February 25th, 2004

DNA Theory of Politics

In keeping with our theme of the week -- what is Ralph Nader trying to achieve? -- I'm going to quote the most recent blog entry from Catfish Vegas -- who posts irregularly, but well -- in its entirety.

Like Steven, he voted for Nader in 2000:
The DNA theory of American political parties

Nobody invited Ralph, but here he is again. And surprise, surprise, he wants to be president because there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans. He's trotting out the same arguments: They're two sides of the same coin. They both bow to corporate interests at the expense of common citizens.

For the most part he's right. And yet it doesn't matter.

Look at the political donations, look at the supporters, look at the suits making power deals in Washington. They are the same. Mostly.

Which brings us to the chimps. Pay attention.

You may recall from some high school biology course that scientists estimate that the DNA in humans and chimps are remarkably similar - between 95 and 98 percent. But that small difference gives amazing results. Chimps haven't been to the moon, or invented computers, or put tiny cameras into cell phones. Chimps haven't produced Hamlet, or Apocolypse Now (hell, they didn't even wage a war in Vietnam - or any war for that matter), or even one symphony of note. They're in zoos, we're not.

Accept for a moment that Ralph may be on the right track - Democrats and Republicans are remarkably similar. But it doesn't take a genius to understand that - as in the DNA of chimps and humans - small differences yield huge results.

A Democratic president wouldn't have sacrificed the necks of more than 500 soldiers to a vanity crusade in Iraq. A Democratic president wouldn't gleefully watch jobs sail overseas. A Democratic president wouldn't clear cut every forest he could.

If Nader could honestly tell me that he expects a Democratic president to match Bush blow for blow, policy for policy, accross the board, I'd be convinced he's deluded to the point of insanity rather than a hardliner, egomaniac who blinks way too much on camera.

I voted for Nader in 2000 not because I for a second wanted him as president but out of a pragmatic desire to give the Greens just enough support to start having a voice in the two-party mess. Oops. Anybody making the same mistake this year doesn't deserve his or her job, safety or environment.

The only way to defend those - and truthfully any liberal cause - in 2004 is to suck it up and step it up: vote Democrat and make damn sure everybody else you know does as well. Save idealism for 2008. Now isn't the time. Let's put a human back in the White House, rather than this chimp.
It's amazing how much pent-up hostility discussing 2000 brings out in the people I communicate with. If only that energy could be harnessed efficiently, we wouldn't need so much foreign oil.