was recently warned by a co-worker to avoid the Editorial page of
Sunday's (Nov. 21, 2004) The Miami Herald. Her first warning
was a question: had I read the piece written by Dennis Prager that
told American Democrats all the things that were wrong with their
party? The next day she brought the topic up again and suggested
I steer clear of reading it. By the third day, she had coerced me
with the admonition: do not read that article, although if I had
thrown my copy out, she could bring me hers. Her reverse psychology
worked and just like the proverbial Brer Rabbit, I jumped into my
recycle bin briar patch and salvaged my copy. I finally got around
to reading Mr. Prager's message. Now I see why I was warned not
to read it.
piece is an open letter addressed to Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano
who had supposedly asked the question: "How did a party
that is filled with people with values – and I am a person with values – get
tagged as the party without values?" Prager leads with
the stipulation that he was raised a Democrat but changed his stripes
to Republican 10 years ago. This point interests me because I am
within one year of Prager's age yet I held onto my non-partisan
stance and voted for the person most of my adult life. Out of fairness
and thanks largely to the George W (that's W, as in "warlord")
Bush big oilmen, I confess to having swung fully into the Democrat's
begins his answer with "Your party does indeed have very
many people with values in it. But the Democratic Party is no more
representative of the average Democrat’s values than the National
Council of Churches is of the average Protestant’s values."
The statement is a contradiction: a party loaded with people
with specific characteristics or values is representative of its
members by definition. Why else would a group of people join forces
if not to uphold their common philosophies?
then goes into his over-used generalization mode and starts off
with: "Here is the Democratic Party as most Americans, including
this John F. Kennedy liberal – a New York City born and raised,
Jewish, Ivy League-educated intellectual who lives in Los Angeles
– see it." No, Mr. Prager. This is how you and you
alone see it. In fact, your entire article ought to be titled
"How Prager Sees It." And your repeated use of
"Most Americans" is misleading.
Prager attacks Michael Moore: "To most Americans, Michael
Moore is a Marxist who has utter contempt for most of his fellow
Americans, who goes abroad and tells huge audiences how stupid and
venal his country is, and in his dishonest propaganda film, portrays
the American military as callous buffoons." Dishonest propaganda?
Can you prove that statement? Can you prove any part of Moore's
film is a lie? If you cannot provide irrefutable proof that the
film or part of it is a lie, then you have told a lie yourself.
Lying, by the way, seems to be a common characteristic of the Bush
lovers. Furthermore, unless the Unpatriotic Act has repealed it,
the right to free speech is still available to most Americans.
then moved on to slash and burn two more Americans: "To
most Americans, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are race-baiting demagogues.
Yet they are heroes to the Democratic Party. Most Americans do not
see their country as the bigoted and racist nation regularly depicted
by both black and white Democratic leaders." Consider this:
perhaps most Americans can see the admirable qualities in both of
these men, tunnel-visioned labels notwithstanding.
you seem to have bumped into a wall as you made your rightist turn
decrying the clothing choices of men and women: "To most
Americans, a man who wears women's clothing to work is a pathetic
person in need of psychotherapy. To the Democratic Party, he is
a man whose cross-dressing is merely another expression of multiculturalism.
The California legislature, which is entirely controlled by Democrats,
passed a law prohibiting any employer from firing a man who shows
up to work wearing women’s clothing." I doubt there is
a less important issue you could have chosen to bring out. Do you
assume one's attire defines the person? In a time when Americans
are murdering Iraqis under the orders of their commander-in-chief,
cross-dressing does not amount to a hill of beans!
enjoyed your point regarding obscenity: "To most Americans,
obscenity-filled evenings should be restricted to R-rated films
or a Las Vegas comedy act, not a major party’s fund raiser attended
by its candidates for president of the United States. To Democrats,
those who object to such evenings are regarded as judgmental, hypocritical
and narrow minded." I recall the days preceding the Bush
v. Gore election when right-wingers such as you exclaimed they were
tired of having to explain the evening news to their children regarding
the cigar jokes and the blue dress incident. Yes, the blue dress
is gone but the obscenity I see on the news now is George Bush's
war news. Human bodies blown to pieces, prisoners forced to perform
ridiculously humiliating sex acts, and war carnage now occupy the
you turned your angst toward Hollywood: "To most Americans,
Hollywood stars are regarded as terrific to watch in films but also
as narcissistic ingrates when, between private jet trips to Cuba
and Cannes, they express their contempt for traditional America.
