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Citizen Voices

Have you heard the story about the Prius-driving, latté-sipping Democrat?

It goes something like this: an elitist, upper-middle class, pseudo-intellectual snob goes into a group of his or her peers and begins spouting advice on how to fix their inbred, uninformed, and sad little lives. Not funny? No, it really isn't too funny. But for many non-Democrats (such as, Libertarians, Republicans, neo-cons, the apathetic masses, the creators of South Park, etc...) this is the vision of a liberal.

So, is there any truth to the stereotype? Does John Edwards' $400 haircut amidst New Orleans' ravaged Lower Ninth Ward signal what's wrong with liberalism? Or does the unseemly image of a bleeding heart Democrat preaching to the poor masses fog up the lens of perception?

Ryan Gordon from University City
May 07, 2008 at 12:44 AM
Dear Alma, I had a little difficulty following your blog, but I appreciate you asking a specific question at the end. It feels like you're suggesting a dichotomy between image and message because the democratic presidential candidates pander to "working class" citizens in rhetoric but then support a more hands-on government role, or a more regulating type of government for individuals, corporations, etc? This is like a general assumption of democrats in the political world correct? I'm sorry I'm not entirely sure of the fundamentals behind this definition of democrats, and the subsequent definition of republicans as more hands-off and supportive less regulations and lower taxes. What I am quite certain of is that bloggers and media pundants, are guilty of thinking in very black and white terms, which is as devisive as voicing stereotypes. No person is either black or white, figuratively speaking, nor is any political body or party. There are certain examples of the contrary, but never are these examples representative of the entire body. Because John Edwards purchased an expensive haircut, he thereby contradicts any measure to support citizens making close to the median household income. This is black and white thinking and journalism that is easy to digest for people on the go and for water-cooler banter, but it is also misleading and a personal offense to John Edwards. It is not news; it is desciption in order to keep audience attention. Are these news shows justified; of course, because of their corporation and their freedom of speech. But we should not support them and do everything in our power to support media that can entertain by focusing on art, but INFORM when they discuss political issues, issues that affect our everyday livelihood. It's also important to look beyond the mud-slinging from both sides of the aisle and remember simple logic. If you make several million dollars annually or have mulit-million dollar savings, this immediately dismisses credibility in the first place, regardless of what someone spent on a haircut. There is luxury living and enjoying the rewards of successful business or inheritance, and then there is decadence, excessiveness, and greed. And yes, I do believe the majority of Americans could make a very clear decision on where a line is drawn between rich and super-rich, and the super-rich should be held accountable to this society in different ways. It is sheer probability that got them into their position, and at that point citizen-based regulative measures should make sure portions of that excess money be funneled to the community. Sincerely, RJ Gordon

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