blog. Sometimes I feel like, especially in the J-friend Beckie debates, that I'm tuning in after the commercial break and missed something. Anyhoo, I'm back at it...trying to master the speaking-of-myself-in-the-third-person completely hipalicous attitude that allows me to savor J-tags like "bat-shit crazy ideas". :) Happy Labor Day.