Perhaps you’ve heard about the recent kerfuffle over Governor Deval Patrick’s jaunt to the Middle East to visit American troops. Our governor has been roundly chided by Republican critics for spending time “over there” when there are so many problems “over here.” You may even hear similar criticisms aimed at our President whenever he nips over to get some face time with our fighting men and women.
But wait! you say. There are three Republican governors on that trip too! And didn’t Mitt Romney visit troops in Iraq when he was governor? He wasn’t criticized for that?
Ah, but he was, dear voter — by Democrats. You know, the same party that is now defending Patrick for doing the same thing, because it sends the message that our troops have not been forgotten at home.
Confused? Don’t be! You’re witnessing a valuable political tool in action: the double standard.
Understanding the double standard is easy, really. Whenever a politician or candidate for office does anything – whether its voting on a bill, visiting an organization, taking a vacation, declaring Bella is much better off with Jacob than Edward, or deciding yes, he would like fries with that — simply run through this handy checklist:
1) What party do I belong to?
2) What party does (politician) belong to?
If the answers for items one and two match, then whatever the politician is doing is GOOD! If they don’t, whatever he or she is doing is BAD!
But wait, you say again, what if the guy is in a different party than I am but what he’s doing is good?
That’s not the way the double standard works, you meatball. Where do you think you are, the magical land of Oz? This is Planet Reality, pal, and the simple fact of the matter is: if you don’t agree with someone politically, they cannot ever do anything good.
You see, in politics, reasons and motivations behind a politician’s actions are retrofitted to suit the individual. How else can we indulge in our atavistic fear of “the other” if you’re keeping an open mind to alternate perspectives? Huh? That’s not the system of government our founding fathers envisioned, you godless Commie.
(Thanks to that whole Russian spy scandal, it’s again trendy to accuse people of being Communists. Isn’t 80′s nostalgia great?)
Anyway: once you’ve determined whether the person in question is good or bad, then look at the situation, and follow the axiom extolled by Adam Savage of the hit TV show “Mythbusters”: reject reality and substitute your own.
Let’s say the politician — we’ll call him Senator Palpatine — is supporting a resolution that states, “Puppies are cute.”
Seems pretty straightforward, right? I think we can all agree that puppies are cute. To wit:
How can you possibly be against that?
Well, it’s easy if you’re a Democrat and Senator Palpatine’s name bears the tag (R – Coruscant) after it. Why is this resolution about puppies? Why can’t it be about kittens? They’re cute too. Maybe Senator Palpatine doesn’t like cats…
No no no. You can’t just leave it at that; lots of people don’t like cats. Maybe he’s supporting this resolution because he’s in the pocket of the pro-dog lobby (“Big Dog”). Maybe this is a subversive attempt to turn public opinion against cats and pave the way for a strongly worded anti-cat bill down the road. Or maybe he’s a Socialist who’s out to destroy the founding principles of this country by denying the American public their God-given right to make their own choice of which is cuter!
There you go. That’s some gooooooooooood spin, baby.
But what if you as a voter — let’s call you A. Skywalker — are also an (R) like Senator Palpatine? Well then, the Senator’s resolution is simply expressing the opinion that the majority of Americans share about Man’s Best Friend. Unlike cats, who were the pet of choice among the heathen ancient Egyptians, dogs are an all-American animal exemplified by Lassie, Benji, Rin-Tin-Tin — hard-working, noble beasts who would lay down their own canine lives in service to man and accident-prone young boy alike.
Cats, on the other hand, are self-centered. They take but never give back. Look at Garfield. What has he ever done for Jon? And let’s not think about all the times cats have tried to steal an innocent child’s breath.
Now that you’ve been educated about the double standard, go out and give it a try next time a politician you like/hate does something. You’ll be helping build a better future for the United States of America.
(Editor’s note: the above information does not regard third-party and unenrolled politicians as viable, so we’re just going to ignore them, like all American media outlets do.)
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.