Saturday, October 11, 2008

What We Get To Say Now

For 28 years we've bitten our tongues. Since the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan plunged the nation into the Dark Ages when only rich, white, church-connected men had rights to life, liberty and happiness, we've held our peace, waiting for the day when speaking our minds would not earn us a prison sentence.

But our day is about to arrive. Progressives, liberals, Dirty Fucking Hippies - rejoice!

There's a new scent in the air. If you're a Democrat, you haven't felt it tickle your nostrils since October 1996, when everybody knew that Bill Clinton was about to beat Bob Dole. The perfume hasn't been this strong since October 1964, the eve of Lyndon Johnson's landside presidential victory. It's the sweet smell of success that you can take for granted.


During the past 25 years, there have been countless sentiments that respectable Democratic politicians were never, ever supposed to say out loud for fear of angering the all-powerful Republicans. It still isn't wise for Obama to say them, but maybe the New Complacency will loosen other tongues within the political mainstream. Even if it doesn't, it's fun to think about what those utterances might be. What follows is a list, compiled with help from my fellow Slate staffers. The views expressed don't necessarily reflect those of the contributors—one of whom is a conservative Republican—or even me. But they sure are a refreshing change from what we've been hearing since 1981. With a little luck, they may soon be orthodoxies.
Read the whole thing for the full list, but here are my personal favorites:
(More after the jump.)
  • I think Karl Marx had some valuable insights into capitalist economies!
  • I think abortion should be safe and legal. Rare is fine, too, but the way to achieve that is contraception, baby!
  • The Second Amendment does too allow government to ban handguns!
  • Promiscuity between consenting adults is good exercise!
  • Health care is a service, not a business!
  • Pot is no more dangerous than vodka. Legalize it!
  • I don't support the troops. I support some troops, depending on whether or not they've committed war crimes!
  • No more wars without United Nations or at least NATO support!
  • Let's teach evolution in Sunday school!
  • The military-industrial complex is a greater menace than most foreign nations!
  • If Israel isn't out of the occupied territories in six months, we'll cut off all aid.
  • Higher gas prices are good because they make everybody bike and take public transit like they should!
  • Judges should legislate from the bench if they want to. Conservatives do it, so why not liberals?
  • I do not accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior! I don't even believe in God!
  • What's so great about the Judeo-Christian tradition?
  • Big-city values are better than small-town values!
  • We're undertaxed. Look at Europe!
  • Terrorism isn't that big a threat to America!
  • I'm not a "progressive," for Pete's sake. I'm a liberal!
  • I'm not a "liberal," for Pete's sake. I'm a leftist!
  • I'm not a "leftist," for Pete's sake. I'm a democratic socialist!
  • I'm not a democratic socialist, for Pete's sake. I'm a Communist! Just kidding!
  • Let's bring back the era of big government.
  • It's not enough that the top 5 percent pays 55 percent of our taxes. Why not 75 percent? Believe me, they can afford it!
  • Prostitution is a victimless crime! Don't outlaw it; regulate it, so we can arrest physically abusive pimps, limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and halt sexual trafficking in minors!
  • Many welfare moms kicked off the rolls by the 1986 welfare-reform bill are worse off in their crappy jobs!
  • Ronald Reagan was a crummy president!
  • Broad availability of gay marriage: good. Broad availability of gay divorce: better!
  • You want to know why George W. Bush was a lousy president? Because he's stupid!
  • Pornography is good for your marriage because it teaches you new sexual techniques!
  • The problem with public schools is private schools!
Read the full list, then add your own.

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....