Sunday, September 7, 2008

Voting: The S & M way

(Inspired by the idea of PUMA, and by people wondering why African Americans are so disproportionately Democrats...)

It is a remarkable problem that has become increasingly obvious over the last few years. Closeted gay politicians pass anti-gay legislation. Post-equal rights women speak publicly about the evils of feminism. Pundits from a minority group rant about how we should do away with the overcompensatory measures of affirmative action. And those in bottom quintile for yearly salary speak out against welfare and "socialism". These are a vast and varied group of people who, for whatever reason, fight valiantly on behalf of a group that is against their own best interests. They are the Stockholm Republicans.

They may see it as a noble sacrifice, or they may simply focus on aspects of neo-conservative policy that doesn't pertain to stripping them of their rights. But, for whatever reason, they find themselves supporting the people who hate them and want to limit their existence as much as possible. They are racial minorities who ally themselves with racists (e.g. D'Souza). They are women who are willing to sacrifice their rights to choice (in regards to womb and work) in the name of tradition (e.g. Schafly). They are non-Christians supporting the claim that they live in a Christian country and that the legislature should feel free to impose fundamentalist views on the general populace. They are gays who support the party that is bastion of hope for homophobes across the country. Their motives are unknown, but, whether or not they are consciously aware of the fact that they are adamantly supporting their own oppression, or if they merely see it as a necessary evil in favoring an otherwise agreeable platform (from their perspective) is up for debate on a case by case basis.

Nevertheless, I think it safe to assume that they have a masochistic streak (especially in light of seeing how well Republicans do on the economic and military fronts, and not just the social one). Whether they should be pitied as victims of two-party circumstance, hailed as martyrs for an indeterminate cause, or hauled off to a mental facility, their existence is a striking blow to our political system. Under circumstances without such a group, the Republicans couldn't afford to remain as the "rich Christian white straight male's party" and let the Democratic party be the "everybody else's party". They would lose every election. But, the group of Stockholm Republicans (be they "followers of the status-quo", those who hear the party platform and say"one out of five ain't bad", or the "optimistic ear-pluggers") effectively innoculate the party from such a threat, and assure that they never have to abandon their lack of concern about society beyond the original core "panderees".

I have my fingers crossed that they are too small of a fringe to matter in this election (where the past administration should have thoroughly dismissed any illusions of conservative fiscal responsibility, moral superiority, and military expertise). But, then again, you will be surprised how many people are willing to take up the brutal four more years of the self-flagellation they know, than the black, inexperienced secret Muslim that they don't.

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