Several weeks ago my father sent me an allegedly humorous list of “Things You Have to Believe to be a Republican”. I figured turnabout would be fair play, and since this kind of political humor is invariably symmetrical I looked for the equivalent list targetting Democrats so I could mail it back to him. Sadly, the anti-Democrat version is of significantly poorer quality.

Most of the items on the anti-Republican list are of the form “You have to believe A and B”, where there is some sort of seeming contradiction between A and B. The list is trying to identify internal inconsistencies in Republican ideology, which should make any intellectually honest person at least a little uncomfortable. The anti-Democrat list has some entries like that, but too much of its content is of the form “You have to believe A” where A is a belief that is just widely considered absurd within the conservative movement.

The anti-Republican list is aimed at the center. It is a kind of outreach. The anti-Democrat list is aimed at Republicans. It is preaching to the choir.

So, I decided to write up my own version. I’m willing to take additional entries.

Things Democrats Believe

  1. People who use drugs deserve compassion and understanding — unless their drug of choice is tobacco.
  2. Children can be exposed to years of violent and sexually-explicit imagery in popular culture with no ill effects, but an adult who is exposed to a racially insensitive remark is emotionally scarred for life.
  3. Banning abortions will only drive them underground, but banning guns will make them disappear.
  4. Teaching children about safe sex in school will make them sexually responsible, but teaching children about safe gun handling in school would make them violent killers.
  5. The Enron accounting scandal is an indictment of free markets as such, but UNSCAM is no big deal.
  6. An unemployment rate of 5.6% during the Clinton administration was unusually low, but an unemployment rate of 5.6% during the Bush administration is unusually high.
  7. Successful government programs should be praised and publicized — unless the program is welfare reform.
  8. A work of art portraying Jesus submersed in urine is daring and avant garde, but a work of art portraying Mohammad submersed in urine would be bigoted and hateful.
  9. George Bush invaded Iraq for the oil, but the many profiteers from the oil-for-food program opposed the war out of principle.
  10. Janet Jackson’s breast is protected by the First Amendment, but political advocacy ads are not.
  11. Scientists and engineers can’t build a safe nuclear reactor, but global warming activists can accurately predict the weather.
  12. Education should be value-neutral, except for values like multiculturalism and environmentalism.
  13. We need to move beyond 9/11, so we can get back to obsessing over Vietnam.
  14. The Second Amendment does not protect the right to keep and bear arms, but the Fourteenth Amendment mandates race preferences.
  15. Fetuses do not have rights, but animals do.
  16. Parents should have a choice over whether their children are born, but not what school they attend.
  17. American corporations outsourcing jobs to poor foreign workers is bad; taxing American corporations and sending money to foreign dictators who promise to give it to poor foreigners, but actually squirrel it away in Swiss bank accounts, is good.
21 Responses to “Things Democrats Believe”
  1. Liz says:

    I can see the validity of both those lists. What does that make me? Sick and tired of hippocrasy, that’s what. Both “sides” pick & choose their stances on issues & then try to back them up with overreaching “ideals.” Then they try to sum up extremely complicated issues in 1 sentence that says why they are “for” or “against” something. The issues are way to complicated, and rarely is the individual’s opinion on them totally “yes” or “no”, unless the individual is a simpleton, which is to say, most people who identify themselves as totally “republican” OR “democrat.” Why can’t we all just be “citizens”.

  2. Liz says:

    I can see the validity of both those lists. What does that make me? Sick and tired of hippocrasy, that’s what. Both “sides” pick & choose their stances on issues & then try to back them up with overreaching “ideals.” Then they try to sum up extremely complicated issues in 1 sentence that says why they are “for” or “against” something. The issues are way to complicated, and rarely is the individual’s opinion on them totally “yes” or “no”, unless the individual is a simpleton, which is to say, most people who identify themselves as totally “republican” OR “democrat.” Why can’t we all just be “citizens”.

