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PARKER: Guns without roses

Kathleen Parker 

Kathleen Parker 

WASHINGTON -- Unlike many who recently have joined the debate about gun rights, I have a long history with guns, which I proffer only in the interest of pre-empting the "elitist, liberal, swine, prostitute, blahblahblah" charge.

I grew up in a home with guns, lots of them, and was taught early how to shoot, care for firearms and treat them respectfully. My father's rules were simple: Never point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot them; if you intend to shoot, aim to kill.

Dear ol' dad was a law-and-order guy -- a lawyer, judge and World War II veteran who did everything by the book -- except when it came to guns. Most memorable among his many lectures was a confidence: "There is only one law in the land that I would break," he told me. "I will never register my guns."

I suppose if he hadn't also opposed bumper stickers, he might have attached the one about "cold dead fingers" to his fender. He also might have liked a slogan I read recently: "With guns, we are citizens; without them, we are subjects."

By today's standards my father would be considered a gun nut, but his sentiments were understandable in the context of his time. Like others of his generation, he had witnessed Germany's disarming of its citizenry and the consequences thereafter. Thus, the slippery slope of which gun rights advocates speak is not without precedent or reason.

But the history of gun control laws is not without contradictions and ironies that belie the current insistence that guns-without-controls is the ipso facto of originalist America. In fact, the federal government of our Founders made gun ownership mandatory for white males, while denying others -- slaves and later freedmen -- the privilege.

Today, the most vociferous defenders of gun rights tend to be white, rural males who oppose any regulation. But theirs was once the ardently held position of radical African-Americans. Notably, in the 1960s, Black Panthers Bobby Seale and Huey Newton toted guns wherever they went to make a point: Blacks needed guns to protect themselves in a country that wasn't quite ready to enforce civil rights.

In one remarkable incident in May 1967, as recounted in The Atlantic by UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, 24 men and six women, all armed, ascended the California capitol steps, read a proclamation about gun rights and proceeded inside -- with their guns, which was legal at the time.

Needless to say, conservatives, including then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, were suddenly very, very interested in gun control. That afternoon, Reagan told reporters there was "no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons."

The degree of one's allegiance to principle apparently depends mainly on who is holding the gun.

While black activists were adamant about their right to protect themselves, the National Rifle Association wasn't much interested in the constitutional question until the mid-'70s when an organizational split produced a new leader, Harlon Carter, who was dedicated to advocacy and determined to dig a deep line in the Beltway sand.

The Second Amendment debate about what the Founders intended was clarified in 2008 when the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller determined that the right of the people to keep and bear arms included individuals, not just a "well-regulated militia." However, as Winkler pointed out, Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion left wiggle room for exceptions, including prohibitions related to felons and the mentally ill. Scalia was not casting doubt, the justice wrote, on "laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

This still leaves open the loophole of private sales that do not require background checks, which President Barack Obama wants to close. We will hear more about this in coming weeks, but the call meanwhile to ban assault weapons or limit magazines in the wake of the horrific mass murder of children and others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut is hardly draconian. It won't solve the problem of mentally disturbed people exacting weird justice from innocents, but it might limit the toll. Having to stop one's rampage to reload rather breaks the spell, or so one would imagine.

One also imagines that the old Reagan would say there's no reason a citizen needs an assault weapon or a magazine that can destroy dozens of people in minutes. He would certainly be correct and, in a sane world, possibly even electable.

Email nationally syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker at kathleenparker@washpost.com. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/kathleenparker.

