So when my closest rabid Democrat friend (no, it's not Jim! ;-) sent me the following email, I found it very distasteful. I only reprint it here for context to my response below.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BELIEVE TO BE A REPUBLICAN
1. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary
Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry.
2. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's
daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and
a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
3. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade
with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
4. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our
highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but
multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind
6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in
speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay, and refusing
to buy working Israeli defense systems for our armored vehicles because
we have a $70 million contract with Raytheon to make them by 2011.
7. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
8. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies,
then demand their cooperation and money.
9. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing
health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies
have the best interests of the public at heart.
10. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but
creationism should be taught in schools.
11. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable
offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which
thousands die is solid defense policy.
12. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the
constitution, which include banning gay marriages, censoring the
internet, torturing captives and listening to anyone's' phone
13. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but
George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
14. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a
conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers
for your recovery.
15. Supporting "Executive Privilege" for every Republican ever born,
who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity.)
16. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest,
but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.
17. Support hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing
orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.
18. Despite the Speaker of House knowing Mark Foley was a pedophile
since 2001, Foley was an upstanding Republican until the liberal media
19. As Mark Foley showed us, it's OK to be a pedophile as long as you
blame it on alcohol.
20. Supporting a balanced budget amendment to the constitution in the
1990's was a fiscally responsible act compared with those tax-n-spend
Democrats, but balancing the budget in the 2000's is just too hard
because we need tax cuts for the rich.
21. Despite completely controlling all three branches of the federal
government since January 2001, the bad economy, the Iraq War, the
failure to capture Osama bin Laden, the $260 billion annual budget
deficit, and Terry Schiavo's death are all Clinton's fault.
Here is my second response to this friend. (The first basically said this list is crap.)
no, the stuff you sent me in that email is not true, not remotely. it's rhetoric, which i don't think we need any more of. do you really think we need less meeting in the middle and talking?
i know there are valid points in that list. it's just hard to find them through my disgust at the stilted representation.
if our political process is Al Franken and Howard Stern screaming at Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, then we're screwed.
what do some people need to believe to vote Republican?
1. that human life begins at conception and that abortion is not simply 'a woman's choice about her own body'
2. adolescents should not be having sex. it's bad for them emotionally, spiritually and maybe physically, developmentally and financially
3. the selfish roots of the profit motive in capitalism are a better check on human behavior than more governmental bureaucracy. yes, capitalism has many downsides. but the corruption and pork and distantiated accountability of bureaucracy is not better (and may be far worse).
4. God created the universe and Darwinism is not the last and only word on history (especially given the Darwinists' utter disdain for those who so believe).
5. though the abuses are many, there's something to be said for authority and tradition. your Eastern Establishment smarts do not necessarily trump my Middle American values.
i'm actually with you, Andrew, in harshly criticizing the Repubs. throw the crooks out. but not with more partisan fighting and stupid rhetoric. and let's not just put more political crooks back in. the list you gave me in the second email is much 'truer'. y'all Democrats put that list out there to reasonable people, without the demonizing, polarizing rhetoric and you'l make much more progress. you'll get a hearing. the only thing this type of list might possibly do is excite those who are already committed to vote Dem.