Contrary to the accounts of some others below, I learned an extraordinary lesson from this book. At one time, I considered the debates of political issues between the great parties to be something of dignity and intelligent discourse as fundamental matters were discussed and analyzed. I saw it as sort of a majestic dynamic validation of the concept of Democracy. It could even be dignified in the occasional angers debates engendered.
However, in recent years, I had gradually come to use the terms 'Liberal' and 'Democrat' interchangeably, just as I considered 'Conservative' and 'Republican' to refer to one and the same entity. In truth, I could be stunned at the nutty excesses of the extremes on both ends of the spectrum.
I believe now that there are real Democrats (unfortunately a minority) in the Democratic Party, and Liberals who vote the party because they're against everything the conservatives stand for. And there are actual Republicans in the Republican Party, and there are some extreme conservatives who vote Republican tickets for the same precise reason the Liberals vote Democrat tickets. Somehow, the parties got lost, or taken over, or they just surrendered. What's left is pretty ugly.
This, you see, was my dilemma. I had respected Democrats, but with the new conglomeration, it all got muddied over into a shapeless blob of pseudo-intellectual glop. But now, it is with considerable relief that I can meet a Democrat and respect him/her, but regard a 'Liberal' with the utter contempt previously reserved only for the denizens of the extreme right.
I guess I was aware that all of this was there. I just never actually took the time to see it until Bernie showed it to me. I owe him for that.
Six days ago, it was the 232nd anniversary of an important event. If Democracy is going to succeed in this land, we need another call. Ride, Paul. Paul? Paul? Where the hell are you? Was it one lantern or . . .