Comments

notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

It's ironic that Reagan said "no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons." and then gets shot by a deranged person with a gun. Yes there is a reason for citizens today to be carrying a loaded gun. The bad guys have them and they definitely aren't about to surrender theirs. Lock up the deranged and the evildoers and the 'gun problem' disappears.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

So your example of why we should always carry a weapon is someone that was shot be a unstable person while he was surrounded by well trained secret service agents. Do you really think that Reagan would not have been shot if he had also carried a weapon? Your argument, notblind, is one of the worse arguments I have ever seen to support the idea of keeping armed. I even question that you read the entire article which did not make any mention of preventing law abiding, mentally stable persons from carrying a gun. It addressed three issues: Gun show loopholes to current background check laws, Semi automatic assault weapons and large magazines. Just for fun, assume that you believe you need to carry an assault weapon around for self defense and a deranged shooter opens fire into a crowd 30 feet away. How many innocent people are you willing to risk hitting in an effort to take out the shooter? Remember, every shot that misses him/her will probably hit an innocent bystander in the crowd.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

In the following article the good guys were not armed as Jan desires. The bad guys were armed which Jan has no solution for. Notice that the good guys made no aggressive move towards the bad guys but still got shot for his troubles.

Man shot during carjacking by Camie Young

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually, with any sort of rifle it would be hard to miss the shooter at 30 feet whereas with a handgun even the police often manage to completely miss the target when the adrenaline is flowing. ................................................................................................................ Secondly, are you saying it would be better for the deranged shooter to not have any opposition at all ? Just let him kill everybody and nobody try to stop him ?? The recent mall shooting out west shows that once a deranged shooter faces opposition the situation ends almost immediately... ......................................................................................................Thirdly, anybody that knows their history knows that the liberal agenda includes a handgun ban. They have tried it in the past and WILL try again in the future.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

I have never said that people should not be allowed to possess weapons. My example to which I requested a response was with an assault weapon. While it is true that most people that have been trained to shoot a rifle and take careful aim should be able to easily hit a human at 30 feet. That is, of course, assuming that you take time to aim and are not bumped by the panicky crowd trying to run from the shooter. Add to that the problem of shooting the maniac in a place that guarantees the bullet does not go all the way through and into someone else. It is unrealistic to consider a hand gun ban and no one is seriously proposing that. Maybe at least you would support requiring a permit to purchase a gun, even at gun shows and requiring a permit and registration of a gun to buy bullets that will fit the gun or gun powder for loading your own shells.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

I do not support any more restrictions on law abiding citizens. Law abiding citizens are not the problem................................................................Jan, what's your solution to bad guys with guns ?

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

Reduce availability of guns to criminals by requirements of registration and licensing. Require gun safety course to obtain the license. Reduce availability of ammunition by requiring a weapons license to purchase bullets. Of course it will have no overnight effect but it will reduce the guns in the hands of criminals. It does not require a high IQ to understand that reducing the avenues of supplies will reduce the number available to criminals.

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JV 1 year, 6 months ago

Laws intended to reduce the supply of illegal drugs by criminals is a classic example of why this will not work. The war on drugs is a dismal failure. Where there is demand... there will be supply.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

Jan, you mean like they do it in Chicago? New York ? DC ?? It's not working there. What is your plan B ? Put that high IQ of yours to work .

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jack 1 year, 6 months ago

I had the opportunity to discuss this topic with some currently incarcerated criminals, and to a man, they said they would gladly register, take a gun safety course and license their firearms, if only they were required to do so.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

There you go !!! Problem solved !

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

And pass a background check? Felons cannot get a license!!!

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jack 1 year, 6 months ago

Which is why licensing and registering will not reduce the availability of guns to criminals.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

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Mack711 1 year, 6 months ago

You are correct!! So tell me just how and where they get ther weapons? You can buy almost any weapon you like in Atlanta if you know where to go. It is called the black market. Check into that that is where the felons go and they do not get background checks. They may not have a license, but they have the weapons.

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TOWG 1 year, 6 months ago

Jan, explain what the gun show loophole is. 50 words or less please.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

Gun dealers are require to do instant background checks before selling someone a gun. Those not regularly involved in gun sales are not required to do background checks. This includes gun show sales and individual to individual sales. Are you too lazy to read past 50 words? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_shows_in_the_United_States

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JV 1 year, 6 months ago

As a retired Army soldier, I can tell you it takes only a few seconds to change an empty magazine and reload the M-16. Same as for a civilian AR-15. Same as for the M9 pistol and it's civillian version. So, if magazine capacities are limited to say 10 rounds as in the 1994 law, a person could carry 3 magazines and still have a total of 30 rounds. Changing each 10 round magazine in a matter of seconds.

