American Politics: The Lady or the Tiger?

ALL the state political battles over evolution and creationism, which unfortunately degenerate into partisan struggles, remind us of “The Lady or the Tiger?” As Wikipedia summarizes the story:

The semi-barbaric King of an ancient land utilized an unusual form of administering justice for offenders in his kingdom. The offender would be placed in an arena where his only way out would be to go through one of two doors. Behind one door was a beautiful woman hand-picked by the king and behind the other was a fierce tiger. The offender was then asked to pick one of the doors, without knowing what was behind it. If he picked the door with the woman behind it, then he was declared innocent but was also required to marry the woman, regardless of previous marital status. If he picked the door with the tiger behind it, though, then he was deemed guilty and the tiger would rip him to pieces.

Suppose the tyrant compelled you to make a choice of the two doors — but with a difference. One leads to the tiger, but behind the other door — the woman you must marry — there isn’t a beautiful woman. Instead it’s a woman who weighs 700 pounds and she’s covered with warts. Moreover, she has the mind of Nancy Pelosi, the temperament of Cynthia McKinney, the judgment of Cindy Sheehan, and the warmth of Hillary Clinton.

We’ll make one other change to the traditional story — the doors are clearly marked, so you know what awaits you behind each one. Not much of a choice, is it?

Now then, let’s consider the choices facing an American who wants to select a political party. One is increasingly becoming the party of Bolshevism, socialism, unionism, protectionism, deficit spending, inflation, confiscatory taxation, income redistribution, welfare statism, environmental extremism, political tribalism, disarmament, and military defeatism. Regarding science, they’re rock-solid in their opposition to both nuclear energy and oil drilling, and they’re cutting funds for space exploration.

And the other party? The supposed opposition to the above-listed horrors once stood for the Constitution, the rule of law, national defense, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, balanced budgets, and individual rights. But no longer. They sometimes mention those things, although such moments seem perfunctory. They also claim to oppose the policies of the first party; but lately they reserve their greatest passion for what they call family values and social conservatism. Those terms mean a peculiar mix of sex and religion issues, which we described in our Open Letter to the Republican Party.

So there you are. Those are the two political parties. One is socialist, protectionist, and pacifist; the other is creationist, sanctimonious, and theocratic. Now it’s decision time. Two doors stand before you; they lead to the political parties. Does either one appeal to you?

Or maybe one door leads to the tiger, the other to the 700-pound wart-covered woman. In either case, which door do you prefer? Or doesn’t it matter?

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “American Politics: The Lady or the Tiger?

  1. longshadow

    Like all free minded, rational people, I choose….

    … door number three.

    When the extant two major parties become that disconnected from reality and rational thinking, and dare I say, “Enlightment Ideals” — it is time for a third alternative, one which stands for free markets and free minds, low taxes, pro-economic growth, adequate national defense, and the dismantling of the govermento-regulatory complex.

    And I nominate the Sensuous Curmudgeon as our Fearless Leader!

  2. Longie says: “And I nominate the Sensuous Curmudgeon as our Fearless Leader!”

    I am not worthy. Unless, of course, I’ve got an army to back me up. Lacking that, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.

  3. If I was in position to make that choice, I’d choose the most education/science friendly party.

  4. retiredsciguy

    Guess I’d choose the 700 pound, wart-covered lady, personality flaws and all. Of course, she probably also has the appetite of the tiger.

  5. Tundra Boy says: “If I was in position to make that choice …”

    I suspect you lust after the 700-pounder. For our British friends, she weighs in at 50 stone.

  6. retiredsciguy says: “Guess I’d choose the 700 pound, wart-covered lady …”

    I think Tundra Boy has already claimed her. Perhaps the three of you could work something out.

  7. The way I see it is that both parties these days are trying to “love us to death.” Ironically, as I abandoned the Democratic party the ’90s (I never was completely in it) the Republican party started “leaving me” by rejecting its core principle of personal responsibility in favor of its own “nanny state” philosophy. I don’t know how long it will take, but no party can fight science and survive forever. Unfortunately, the mostly-Republican pandering to the anti-evolution movement, and the mostly-Democratic paranoia about safety/environment are fighting science every way they can.

  8. J Meyers says: “Late-breaking news…”

    Good stuff. I donno why I’ve been neglecting the controversy in Canada. Typical American, I guess. But I’ll get around to it.

  9. I suggest that the best way to decide is to envision the future if one party had complete control (The Democrats are getting closer, but they still have a number of Curmudgeons among them… note the Climate change vote yesterday).

    IMHO – Worst case scenario under liberal hegemony … something like France (open to suggestions on something worse than that). Note that freedom and reason still persist, although one could argue that poor economic performance put these at long term risk.

    Worst case under neo-conservative hegemony … something like Iran. Maybe you’ll think that is too extreme, but I’m projecting absolute worst case. Religious theocracy, loss of freedom, no place for reason, no place for free enterprise.

    So perhaps it boils down to this .. would you rather lose the Scottish enlightenment ideals quickly (pick the current reason free Republican party) or slowly through centuries of decay (pick big Government Democrats). I’ll take the Dems if I have to choose at present since that scenario at least gives us time to come to our senses and restore the “real conservative ideals.”

  10. Newcomer says:

    So perhaps it boils down to this .. would you rather lose the Scottish enlightenment ideals quickly (pick the current reason free Republican party) or slowly through centuries of decay (pick big Government Democrats).

    I’ve had others put it to me like that. It’s a choice of a quick death (burned at the stake for blasphemy in New Salem), or being slowly starved to death in the People’s Republic of Yes-We-Can.