Camille Paglia Answers Reader Letters: Democratic Ideology


Interesting quote:

“Something has gone seriously wrong with Democratic ideology, which seems to have become a candied set of holier-than-thou bromides attached like tutti-frutti to a quivering green Jell-O mold of adolescent sentimentality.”

Quite an image.  I like the term adolescent sentimentality, which is how I would describe the ethos of NPR’s This American Life (not exactly the height of Democratic thought, though somewhat representative).  

The word on the street is that Democrats are ideologically lacking, and contracting culturally and politically as they follow their ideas to their logical conclusions.  I’m not entirely convinced…though I’m tired of the lack of solid reasoning behind the global warming and feminist movements which gain public support by default. 

Even if you could prove this is true (and there are some cases to make), the Republican party seems to be following suit.  And as in any party’s base, there is enough frightening ignorance and ideology to go around.  This may help explain the growth of the libertarian party (with a richer blend of ideological nuttiness).

So…what to do…if this analysis is even somewhat accurate…

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2 thoughts on “Camille Paglia Answers Reader Letters: Democratic Ideology

  1. I’d have to agree that partisan ideology has run amok in our system. Just the fact that no third party candidates are even allowed to debate, whether or not they are viable candidates says a lot about how closed our political system has become.

    I have republican friends who would never vote for a democrat, even if he or she was a moderate. Same goes for many of my democrat friends. My father, who has been a Presbyterian minister for 60+ years told me that he was the guest pastor in a central Florida church a couple of weeks ago and at the pot luck lunch after the service, he was told that anyone who voted for a democrat was not a real Christian. I can avow for my father’s very sincere and unshakable faith and am truly offended as was my father to hear those words come from people who claim to be Christian.

    As almost any working person knows, fiscal responsibility is not that difficult to achieve, even for lower income families. Where the Republicans have it wrong is that they consider government inherently evil. Where the democrats have it wrong is that they consider business inherently evil. Neither side is correct. Responsible business and government both have many great things to offer. The key word there is responsible.

    It’s wildly naive to think that either business or government can function properly without oversight, accountability and personal responsibility. Unfortunately, we’ve seen both government and business acting purely in their own interests and not the people’s interests.

    All we can do is to make sure that we pay attention, make ourselves heard, vote out under performing elected officials and use the power of our pocketbook and communication to corporate executives. It all starts at the bottom with us.

  2. Average, thanks for your comment.

    I would be frustrated if I found myself in a congregation so committed to a political stance, especially one with the depths of the church.

    As to government regulation, it seems now that we have a serious financial situation, we see the current limits and of Congress and the House. That bitter partisanship hurts us all (I don’t know the best way forward).

    I’d like to think that all of us, but especially our political leaders, think more deeply, have deeper committments, and act according to their moral lights (not always religious) when they do their jobs.

    I agree with you, it starts with our lives, our clear thinking, our checkbooks, and our vote.

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