Magazine capacity really is an irrelevant argument.

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Mack711 1 year, 6 months ago

JV: you and I must have served around the same time. We would tape 2 magazines together and when one was empty then would flip the other one in place and continue firing. We usually carried at least 3 set ups like that. So as you say magazine capacity is not the issue.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

You have only given reasoning to limiting clips to 3 rounds, too short to tape together and too bulky to carry many extra ones. Every clip change does reduce the speed of firing. This would also be a significant limit on shots fired in a drive by type shooting, thus reducing potential casualties. Please write your representative and explain that limiting clips to 10 rounds is not small enouhg!

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JV 1 year, 6 months ago

As a staunch proponent of training, perhaps you should practice what you preach. Safety training is certainly a good thing. But, your training should also include the functioning and operations of firearms. Proper terminology, disassembly, cleaning and maintenance and reassembly. Your training should also include practice and the rules and laws concerning use of deadly force. Perhaps once you have completed your training you can return here and participate in intelligent debate.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

Of course all of that should be included in training. Thank you for agreeing that training should be mandatory for getting a license.

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JV 1 year, 6 months ago

I said nothing about madatory. Also, nothing was ever said about "limiting clips to 3 rounds" But, thank you for agreeing that magazine capacity is a moot point.

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Mack711 1 year, 6 months ago

If let's say that Jan wants all magazines taken away from us that carry 5 rounds or more. Now who do you think will turn them in? Certainly not the criminal element. They will be sure to keep them. If they can not get them they will be 'smuggled' in lkie the drug cartels do with drugs. Other countries will manufactor them and sell them on the black market. There for they will never go away. they are here to stay.

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allwirl 1 year, 6 months ago

Kathleen Parker lists her right-wing/republican/pro-gun bona fides, ostensibly perhaps to stave off the flurry of right-wing/republican/pro-gun responses like mine. Allow me my bona fides before I begin. I was raised by a single mother in the Midwest of these United States. We lived in taxpayer funded housing for a while and ate sandwiches provided by a city program. My mom was an interior decorator who disliked guns, republicans, and wars. She loved art, Kennedy, and her friends. The company she kept was mostly gay males, single mothers, and black men whom she dated frequently. Did I mention she was a lapsed catholic turned agnostic and had been married and divorced four times by the time I was in middle school? It was a hyper-stereo-typical liberal childhood.

As I have listed my liberal bona fides, keep in mind I LOVE my momma, but I am a white, Christian, conservative, male, happily married (20 years to one gal) father of two. And a gun owner. Not just any gun owner...a "from my dead fingers", "will never register my guns" NRA Life Member gun owner. I used to hate guns too, until I came home married one day and realized that someone needed to protect my wife and she needed protection while I was away at work for 24 hours at a time.

But you see, I don't love my guns. I love my country. I love my mom, my wife, and my children. I also love the gay friends she had, the black men she dated, the single moms, and all the liberals she befriended. It's what we as Christians are taught to do; love God and love thy neighbor. In Ms. Parker's column, she tried to paint the racist, southern, white male, gun-lover picture but she used too narrow of a brush.

There is an irony that people neglect to see. It is we conservatives, we "gun nuts" that are fighting for all of our rights to protect liberals from...

Us. We want the black man to be armed so the dragging of James Byrd can never again occur. We want the homosexual to be armed so Mathew Sheppard can never again be found dead on a fence, We want a woman to be armed so she can defend her twin nine year old boys when a career criminal breaks in. We don't want the 2nd Amendment to remain in place just for white Christian men, We want it to protect all Americans, white, black, yellow, red, brown, rich, poor, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, athiest. You. Me. Everyone.

Ms. Parker, I will keep my semi-automatic rifle with the 30 round magazine in my safe. Unless I want to go to the range and practice. Or unless someone tries to take away your 1st Amendment rights or my 2nd Amendment rights by force. Liberals love it when conservatives quote George Orwell because it always makes us look like paranoid nuts....so let me not disappoint and share a prophetic Orwellian quote to my liberal, gun-controlling friends:

"So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot." -George Orwell

You weren't expecting that were you?