  3. Oscar Cwajbaum says:

    (Democrat = mainstream party, everwhere below)

    1. Yes.. deserve compassion and understanding as they try break the addiction. I don’t know any Democrat that would show more compassion and understanding to an unrependant drug user than to a smoker.

    2. See Joe Lieberman to disprove A. I also don’t know where you got the emotionally scarred for life — that’s a stretch even for wako leftists.

    3. Banning guns will make them much less common. (I don’t think you’ll find a Democart who believes banning guns will make them disappear, or that banning abortions won’t make them less frequent.)

    4. Reference, please, for any Democrat that has even hinted that teaching kids gun safety turns them into killers?

    5. Reference, please, for A?

    6. Unemployment rate is deceptive here — unemployment rate does not count people who have given up looking. The actual number of people unemployed is much higher in the Bush administration than in the Clinton years.

    7. The key here is the define success.

    8. Reference for B?

    9. I haven’t heard anyone argue B. (Usually it’s because they don’t believe the people arguing against the war were ever profiteers. This may not square with reality, but it’s not internally inconsistant.)

    10. McCain-Feingold was a bipartisan bill. (Yes, McCain is a Republican.)

    11. The problem with a nuclear reactor is what you do with the byproducts. Also, global warming activists don’t claim to predict the weather, they claim to predict climate trends — big difference.

    12. ?????

    13. ??? “Move beyond?” As in, not give the government police-state powers over anyone they declare to be a terrorist or supporter?

    14. Reference for B? This is a new one for me.

    15. I don’t see the contradiction here. A living being’s rights begin at birth. (It’s fairly clearly stated in the Bible, even though most of modern Christianity has decided to overlook it.)

    16. No, I don’t know of any Democrat who wants to ban private schools.

    17. No, many Democrats are against large foreign aid packages too.

  4. ceph says:

    Any of these lists, no matter from which side against which side, make any difference. The two parties are more similiar than you’d think when they get into office. Principles hardly hold up when you are trying to get a bill passed that your own state wants, but in order to get it passed, 60 other things have to be tacked on. Sad.

  5. Ted Samuel says:

    Can I use this at a later date? It’s a perfect counter-point to some of the democrats argument’s.

    Sorry for the bad spelling, it’s late.

  6. 9-9 says:

    more funny than the list is Oscar’s attempt to debunk it. laughing out loud.

  7. Kyle Haight says:

    Ted,

    The list is intended to be a below-the-belt shot in the ongoing memetic war between the left and the right. So feel free to forward it around; that’s what it’s for.

  8. Anne Haight says:

    Oscar, dude, I know you’re smarter than that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Banning guns will make them much less common.

    Yeah. Less common in the hands of law-abiding citizens, but not in the hands of criminals. See violent crime statistics in England and Australia before and after they banned firearms.

    The key here is the define success.

    success = achieving the end for which the program was enacted in the first place. More than you can say for the DARE program.

    Also, global warming activists don’t claim to predict the weather, they claim to predict climate trends — big difference.

    Using 50 years worth of data on a planet that is over 4 billion years old? Get real. We haven’t observed the planet long enough to know whether any of the information is meaningful, or has anything to do with us.

    15. I don’t see the contradiction here. A living being’s rights begin at birth. (It’s fairly clearly stated in the Bible, even though most of modern Christianity has decided to overlook it.)

    The American legal system begs to differ. Besides, the point is that if animals have rights, then the very least of humans should also, including the unborn. It’s barbaric to say that abortion is morally ok while also in the same breath saying that someone who abuses a cat should be convicted of a felony. I’m not endorsing one point of view or the other — just illustrating the value conflict.

