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Name: Ken
Gender: Male
Hometown: Minnesota
Current location: minnesota
Member since: Thu Apr 20, 2006, 01:05 PM
Number of posts: 7,865

Journal Archives

Advice for a dying patient (party)

Ok, I need to sit down with you because I have some information back on your recent tests and the prognosis looks pretty complicated. I have to let you know that, as someone who has been watching you for awhile, that barring any major changes that you probably aren’t going to make it much longer.

We can talk all day about the lifestyle choices you have made; about the way you over indulgence in red meat to feed your base; or how you continually use stress and fear in order to motivate yourself and other people; and then there is your complete refusal to take care of yourself and those around you. But that is not why we are here today and given the prognosis I don’t think it is a constructive use of the time you have left.

Suffice to say GOP you have a tumor, a malignant one that may or may not be operable. At most your party has about twenty years left in it in its current state and while I am sure you want to fight but I think it is important that you know that how you spend that time or your chances of beating that is largely up to you.

Now I know you made a big fuss about offering people free and voluntary ‘end of life counseling’ as part of healthcare reform but I am willing to offer some up to you any how free of charge. I should note that I am not a licensed therapist or social worker and have no professional accreditation that would support my ability to help you, but you do get what you pay for and I am doing this for free. So without further delay is a crude list of things to consider at this point.

1) Decide what is important and try to understand why it is important:

I know that you have spent the last forty years cobbling together a mixed ideology of national defense spending, intense religiosity, adherence to tax cuts, and Wall street celebration but something has to give here. You are no longer in the condition you once were and you have to decide what is most important to you with the time you have remaining. Some honest and practical soul searching is required here.

2) You cannot fight the whole world.

Attached to finding out what is important you need to pick your battles and be willing and able to honestly compromise on the rest.

Honest compromise does not mean telling someone to give up everything they love in order to appease you and then suggest that you are “willing to settle” if they agree to give up half of it. Nor does it mean offering tiny, token agreements or suggestions or promises of good behavior that you do not intend to keep in word or spirit.

Come to the table with the positive things you want and be willing to discuss them without blame and be mindful of the fact you are not in an overwhelmingly strong bargaining position.

4) Think about what you want your legacy to be.

There are going to be those that are going to tell you that you should go out fighting. But a lot of people mistake fighting cancer, or illness with just fighting everything else in life. They blame friends, family, and anyone they think may be cheating them in some way. This is actually a functional stage in the grieving process. Yes, it is sort of normal, but it is something you have to work past.

Ultimately, if you want to stick with rage and anger and burn the place down when things are going against you then your entire party will be viewed by who you were at the end and you can totally forget about anyone fondly remembering you as “The Party of Lincoln.”

5) Treatment options

Apart from the discussion of mortality and endings there are options for treating the problems of your party. There will be self destructive impulses to resist it of course. The apocalypse minded will either assume that this is all part of some kind of "end times" scenario. I mean, how else could those evil, demonic, democrats could possibly still be around while your authority fades? Others resisting could be looking at a more secular "end times" involving some kind of revolution with lots of guns & ammo.

But apart from the desire to follow one of these two impulses to avoid treatment it still remains possible to extend the duration and quality of your life. Now, like anyone that has ever undergone chemo could tell you it will not be easy. You will have to accept some illness, fatigue, and lethargy. Purging yourself of the heady intoxicant of paranoid conspiracy theorists and closet hate mongers will cost you a little bit up front.

It might be worth pointing out that the medicinal use of certain substances has actually helped with the negative side effects of chemo therapy. It may be worth the effort to go along with decriminalizing marijuana if only for your own sanity.

6) Think about how you want to leave the world

You could choose to be the party of people that learned hard lessons about international politics and what not to do. You could just be the party of reasonable opposition who compromised when needed and made sure to put in civil liberties safeguards to legislation that were intelligent and well considered.

You could hitch your big tent to Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower and actually help out the working class and stand up to the big monied Wallstreeters that would sell your party out the moment they see a better deal and who are more than happy to try their hand at purchasing two political parties.

As a party you could all choose to go against the USA Patriot act and join the 2/3rds of Democrats in the house that did not want to reauthorize it. You could go further than that and contribute to ending the war on drugs which isn’t really helping anyone at all anyhow (except possibly the privatized prison movement.)

Ultimately it really isn't a matter of if the party collapses, but when and how and what will come next. You can choose to try to fix things and be a part of a solution that you will be remembered for or you can just burn the barn down and try to take the country or the whole world with you when you go. Demographically your collapse is inevitable. No amount of Gerrymandering, ID laws, or poll taxes will prevent that.
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