Forefrontal Lobotomy

I just heard Hillary Clinton say: “The Democratic Party has always been at the forefront of civil rights and women’s rights.”

''Nothing will sway us from the middle road.''  German Democratic Party poster, 1924 Always? Really?

The same U.S. Democratic Party that upheld slavery? that imposed the Jim Crow laws? that opposed women’s suffrage? that interned the Japanese? that sponsored the Klan?

The “forefront” of the struggle for the rights of women and of minorities has always been outside the framework of either of the major parties. Even after the Democratic Party decided in the 1960s to reinvent itself as the champion of women and blacks, its actual support for these causes was always tepid and lagged far behind the actions of private citizens on the ground.

Here, as so often, government (in Paine’s words) “robs industry of its honours, by pedantically making itself the cause of its effects; and purloins from the general character of man, the merits that appertain to him as a social being.”

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4 Responses to Forefrontal Lobotomy

  1. Tomasz January 15, 2008 at 10:38 pm #

    I’m intrigued by the German Democratic Party poster used as an illustration for this post. Was the GDP a forerunner of the NSDAP?

  2. Administrator January 16, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    No, they stood in the middle of the road and the NSDAP ran them over.

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