  9. John Doe says:

    Here in Seattle:
    1. White people are evil. 2. American Indians were better off living in the stone age than their descendants are now. 3. Christianity is evil, but Buddhism and New Age religions are okay. 4. Israel is evil. 5. Capitalism is evil, but Communism was just poorly implemented. 6. People who want to reduce immigration are evil. 7. Taxes should be raised. 8. Government spending should be raised. 9. If cops arrest more blacks than whites, that proves cops are racist. 10. Violence by blacks against whites or asians is never a hate crime. 11. Private property isn’t. 12. All rights are granted by the government, and revocable at any time. 13. We must not allow private individuals to do anything that those in power find distasteful. 14. The government should discriminate against whites. 15. Children should be bussed across town to ensure racial balance at all schools. 16. It is wrong for poor whites to want vouchers for their kids, but okay for government officials to send their kids to private schools. 17. Islam is a religion of peace. 18. “Christmas” should be changed to “Winter Festival.” 19. The internment of Japanese citizens and their American-born children during the war was more evil than anything done by Japan, and motivated purely by racism. 20. It is okay for homosexuals to publicly condemn Christians, but not okay for Christians to criticize homosexuals in any way. 21. It’s only cheating if you get caught. 22. Global warming is real, and is mostly caused by Americans. 23. It is okay to lie, if you are doing it for a worthy political purpose. 24. It is okay to slander someone, if it is for a worthy political purpose. 25. Right and wrong are not universal, but depend on who is doing the acting and who is being acted upon. 26. Individuals do not have rights, groups do. 27. America and the Soviet Union were morally equal. 28. It would be a good thing if America were defeated in Iraq.

  10. Liz says:

    well, i have to point out that even though i identified myself as democrat for a good long time, even i can see how #1 is true oscar. the people running around vt and mass banning smoking in bars are not by & large republicans. they care too much about the almighty dollar for that.

  11. a flying dutchman says:

    “well, i have to point out that even though i identified myself as democrat for a good long time, even i can see how #1 is true oscar. the people running around vt and mass banning smoking in bars are not by & large republicans. they care too much about the almighty dollar for that.”

    Strange argument, given Ireland and Dutch government have argumented and implemented the very same law.

    I am a smoker myself, but even as smoker i see the hypocrisy in the current drug laws. Cannabis is somehow a Bad Thing, while alcohol and nicotine are not while nicotine is _highly_addictive_ even more so than heroin. Heroin however, is banned and there is even a war against it. Why isn’t there a war on nicotine? Simple: socially accepted and good for the economy. As a result i -as smoker- have somehow deep respect for governments which try to fight the social acceptance and scandalous profits from the tabaco industry even when it hurts various sectors (including bars, F1, and many many more).

    I could easily argument

    “People who use drugs deserve compassion and understanding — unless their drug of choice is cannabis.”

    Or any other banned psychedelic drug. If God made Gaia, He must have made a big mistake giving all these druggies available to humanity. I also feel very sorry for everyone who observered art from artists from any age — the Golden Age till the current Age. Since many, many, many of them used a variety of drugs.

  12. Tina Simmons says:

    So, let me get this straight. The Bible says abortion is o.k.? Life begins at birth? Interesting… “Before I formed you in the womb I knew [ 1:5 Or [ chose ] ] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-6 It appears that a lot can happen to a person before he has life.

  13. Tim says:

    I love the list that Oscar came up with to counter your list. Hilarious, especially his number 1 about compassion for scum-of-the-earth drug addicts but not for a smoker. With his stupid list, he truly sums up how screwed up the thinking of the left is. Sometimes I almost feel sorry for anyone brainwashed into joining the liberal spectrum.

  14. Evry Man says:

    I too received the list from one of my liberal mates. It’s funny, but not as he and the others intend. For instance, Bill Clinton was not impeached for having sex with a woman. He was impeached for obstruction of justice and lying under oath. Quite a big difference. Bush did not lie about Iraq. What his assertion of WMD wrong? Perhaps (although I believe like others the weaapons are now in Syria) — but it was the same agrument made by Clinton and the UN in numerous resolutions. Those who don’t understand there is a global movement to destroy Western Civilization — wrapped in the garb of religion — are sadly fooling themselves. These people would kill any of us should they have the opportunity. Bush is right on the mark. We must fight these fanatics now for we will fight them sooner or later, and sooner is better in my mind. But, perhaps I’ve strayed from the mark. So let me attempt humor.
    To be a Democrat you must believe:
    1. Bush directed Hurricane Katrina to destroy the democratic city of New Orleans.
    2. Iran is sitting on a sea of oil, but wants to develop its nuclear industry to run electric generators.
    3. The NEA is really doing a good job of educating our children.
    4. Social Security is broken, but it’s risky to do anything to attempt to fix it.
    5. Al Gore really did invent the Internet.

