BOSTON — Try as I might I could not find the Harvard Law School Democrats’ conference on “Re-Building the Democratic Party and the Left,” but I did come across a few others who likewise couldn’t get to Point B. The whole thing seemed oddly appropriate; lost, wandering around Harvard unable to get to where I wanted to be. Make Harvard America, me a liberal Democrat and the mysterious conference building the White House and you’ve got yourself a metaphor.
I can’t say I was terribly broken up about missing yet another event wherein Joe Trippi explains how the Internet would have saved the world from George W. Bush if only Howard Dean hadn’t fired him. Later, however, when I went to the website of the Principles Project, a group on hand at the Harvard conference to push its Declaration of Progressive Principles, I got a feel for what these folks were pushing.
Ostensibly built to elucidate the clearly superior progressive values (i.e. “If only we could get our message out no Republican would ever, ever win again”) it’s a bit on the fluffy side. So I attempt below to translate, for a non-progressive, heartless conservative audience, a few of its main points:
We believe in defending dignity: We believe in America’s historic promise of liberty, justice and the expansion of opportunity for all people. These commitments to fundamental human dignity and a better nation for all animate the American spirit and give us a sense of common purpose.
What a bravo beginning! Surely an opening like this will turn the tide in the Democrats’ favor. After all these years of listening to Republicans go unchallenged as they called for the end of liberty, the contraction of justice, and the imposition of fundamental human indignity, progressives have finally found a purpose in life!
We honor these commitments by recognizing that with the great freedoms afforded us comes an even greater responsibility to see that those freedoms are extended to all people in all places.
Okay, was I wrong to expect something a bit heavier than warmed-over paraphrased Spiderman? I realize Uncle Ben — who told Peter Parker in the film, “With great power comes great responsibility” — was unemployed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he was a Democrat. And even if he were he wouldn’t run a campaign for such traditional superhero adversaries as either the Joker or the Riddler, both of whom, I understand, are frontrunners for the Democrats’ 2008 nomination.
All people have the right to lead their personal lives in accordance with their own beliefs, free from imposition or monitoring by others.
Government expansion is going to do that for us? It’s so counterintuitive it just might work! So first we abolish the IRS and then, along with the Department of Peace, let’s open a Department of Government Intrusion. It will be a bureaucracy charged with tying up all other government bureaucracies with paperwork. How does $40 billion a year sound for a starting budget? Don’t worry! George W. Bush doesn’t do vetoes!
All people have a right to the basic necessities required to lead dignified lives and to pursue happiness.
Boy, I could have fun defining this one for the government schlub who shows up at my door to find out what “basic necessities” I need to lead a “dignified life” and “pursue happiness.” I’m going to start with an overhaul of my home entertainment system and some Chilis’ gift certificates. Also, to bolster my self-esteem, can I get a friendly Hallmark picker upper card from the government along with my Social Security updates? I take checks in U.S. dollars and Yen.
We believe in strengthening democracy
Radicals! Strengthen democracy?! Never!
It is the shared responsibility of a nation to ensure each citizen’s freedom, security and equality.
Is this a ploy for the militia movement vote? If so, is it a militia where we’ll just sign online petitions for tax increases, or will we actually get to shoot guns and have bunkers. I want an answer before I sign up.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?