Political Hay

Explaining the New Democratic Logo

The official announcement suggests a party increasingly unmoored from truth and reason.

By 9.21.10

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The new Democratic logo is so bad that the intellectual rot in the official announcement went largely unnoticed. Consider the fifth and sixth paragraphs:

I'm sure you'll also notice our new look. Some may think: it's just a logo -- it's just a brand. Well I don't believe the Democratic Party is a logo or a brand -- we are much more than that. We are Democrats. We create change that matters. Ours is a party of ideas and ideals, of policies and people, history and purpose.

So call it what you will -- this new identity for our party captures the spirit that unites us all. Democrats -- all of us -- are working for the change that matters.

To grasp how deeply the rot extends here, imagine you have a ne'er-do-well nephew who has come to live with you and has just run up a bill on your credit card, a bill so large that your children's children's children might eventually be able to pay it off if they all become celebrated brain surgeons with a penchant for thrifty monastic life. The reality of your financial situation is just sinking in when your nephew calls you at work and says he has a big announcement for you when you get home.

When you walk through the front door, "Ta dah!" Beaming, the spendthrift hands you a new family t-shirt like the one he's wearing. The slogan on it reads, "FINANCES THAT COUNT!"

Naturally, you're speechless. The kid has run up a debt beyond imagining, and he's addressing the problem with a t-shirt and an idiotic slogan.

Sensing your lack of enthusiasm, your nephew rushes to the shirt's defense. "Some may think: it's just a t-shirt -- it's just a brand," he says. "Well, I don't believe this family is a t-shirt or a brand -- we are much more than that."

Now at least you have an explanation for the insane credit card bill the kid ran up: He's taken a blow to the head. You know this because no human being with an I.Q. north of, say, a Shetland pony's would argue that a new t-shirt isn't just a new t-shirt because, well, your family isn't a t-shirt.

But the kid isn't done yet. "We are Us!" he exclaims. "We create change that matters. Ours is a party of ideas and ideals, of policies and people, history and purpose."

Somewhat recklessly you decide to test the blow-to-the-head theory by engaging the kid in a rational conversation. "Well, you did create change that matters. You screwed up our family finances as far as the eye can see. You talk about ideas and ideals. But all kinds of people have ideas and ideals. Wylie Coyote had ideas and ideals. And has there ever been a party in history -- good, bad or ugly -- that wasn't made up of 'policies and people, history and purpose'? If you want to talk about change, name some concrete and specific ways you're going to change your idiotic behavior, your 'policies and people,' your 'history and purpose,' so that I will have any rational reason to trust you with my credit card ever again."

The kid blinks, as if some internal hard drive is casting about for the appropriate sound bite. Click: the drive finds it and the lights come on again in his eyes. "Call it what you will," he continues, "this new identity for our family captures the spirit that unites us all. Us -- all of us -- are working for the change that matters."

The intellectual rot has a pedigree, of course. It reaches at least as far back as President Bill Clinton's talk of building "a bridge to the 21 century," as if the river of time had run dry and we could only ever reach the new Millennium through the sage and centralized planning of political mandarins on the left. And then, of course, there is Barack Obama who until recently had the power to mesmerize with his utterly vacuous talk of hope and change.

The gift in the new Democratic logo and its accompanying announcement is that it makes the intellectual rot so plainly manifest. The tragedy is that this is the same party whose earlier members helped to deliver such honorable lines as "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for country," and "We holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

But that was long ago. The new Democratic Party has abandoned the first unalienable right, seems eager to suffocate the second under the weight of a metastasizing nanny state, and has come to equate the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of handouts coerced from the political minority. Nor are many of its members any longer comfortable with the Creator doing anything so public and political as undergirding our fundamental human rights.

Change that matters? Indeed.


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About the Author

Jonathan Witt, Ph.D., is a research fellow with the Acton Institute and the author, with Jay Richards, of the upcoming Ignatius Press book The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot

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