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RedDawn 1 year, 6 months ago

On 08/24/12 NYPD responded to a shooting at the Empire State building. Police killed the perpetrator and wounded 9 bystanders. An armed citizen, Joe Zamudio, responded to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords outside a Tucson Safeway in January 2011. Joe ran outside the store saw that the crowd already had the shooter restrained, and kept his gun in his pocket. Sometimes an armed citizen response is safer than trained police. When Melinda Herman shot an intruder in her Loganville home recently, she used a six shot revolver. A high capacity magazine in a semiautomatic pistol or an AR-15 would have come in handy, if she had been facing two or more bad guys like the 15-year old boy did late last week near Houston, TX. He used his dad’s AR-15 to protect himself and his 12-year old sister from two bad guys at their home near Houston, Texas. Evidently high capacity magazines and AR-15s are useful tools to help protect against bad guys.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

In previous posts, I have explained that anecdotal evidence is worthless. I have also demonstrated that there is much greater anecdotal evidence that a relative will be accidentally shot by having a gun in the house than someone is saved by having a gun in the house. I also pointed out that a pump action, three shell capacity, shotgun will be more effective. Fire once, taking out one or two, reload and watch the others flee. I heard Joe Zamudio interviewed. He chose not to pull his gun before the crowd had the shooter down because he recognized the danger of hitting others in the commotion. Your example of the police shooting only demonstrates the need for better police training.

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allwirl 1 year, 6 months ago

So the armed civilian used restraint, common sense, and prudence when faced with danger? No one got hurt because he was armed? And you admit that the cops need more training? Maybe if cops were raised in the shooting sports they would be better shots as adults (The very principle learned in the War between the States that brought about the founding of the NRA). Maybe you should write your representatives and encourage them to fund the CMP (Citizen Marksmanship Program) and the NRA (National Rifle Association) so we can be more proficient with firearms rather than uneducated and ignorant. Thanks for making our point for us!

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 6 months ago

I know it sounds cliche to say, but I saw online the other day a quote that went something like this: "I saw a movie the other day in which only the government and army had guns and no citizens had guns. It was called "Schindler's List."

Ms. Parker points out that the WWII generation understood a point like that, having seen what happens when a government disarms the citizenry. I personally am a believer that the citizenry of a country should be just as well armed as the government. Otherwise, you can find yourself no longer a citizen of a nation, but rather a subject of the government.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 6 months ago

Just a question,and no offense intended, mind you, because I hear many non-Christians use the "turn the other cheek" line as a means of saying no Christian should own guns. Are you saying too that Christians should not defend themselves? What I take from your comment, and from various other sources online, is that non-Christians seems to think that people professing a belief in Christ should just lay down and let the world trample them rather than try to defend themselves. In Luke 22:36, Christ also said "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Why would Christ tell his followers, that He sent out, to buy a sword if not to defend themselves? Again, I mean no offense. I'm just curious your take on it, as it is mostly the atheist or non-Christian view that slants toward Christians not defending themselves.

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allwirl 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure you didn't read my post entirely. If you did read it, you failed to comprehend my meaning. I merely pointed out that the American "left" wants to disarm everyone and the "right" wants to conserve and preserve the right to keep and bear arms which presents an irony. The irony being that most atrocities committed against a country's citizenry is usually committed by "conservative" (albeit leftist) governments.

I used my liberal upbringing to frame my current conservativism to illustrate the irony...We are always accused of being racist, bigoted, xenophobic, homophobic, etc, ad nauseum. My point, which you failed to grasp, is that I want Mexicans, gays, blacks, single moms, everyone we conservatives allegedly hate...even the athiest minority in this country...to be armed and able to defend themselves against the next Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. Use your mind, not your emotions and maybe that chip on your shoulder will heal. Just because I say, Jesus loves you and I love you doesn't make me a biggot.

