Fundamentally, Republicans are conservative and Democrats are liberal. Democrats are on the left and Republicans are on the right. Sometimes they are called left-wing and right-wing.
In his farcical campaign for president in 1968, Pat Paulsen addressed the issue of right-wingers and left-wingers when he wrote: “I am neither right wing nor left wing, I am more or less middle-of-the-bird. I feel that if a political party leans too heavily toward the right wing or the left wing, it tends to fly around in circles.”
Within the Republican Party there are liberals. Those people could be called liberal conservatives. Within the Democratic Party there are conservatives. Those people could be called conservative liberals.
Some conservative liberals call themselves “blue dogs,” not to be confused with yellow dog democrats, about whom is said would vote for a yellow dog if it was a Democrat.
Not to be outdone by the Democrats, the Republicans now have their own “dog” thing going on. The Tea Party, which has come onto the political scene like gang busters, has become the tail that wags the proverbial “dog.” The Tea Party is ultra right-wing and makes many Republicans look like far-left liberals. Some Republicans fear the Tea Party so much that they have bought tickets on the Tea Party express. Those Republicans could be called Teapublicans.
Moderates in the Democratic Party straddle the line between the liberal liberals and conservative liberals. They could be called moderate liberals. Moderates in the Republican Party straddle the line between the conservative conservatives and the liberal conservatives. They could be called moderate conservatives.
Then there are the independents. Sometimes they side with the right wing, and sometimes with the left wing. Unlike the “winger” groups that tend to “fly around in circles,” independents are more like ping-pong balls that are continually bouncing between the left and the right.
Who is right and who is wrong? The left says the right is not right, and the right says the left is not right. That gives us a consensus. Everybody agrees that everybody else is not right.
The only logical conclusion then is that they all must be wrong, not right – right?
Because they are all wrong, and wrong is the opposite of right, and left is also the opposite of right, then indeed there is no right, only left, and left of left. And because left is synonymous with liberal, that makes the whole bunch of ’em liberals.
The Tea Partiers are ultra-conservative liberals, the Republicans are conservative liberals, the independents are moderate liberals, and the Democrats are liberal liberals.
And when it comes to living by the Constitution, a liberal by any other name still stinks.
(Ted Hood Jr., a Harlem resident, is author of the Shattered Symbols blog at shatteredsymbols.blog.com.)