L. Neil Smith's
Number 238, September 14, 2003

Evil, demented, twisted, disgusting little trolls

The Warfare-Welfare Party
the Welfare-Warfare Party

by Anthony Gregory

Exclusive to TLE

Aren't you excited? In not much longer than a year we as Americans have the privilege to participate in the most righteous of all human activities—voting! I've been taught my whole life by government schools and television that not only is voting a fundamental right, it is the most important one. As long as your vote, along with a hundred million others or so, is counted according to a somewhat coherent set of rules, and as long as you voted for one of the two parties that are significant, and as long as when the votes are all counted and recounted and the Supreme Court or whoever makes the final decision you were part of the process, you can't complain. That's freedom!

Well I must admit, when I was fourteen and didn't know better I considered the Republicans the lesser of two evils. Now I don't. In fact, I don't think I've ever had as much of a passionate bias against one side in an election. I want Bush to lose, even if he runs against someone that I think might be worse. So I'm already crossing my fingers for the Democrats to take over in 2004. Calm down, I didn't say I'd vote for them. But I honestly want Bush to lose, even if I don't want them to win. He's done more damage in the last ten years than Clinton did in eight.

So I watched the last debate among Democratic presidential candidates. There were nine of them, I think. And I noticed something. They disagreed on a lot of things, at least rhetorically.

Joe Lieberman thinks the U.S. government should do everything it's doing and then a lot more, in foreign as well as domestic affairs. He thinks the Iraq war was a great idea. He seems to think war in general is a great idea. He believes the United States should back Israel no matter what, who will in turn be there to back us "fifty years from now." I didn't hear him mention it, but I know he also wants more heavily to regulate guns, political campaigns, health care, video games, and probably everything else. Lieberman would take the reins where Bush left off and accelerate the country's descent into a bona-fide fascist dictatorship. I don't want him to win.

John Kerry wants to be seen as the peace candidate and war candidate at the same time. He most unconvincingly tried to spin his way out of the fact that he voted to authorize Bush to use force against Iraq. He argued that if it weren't for that vote, the question would never have gone to the United Nations, and there would have been no chance to stop a unilateral attack. Basically, he said he voted for war in order to stop it. I don't want him to win.

The three most antiwar candidates are Howard Dean, Bob Graham, and Dennis Kucinich.

Dean has waffled a little on foreign policy since the Iraq occupation began. Now he says we need to stay there. For a Democrat—or a Republican, for that matter—he's relatively sane on gun control, saying that it should be a states rights issue. He's from Vermont, and wants his state of strong gun rights and low homicide rates to stay that way. I know, this is not a good view on the issue, but at least he's not calling for an all-out national ban. Of course, he also wants nationalized health care.

Bob Graham was perhaps the most outspoken against Bush, answering yes to a question about whether he thought the president lied us into war deliberately. He's not a perfect candidate, but watching him talk does not invoke nearly the same visceral unpleasantness as does seeing Lieberman or Kerry talk.

Kucinich has no chance, but he says we should bring our troops home and immediately repeal the Patriot Act. He also wants to nationalize health care. He's almost a caricature of the left. I would prefer him to Bush. He would probably run into more stumbling blocks in nationalizing health care than Bush, who is doing it gradually while verbally commending the free market.

The other candidates seemed to be variations of these other guys. Braun evoked the Constitution at least a couple times, but I wonder if she's ever read the second or tenth amendments. Gephardt wants socialized medicine to fix the economy. Edwards talks the talk when it comes to civil liberties. Sharpton said some things I agreed with, which just demonstrates how precarious a situation America is in.

One thing that came through more or less was that candidates who were very opposed to the wars and civil liberties invasions tended to want a socialist health care system and other big government programs, and those who supported or waffled on the many facets on the War on Terrorism preferred a more mixed (fascist) economy approach to the nation's economic woes.

The question is, if an antiwar Democrat—probably Dean, the most viable candidate—wins the nomination of his party and then becomes president, will he actually scale back the nation's militarism and its accompanying police state? The Democrats do not have clean hands when it comes to war, but they have always liked to campaign against it. Wilson, FDR, and Johnson are heroes for the Welfare-Warfare party—presidents who are most appreciated by their partisan descendents for their welfare state policies, presidents who campaigned against war and then drafted America's young to kill thousands and thousands of innocent foreigners. Democrats like war, they're just not proud of it.

Bush, on the other hand, likes to bomb the hell out of helpless nations, and brag about how powerful the U.S. military is. Meanwhile, the current president has been signing steel tariffs, backing huge farm subsidies, advocating more federal health care meddling, and pushing the largest increase in federal involvement in education in American history. Since Bush took over, the Department of Education has had its budget balloon by 70%. Republicans are well known for being "hard" on Communists and terrorists, shamelessly displaying America's military might. But both liberals and conservatives downplay how much the Republicans expand the welfare state, because it would alienate core constituencies of both major parties. That's the formula for the success of the Warfare-Welfare party.

Next November, you can waste your vote on a Libertarian. Or, you can cast a vote for your favorite in the battle between the Warfare-Welfare Party and the Welfare-Warfare Party.

The lone distinction might be which liberties are stripped away out in the open, and which behind closed doors.


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"Access to Space for Everyone!"
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