There will be a Democratic Party function at the Grand Convention Center next Thursday night, and it is my stated intention to don a media cap and attend -- mind you, as an observer, and not as a party loyalist.
Readers may recall an earlier effort to chart NA Confidential’s general political orientation, an article written in a state of supreme pique at contemptible efforts by Indiana State Republicans to renege on the payout for counties hosting riverboat casinos:
Partisan at last: I'd vote for Miller Lite before I'd vote for a Republican.
Six months later, and having carefully considered matters, I’m forced to admit that absolutely nothing has changed, and I still feel the same way – if anything, more strongly than before. Paraphrasing a much-loved Republican president, I wrote:
If I could defeat these Republicans without voting for any Democrat I would do it, and if I could defeat them by voting for all the Democrats I would do it; and if I could defeat them by voting for some Democrats and leaving others alone I would also do that.
Needless to say, nary an ounce of the world’s absolute worst mass-market beer – jet fuel for the lowest common denominator -- has passed my lips since then, either.
Around the same time, in another piece, I put it this way:
Emotions aside, it all comes down to a simple comparison, one that I intend to continue using as the best means of examining the New Albany scene and the participants therein …
Progressive or regressive?
Days later, when Randy Stumler was elected to the chairmanship of the Floyd County Democratic Party at the head of what amounted to a contextually youthful leadership slate of fresh, educated faces, I will freely admit to rejoicing, and not because he and I are acquainted; in fact, to my knowledge, we’ve not been formally introduced, although we’ve shopped in the same bookstore at the same time.
Rather, in spite of my lifelong skepticism … given my philosophical and political objections to the two party system … acknowledging that the possibility of my choosing to be a Republican is as remote as selecting an ice cold Bud in a can … it was because, like most people, I’d prefer the option of being “for” the Democrats in some (any) manner rather than settling for the party as a convenient vehicle for use “against” the Republicans.
In Randy and his “slate” that wasn’t, such an option began to look attainable.
Libertarians, Greens, Constitutionalists, Monarchists – you have my attention, but the fall of the Berlin Wall taught me that change certainly is possible in one’s lifetime, and in narrowing my gaze to the two monoliths, I’m merely being pragmatic with my time and interest.
However, in some ways, the intervening six months have muddied the waters.
After all, it hasn’t been Mark Seabrook, the city council’s lone Republican, who has staged a continuous, anti-intellectual, ill-tempered insurrection against literacy, decency and progress – it has been the council’s obstructionist Gang of Four, councilmen Coffey, Price, Kochert and Schmidt, registered Democrats to a man, ones seemingly determined to imprison an entire 21st-century city within their own reactionary 19th-century hues, and in order to so, seeking succor from terminally disaffected, only nominally Democratic voters who in the harsh light of day might as well be Republicans, such is the weight of the regressive tendencies implicit in their conspiratorial, thuggish, Luddite view of the world.
Let’s be perfectly clear about the nature of this mean-spirited, rear-guard action.
During the most recent chapter in the political history of New Albany, when it has come to base instincts triumphing over noble ideals … when it has come to the frantic race to pander to the worst angels of our natures … when it has come to a tragic, self-defeating advocacy of fear … when it has come to consistently providing the most irredeemably wrong message to the city’s next generation, those for whom we must provide reasons for moving forward by staying here and assisting us in making New Albany and Floyd County better places to live, to work, and to achieve – when it has come to these flagrantly unsuitable indicators of mediocrity, the poster children for societal regress have all been Democrats, and while there may be Republicans capable of far worse (given that most currently are employed by the illegitimate national regime), they’ve not unwisely held their tongues and permitted the far lesser lights of the Democratic Party to wreak havoc on themselves.
Obviously, there is a cruel, almost nativist strain to all this, one that is incapable of articulating a coherent program for the future because it remains mired in New Albany’s congenitally wretched, self-loathing, “little people’s” mindset of “it’s the way we’ve always done it,” and one that exhibits little recognition that New Albany and Floyd County can succeed only by getting smarter, and while getting smarter admittedly is a nebulous and evolving concept, certain components of it are crystal clear, i.e., a Democratic Party that still harbors whiffs of racism and homophobia will not be the political organization that ultimately retains influence here.
Exaggerations? Hyperbole? Rhetoric? Don’t take my word for it; turn to the Democratic Dullard’s On-Line Guide, settle in, and read all about it. You’ll probably have the same bemused reaction as noted political thinker Pat Sajak:
Political pornography is not unlike the sexual kind: difficult to define, but you know it when you see it.
But the times have changed, and they continue to change. There will be a Democratic Party function at the Grand Convention Center next Thursday night, and it is my stated intention to don a media cap and attend -- mind you, as an observer, and not as a party loyalist.
Maybe that will change … even for me.