P.S. Don't misquote and misinterpret scripture to advance an agenda...that's what we Christians do ;)

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

The only thing that needs tightening up is the background checks before allowing anyone to buy a gun. That is all. It has been too easy to get around these checks and the Federal & State systems are never up to date with listing felonies. This must remain a State's Rights issue and not a Federal issue. The 2nd amendment is for citizens to protect themselves mainly from the "government." We need AK47's to knock down drones or Marines crashing through the front door of your house, unannounced. Ask yourselves why Obama & his family are always surrounded by many people with weapons, and big ones. A smell a little hypocrisy here.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

Like the dumb jerks at that NY newspaper that published the gun permit holders names and addresses and then when the inevitable backlash came the newspaper publisher felt the need to hire armed security guards ??? ................................................................... Come on now. None of those rightfully po'ed gun owners wanted to kill the newspaper's publisher and reporters !!! Beat some sense into them with a 2x4? Yes, but not murder.

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A_Gwinnett_Atheist 1 year, 6 months ago

FordGalaxy: I did not say that Christians or anyone else should not have guns. I am saying that they should not feel so scared that they think they must have one with them all the time for protection. Nor should Christians, or anyone else, be so quick to choose deadly force when reasonable alternatives exist. Though I was trying to avoid a theological discussion, I believe the "turn the other cheek" in the Bible means to not react with anger and retaliation. If the writer had intended to teach total submission, then it would have given a stronger example like "if a man stabs your right arm then offer him the left as well." It takes a braver person to walk away from a fight than to engage in a fight. I did not even mention the "do not kill" since most Christians seem to want to ignore or create exceptions. Thank you for pointing out with your scripture quote one of the many contradictions in the Bible.

allwirl: I did understand that you present yourself without prejudice, yet you obviously feel some superiority to atheist. You also want to ignore that the group which you represent are actively trying to suppress groups that are not like them, such as gays. The Republican party are actively attempted to make voting more difficult for non-whites through strict ID laws, limited voting hours in minority districts and intimidation. If you are as socially liberal as you claim, how can you identify with Republicans? Conservative Christians were of significant help in putting Hitler into power and giving him extreme power. Hitler went after liberal groups, even eliminating most of the seats held by liberals in parliament. Hitler went after trade unions and other groups he saw as liberal. Read this to understand that Hitler was not a liberal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_March_1933 If Wikipedia is too liberal for you, do a search but beware, you will get numerous NAZI sites loaded with misinformation.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't see that as a contradiction. If Christ had said "Buy a sword and kill people" then yeah, it might be. But some would say that a more accurate translation of "thou shalt not kill" would be "do not commit murder." Those are two different things. If someone is attacking you and you fear for your life because of their attack, so in defending yourself you kill them, do you consider that murder? Do you consider soldier who kill on the battlefield to be committing murder? It's a reasonable discussion that is all too often held by unreasonable people or politicians.

As to your quotes about the Republicans limiting minority voting...please explain? Why is it suddenly wrong and racist to require an ID to vote, but not wrong to require an ID to purchase a car or house, to get a loan, or to cash a check? I have to show my ID from time to time when using my bank-issued credit card. Is that racist? They can't limit voting hours in minority districts. Here in Georgia the polls are open 7am to 7pm.

You really want to get into the racial aspects of politics, then I would say one of the biggest racial tools is gerrymandering of districts. This works for race, ethnicity, religion, etc. Just look at some of the districts and tell me how they make sense. Just look at Illinois 4th Congressional district for an example. If I had opportunity to make massive changes to government structure, gerrymandering would be one of the first things to go. It's too open to abuse.

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A_Gwinnett_Atheist 1 year, 6 months ago

I am aware that recent translations have changed the word from "kill" to "murder" This was done by conservative Christians translations. I think this was between 1975-1985. Before this, it was taught that self defense to prevent your death or the death of another was the fault of the aggressor, thus not a true violation, providing that lethal force was the only reasonable way to stop the attack. Even with the altered translation of Murder, one cannot justify the death penalty or war. When the state executes an innocent person, it has committed murder. When a soldier kills a non combatant, he has committed murder. If he kills a soldier that is only defending his home (as we would if soldiers were sent here) then this is murder.