That the Democrats have a veritable monopoly on support from folks
like Sean Penn and Robert “Castro-is-a-great-leader” Redford may
give Democrats a heady feeling, but for tens of millions of Americans
it merely reinforces their belief that the Democratic Party shares
Hollywood’s values." Here's the truth on the Hollywood
issue: Most Americans, including Democrats understand the
Hollywood stars are actors, i.e., people who act for
a living. Nothing more.
attack on what you think is the Democrats' view of the military
is juxtaposed: "To most Americans, the American military
is not only heroic; it is regarded as more important to safeguarding
freedom than any other human institution, including the ACLU, the
United Nations or the university, to cite three major Democratic
Party affiliates. To virtually the entire Left, which includes the
Democratic Party, the military is, at best, a necessary evil."
As a war veteran myself, let me make that statement make sense:
The military is a necessary evil. It is regarded by all Americans
as more important to safeguarding freedom than any other institution.
conclude your barrage on the military topic claiming the Democratic
doctrine is "Make love, not war" Well you may be
onto something here. Those exact words could have easily been taken
out of context from that liberal fellow we read about in that special
history book. Um, let's see if I can recall his name. Why yes, the
liberal who promoted love over violence I'm thinking of was Jesus
Christ. Jesus, based on his liberal actions and teachings, was in
all likelihood a registered Democrat, Himself.
you played the hot topic, gay card: "To most Americans,
gays are fellow Americans who happen to be homosexual and who should
be accorded the same respect any fellow American is accorded. But
most Americans also believe that America should retain the millennia-old
definition of marriage as man-woman. They regard liberal judges
who take it upon themselves to redefine marriage with contempt.
And these judges are identified with the Democrats." First,
let me transfix your assault into a true statement: To most Democrats,
gays are people who happen to be homosexual and who should be accorded
the same respect that any fellow American is accorded. Then I want
to fix the portion reading, "…these judges are identified
with the Democrats" by adding "by you"
at the end. Out of curiosity, I wonder if you believe there are
no gay Republicans?
to your abortion statement: "Whatever their views on abortion
and abortion rights, the vast majority of Americans view the abortion
of a viable fetus/baby (partial-birth abortion) as immoral. The
Democratic candidate and his fellow Democrats repeatedly voted against
a ban on this practice." It's that word "immoral"
that jumps out to me. Do you think Bush's murdering of over 100,000
innocent Iraqis is moral? Or is murdering a live adult more
moral than performing an abortion?
for your big conclusion: "I hope that this short list answers
your question about how it is that your party has gotten tagged
as “the party without values.” Indeed, the real question, as this
observer sees it, is how has this party retained so many people
who have traditional American values?" Regarding the people
with the traditional values you describe: would you suggest those
Democrats with traditional values jump ship and join the Republican
traditionalists? The same neoconservative "traditionalists"
who now think they have a cart blanc mandate permitting the use
of bogus intelligence to invade and conquer every oil-producing
country on the planet?
message leaves one with the impression you are positive you have
your finger on the pulse of America's conscience. I suggest you
are taking the pulse of one narrow-minded, self-righteous man's
Woolley [send him mail]
is a disabled Vietnam veteran living in Miami, Florida. He served
with the 9th Infantry Division in The Mekong Delta in
a Ranger unit doing reconnaissance 1968–69 where he received
a gunshot wound to the head leaving one side severely paralyzed.
He is a father of four grown children and grandfather of seven,
including a set of triplets.