“In other words, liberal moment or conservative slump?
“Both, presumably, for reasons that could be explained in part by the ‘mommy party/daddy party’ cliché — that is, that voters typically favor Democrats (‘mommy party’) on social issues and Republicans (‘daddy party’) on national security.
“’At the moment, daddy seems to have messed up the war in Iraq,’ says Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review magazine, ‘so people are much more willing to listen to mommy, which helps Democrats.'” *
Mommy party and daddy party? Oh sweet fuck. How come I hadn’t heard of this moniker before?
I suppose if we lived in a less sexist world, and this wasn’t a term so obviously created by Republicans, I would hate the idea of this less. In fact, it would be possible to spin this in a positive way. Mommies are looking out for the good of the family (“country”), trying to keep everyone alive (less war, more health care, economic equality -> less poverty -> healthier people). Daddies have a stronger arm (more war), more alienated from the intimate workings of the family (“country”), but more closely related to the financial business of the family.
But, as a liberal, I see actual gender roles deviating from this paradigm, not only in my own family, but in like, every family. Also, I don’t hate men. Also, I don’t think Republicans are actually very good at dealing with money.
But even the above interpretation is the new version of the mommy/daddy definition currently in use. Just a few years ago, it meant something completely different. So to hear this described by a true-blue Repub, with possibly non-western philosophical leanings, circa 1999:
“The concept [is] that the Democratic Party is the ‘Mommy Party’ and the Republican Party is the ‘Daddy Party.’ This derives from the oriental concept of yin and yang, which divides the cosmos into yin, which is feminine, dark and negative, and yang, which is masculine, light and positive. The Democratic party is the Mommy Party in that it represents security, which must be pessimistic, just as mother and wife as traditional keepers of hearth and home are risk averse. Republicans represent growth, which results from risk-taking, which requires optimism, which father and husband need as they set forth to improve the conditions of the family. The family is in harmony, as is the cosmos, when yin and yang are in balance.” **
I personally, see this as ass-backwards. In this scenario, the Democrats are associated with “security” and the Republicans are associated with “improv[ing] the conditions of the family.” But this explanation was written in 1999, before Republicans cared about terrorists and while they were still interested in making sure Bill Clinton keeps his dick out of the public eye/Monica Lewinsky. Ah, simpler days.
Can we all agree at this point that, as a country, we’re not going to use terms like this anymore because it makes us sound so naive, so dated, so pricky? Can we just go ahead and take the issues and each decide where we stand on them, without associating them with deeply ingrained prejudices? Can we move forward and actually discuss important things like adults?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
* “Leftward, Ho?”
** “Memo, 1-19-99; Mommy Party, Daddy Party”
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