Contraria

Edward C. "Coe" Heller is a Los Angeles-based film producer who believes that if everyone knows something to be true it is probably false. A friend, tired of listening to rants has suggested a blog as a harmless outlet. Coe believes it is vanity, and a chasing after the wind, but is unsure it is harmless.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Free at Last



            Free at last.  Free at last.  Thank God almighty I am free at last.
            I have left the Democratic Party, resigned from the City Committee and am officially “unenrolled”.  The weight is off my shoulders, so at least I do not feel responsible for what My Former Party does.
            11 years ago I observed in these pages that we “…have a choice between two parties, one of which has bad principles and one of which has no principles at all.” http://contrariat.blogspot.com/search?q=liberal+manifesto
For many years I have identified as a Democrat both because I am a card-carrying member of the bi-coastal elite and because a party with no principles at least has the option of getting some things right if only by accident.
Lately, however I have determined that MFP actually does have principles, and even if we cannot be Republicans being in MFP is untenable. 
The President has nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.  If I were President I would not have nominated him, but by any measure he is qualified to serve as a Justice.  45 Senators from MFP voted against him, out of political spite, only the latest episode of a trend MFP started in 1988 with the Bork nomination, a trend which has done infinite damage to our institutions.
MFP has come out against “free speech” – the kind with “air quotes” quotation marks in a pandering to African-Americans who may be too fragile to engage in discussions.  Our local candidate for Mayor used the air quotes in a video message.  I cannot agree with that and recall that in 1967 as a ROTC midshipman I was investigated by the Office of Naval Intelligence for insisting that the SDS had the right to live in peace on campus.  Free speech does not get air quotes.
Professor Mark Lilla of Columbia has written “The Once and Future Liberal” in which he argues that MFP has followed the path of identity politics down a dead end.   The Democrats have taken the “we” out of our society and substituted a narrow vision of “me” with an identity label.  He writes (p 102)
At a time when we liberals need to convince people that they share a common destiny our rhetoric encourages self righteous narcissism.  We have no political vision, and we are thinking and speaking and acting in ways guaranteed to prevent one from emerging.
 Lilla notes that the anti-Trump movement is wholly negative, offering nothing to anyone other than anger, and when MFP allocates convention seats by identity quotas the participants are so focused on themselves that they acquire distain for politics because it means engaging with people unlike themselves.  This in turn explains why MFP believes that the judges should make the laws, so the politicians do not need to be responsible for anything.  Lilla proposes a prescription for righting the Party’s ship, and he suggests that MFP should back off identity politics and focus on “we”, and what we can do for our country.  Ain’t happening.  MFP will double down on the bad stuff.
If I needed a final straw the dismissal of Senator Al Franken about sums it up.  Accused of what is now but at the time was probably not “sexual assault” he was tried, convicted, sentenced and executed by his Senate colleagues of MFP without either fact-finding or process and perhaps most importantly without a shred of decency or proportionality. 
The Republicans are most assuredly jerks, but if MFP is different it is only in degree and not in kind.  To quote Ronald Reagan, – “I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me”.
Free at last.

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