I have no problem with requiring some form of ID for the purpose of registering to vote but a SS# or birth certificate should be sufficient. If the want a photo ID, then have them issue one during the registration process. Now the time required and expense of getting the required documentation is a major limitation. The likelihood of not having a birth certificate is greater among the elderly and minorities. A credit card is not a constitutional right, hence the comparison is ridiculous. You are right, both parties have been guilty of gerrymandering and it is wrong by either party. Republicans have recently used it to alter districts. We can see their efforts worked for more votes were cast for Democrats in the House, yet Republicans control the House. If we had true representation, the House would be under Democratic control.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually, Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans on gerrymandering, and in fact Democrats have a longer, far more sordid history or negative racial politics than Republicans do. Look at the most racially motivated era of politics in the South, and you'll see it was an era dominated by Democrats.

The Hebrew word used in the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment is never used in conjunction with war, and actually the Mosaic Law assigned the death penalty to anyone committing 'murder.' That same law allowed for cities of refuge that the killer could flee to, in the event that the killing was accidental. I provided the example of Christ saying to be prepared to defend yourself by telling his disciples to get a sword, but he also offered the advice that those who live by the sword (meaning attackers) would perish by the sword. He paints a clear picture that defense is okay, but aggression is not.

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A_Gwinnett_Atheist 1 year, 6 months ago

Please read more carefully. I did point out that both parties are guilty of gerrymandering. In the last two years, Republicans have taken it to a new level which has given them a significant majority in the house while getting only about 48% of the vote. That era of racist southern politicians were Dixiecrats. Almost all of them became Republicans by the time Nixon took office. We seem to agree that reasonable defense is okay but aggression is not. Then we get to the question of the line between defense and aggression. It is clear that a preemptive attack is aggression. Further, it is clear that attacking a country because fugitives are hiding inside its borders is also aggression. Additionally, attacks on civilians that had no choice in where the were born is aggression. I do not know of a single war in my lifetime in which America was involved that would not qualify as aggression by American soldiers and yet some Christians seem to think it is their calling to become soldiers to blindly obey the political whims of our leaders.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 6 months ago

If your metric for aggression/defense is actually how you defined it in your post, then America was the aggressor in World War II in the European theater. Germany nor Italy attack the US, yet we went to war there to aid our allies. How should the US have handled the situation in the Middle East? Diplomacy? Sanctions? We had nearly 20 years of evidence that those steps did not work.

It was an official policy of President Clinton to remove Hussein from power. Bush took the steps to do so, under some really faulty intelligence. You can pass blame all day, but Democrats and Republicans alike authorized the war on the premise of the same intelligence. When your intel operatives tell you that Person X has chemical weapons, and you attack, and then find out Person X had no weapons of that kind, or had only the potential to make them, then who is to blame? Intelligence offered what they had. Those who voted to authorize the war went off that intelligence. At least Bush had the decency to go to Congress. Obama just bypassed the body politic when dealing with Libya.

As for the part about the vote count...that's where you run into a snag. In pretty much every state, population is centered around metropolitan areas. In Georgia alone, something like 5 million people live in metro Atlanta. So not even 25% of the land area controls over 50% of the vote. Meanwhile, the poorer rural counties in south Georgia don't carry the same weight. Then again, it's also a truth (for whatever reason) that urban and metropolitan areas contain more liberal voters than rural or agrarian areas. (For example, there is a documentary about one of the Bus elections, and someone complains that the whole country is going for Bush. She is met with the reply, "But no one lives there. There's no food there." Blatantly dismissive of the states and rural areas.) Rural, non-urban areas tend conservative, cities and urban areas tend liberal.

And there's a cyclical argument that we always hear, too. Given enough time, you'll hear one party or the other claim that it is time to get rid of the Electoral College after one election, and then after the next they'll praise the Electoral College as the greatest invention in politics. Beyond all of that, though, is the fact that the party establishments have left normal Americans far behind. The establishment GOP roally screwed up in this last election and is now paying the price, albeit very slowly. The establishment Democrats hold views far farther to the left than most self-professed liberals that I know.

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