« 2007 February | Main | 2006 December »

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I am often stunned at how quickly political positions and terminology are created and then adopted among the political classes, and then made into a political litmus test.

The most recent example is the democrat versus democratic debate. I have never in my life heard anyone called a "democratic" they were always "democrats." The party was formally called the democratic party, but at least since the days of Lincoln the parties have been called the Republicans versus the Democrats.

But not now. Now there has been created out of thin air the charge that mean old republicans purposefully use the term "democrat" instead of "democratic" as an insult to the members of that party.
I'm not sure how that constitutes an insult. The nuance in meaning is too subtle to be readily apparent to anyone, and that difference is in no way changing the merits of the meaning. In reality, it is just a way to get attention in the press and rile up people looking for something to get riled up about.

I heard this term for the first time Friday on the radio, and now I'm seeing it repeated in odd places as though it was always some latent insult that democrats everywhere have been steaming about for their entire lives. It's ridiculous and it's only effect will be to isolate further people who do not choose to think very much and only intend to point and howl at each other, obscuring rational discussion.

The other time I noticed this was many years ago. I don't recall the occasion, it was the anniversary of something important, I think. Corretta Scott King was speaking to a large crowd after being lauded with adulations. Mrs. King got up and spoke to the assembly and made the shocking statement that she no longer thought she should be called "black," from now on she wanted to be called "African-American."

The next day, everyone was using the term as though it had always been the right term to use and it is now almost to the point that using the term "black" is insulting. Generations of Americans had been taught to stop using the previously correct word "negro" and only use the word "black." Now we were told by this potentate that we must use the term "African-American," even though it has less meaning and should include Arabs, Egyptians, and Africans of Dutch, English, German, and other ancestry. African means black to the same degree that flower means daisy.

But none of that matters. We are no longer allowed to call blacks anything but "African-American."

In the coming months and years we will see more and more foot stomping temper tantrums if a democrat is referred to as being in the democrat party. It will be fun to irk people over it, but I have no doubt that they will persevere and take all the fun out of it. They will win again. But the nation will lose as the victim ideology is reduced to such banality.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Passports needed?
There's a new rule that American citizens need a passport to return to the country if they do so by airplane.

I can't wait to see that one challenged in court. If someone were to return to the US without a passport, they should fully expect to return. What would the government do, leave them on the plane, or in customs forever? I suspect they would eventually be allowed to return, but only after they harrass and intimidate and ruin their day.

It's an absurd rule with no purpose except to make people feel like they're doing something against terrorism.