  15. big booty says:

    i think ur all dumb, this website was made by a republican thats why it sounds so stupid

  16. Kyle Haight says:

    I’d be more stung by criticism from someone who cares enough to spell correctly. But what the hell, I have a few moments.

    I’m actually not a Republican. I don’t have a political party; I have political values, and I engage in both strategic and tactical activism to advance them as I am able. Sometimes this involves supporting Republicans. At the moment, however, it doesn’t, and as a result I’m currently a registered Democrat. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the California primaries, and I think it’s a sad comment on the current state of American politics that she — amoral, power-lusting bitch that she is — is the least bad candidate on offer for the Presidency in this election. But don’t let the facts about my political beliefs and affiliations get in the way of your ungrammatical and poorly spelled analysis.

    Oh, and while I was rereading the list, I thought of a new entry:

    Democrats believe that burning an American flag is a constitutionally protected act of free speech, but burning a Mexican flag is a vicious hate crime warranting a prison sentence.

    One other thing I think I should mention, since people have been bagging on him in this comment thread. Oscar is actually a friend of mine, and owns the ISP on which this blog resides. We don’t agree on a number of political issues, but we somehow manage to get along in spite of that. (In fact, I was best man at his wedding.) So take note that life is broader than politics.

  17. Randal says:

    Quite a good list. And some of the following contributions are cool too. It amazed me how little there is on the vast internet to learn what Democrat politicians want, in contrast to what they claim to want.

    So a year ago I ended up doing kind of what you have, beginning my own list. It is of a completely different style than yours. Hmm, wondering now if I had found yours a year ago whether I would have bothered to create something.

    In that regard, I am grateful for having not found it then because we really need both if hoping to de-program the MTV and television addicted hordes who merely vote based on which guy sounds the most confident and calm, based on years having been subtly and not so subtly fed the impression by Dan Rather, NPR, Tom Brokaw and CNN that Republicans truly are the evil beings Democrats make them out to be.

    It’s probably too late to bother fighting anymore, though I do muster up a few spoonfuls of energy for the war every once in a while anyway. Maybe I should just exercise though.

    Anyway, thanks for the list.

    Oh, my site is at http:whatdemocratsbelieve.com. Edit that out if you want. I dunno what the policy might be.

  18. Jayk D. says:

    This list really doesn’t make sense, too much of it doesn’t follow.

    Of course, I don’t agree with Democrats or Republicans because I’m Libertarian. And the only line that you can give for that is:

    1. You believe that all people can be different and do what they feel so long as they don’t hurt others, but somehow you also believe that the government shouldn’t regulate that. Seriously, you’re so stuuupid. Silly Libertarian, government always has to control SOMETHING – life doesn’t function without Big Brother!!!ONEONE111!

    Seriously.

  19. Kyle Haight says:

    The list isn’t supposed to ‘make sense’; it’s intended to identify ideological fracture points in the liberal/left-wing mentality — cases where their underlying principles are inconsistent or applied inconsistently. A similar list could be compiled identifying fracture points for Libertarians. Fruitful areas for investigation might include foreign policy, abortion and intellectual property, all of which are highly controversial in Libertarian circles because they involve premises that logically predate the non-initiation of force principle that provides the arbitrary integrating standard of Libertarian political thought.

  20. Doug says:

    What is the democrats response to the burning of bibles in Afghanistan? I have heard no response from the President, Senate Majority leaderl, speaker of the House or the DemocratParty chairman . Does that mean they are for burning Bibles or not.If not, what actions have they done to see that this doe not happen again.

  21. Cooper says:

    democrats beleive a lot of bad stuff

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