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No Difference between the Parties?

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Message Dan Cooper

"There's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. The parties are the same."

No, they are not.

And neither are the TV networks that seemingly represent the two adversarial political components. Recently, on left-leaning MSNBC, Rachel Maddow used the expression, "proverbially pregnant." People on the right don't talk like that. They hate terminology like this. But they don't just hate it. Many are incapable of thought deep enough to come up with such erudite expressions.

Let's compare MSNBC to far more heavily right-dominant Fox News. Maddow earned a Rhodes Scholar doctorate in political science, from Oxford University. Compare that to Alan Colmes (Fox News; Bachelor's degree, Hofstra University) and Sean Hannity (Fox; college dropout).

But this goes well beyond educational qualifications. Let's look at what the purveyors of political issues and motives are feeding their eagerly receptive constituents. GOP politicians in Washington are pushing doubt about the science of climate change, pushing the repeal of health care instead of its improvement, and ignoring violent insurrection, which they prefer to think of as not even violent, let alone an insurrection. What are they actively working on? That would be redistricting to advantage Republicans, state voter-restriction laws to advantage Republicans, the promotion of voter-fraud lies to discourage voting and advantage Republicans, and ignoring if not actively promoting radical extremism. Trumpism is still just fine with them, because they know there are enough lackeys who will buy this unfortunate trend regardless of how bad it gets. Their votes will count as much as yours will. But banking on there being enough of these folks to make a difference is an indication of how desperate Republicans have become. Unfortunately, they are about little more than staying in power.

What are Democrats doing in Congress? That would be working toward voting rights, infrastructure renewal, and other transformative legislation. Build Back Better is not just a borrowed lazy slogan, like Make America Great Again. On the issue of America's wealth inequality, the two parties seem to be pulling in opposite directions. The right is fine with tax cuts that predominantly benefit the richest people and biggest corporations. On the left, we find tax cuts for people making less than $400,000/year, and tax increases for the wealthy.

Ari Melber (MSNBC; graduate of the University of Michigan and Cornell Law School) recently said, "America's wealth inequality [is] hitting all-time highs. Billionaires share their often gauche lifestyles, from their huge yachts to their space ships, amidst corporate-welfare policies that keep their taxes literally lower than most workers, sometimes even hitting zero. The pandemic was the last straw for many [of the rest of us], as 'essential worker' became another Orwellian term in late-stage capitalism." (The Beat with Ari Melber, MSNBC, 11-08-21).

This is not to imply that the Democratic Party is squeaky clean. But the two major parties are far from the same. The proposition that they are the same reflects some very outdated thinking, referring to an era before science denial and extremism acceptance, not to mention the acceptance and promotion of outright lies. This thinking goes back to times when actual conservatism dominated the GOP, and the analysis was, "They both take deep-pocket donor money, so they are both the same." Well, the times have changed. Yes, Big Money should go, but the parties are definitely not the same.

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Dan Cooper is an award winning freelance writer/editor living in the Texas Hill Country. He has worked in news and sports journalism and is currently working on several projects, including a memoir and the editing of a California Gold Rush (more...)

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