The transformation of political parties
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican?
The Lincoln memorial is built to him, across from the Washington Monument in the US capital.
Lincoln, the 16th president, beat even George Washington – a ‘first’ Founding Father – to be ranked by historians as the best American president.
He was the president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 that freed the blacks.
Lincoln “didn’t advertise his faith”
I remember coming across a picture of a Lincoln painting: It depicted a little black shoeshine boy polishing a shoe of the Lincoln statue and looking up reverently at the president’s face.
He was the president beloved of the African-American community until along came Obama.
However it is unlikely that the Republican Party – “the party of Lincoln” – would have handed the man himself the 2012 GOP nomination. In a recent article, the Christian Science Monitor gave 4 reasons why the Great Emancipator won’t cut it with his own party today.
- Lincoln was the first American president to sign federal income tax into law, and a progressive one at that where richer people have to pay more.
- In addition to questioning Christian orthodoxy, Lincoln “never took up membership in a church, and certainly never spoke publicly about his personal relationship with Christ”.
- In our digital era, candidates are necessarily well-coifed and media-savvy. Lincoln was “gaunt and gangly, with suits that never quite fit, a mop of unruly hair, sunken eyes and an off-kilter smile”.
- Slick presidential debates that are televised live favour “the quick and dirty potshots and zingers” whereas Lincoln had a “tendency toward moderate positions and long, complex arguments”.
(Source: ‘4 reasons Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t win the GOP nomination in 2012‘
by Jackie Hogan, Bradley University, in the CSM)
Principles are not pretzels
Lincoln is famous for his quote “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.
Why do so many Americans think that he was their greatest president?
“Throughout his presidency Lincoln never wavered in adherence to the principles he firmly believed in though he adapted and changed policies in the face of changing circumstances and experience to obtain his goals.” — a student essay
He preserved the United States of America as one when the nation would have splintered from the Civil War.
Yet American blacks today do not vote Republican.
Bill Clinton was hugely popular with black voters and even Al Gore – the colourless WASP – standing as the Democrat’s presidential nominee managed to get the black vote overwhelmingly. In last month’s American presidential election, Obama obtained 95 percent of the votes cast by black women.
But the Republican Party is not what it used to be. So yes, parties do transform.
In Malaysia, none have changed more than the Jom Ubah Party led by the Raja Putar Belit who would be Caliph. As well a previously Islamist PAS has transformed into “PAS for all” with DAP chorusing “Hudud for all”.
About as socialist as Starbucks lah
The Socialist International has a membership of 103 parties, 15 consultative parties and 33 observer parties from all over the world. DAP is a full-fledged member of the organization.
Today the DAP is organising functions at four-star hotels and collecting donations from the people for its own use, chided MCA publicity bureau deputy chief Loh Seng Kok who compared the DAP dinners with MCA fundraising efforts that go towards helping Chinese schools.
“We paid rm150 each to attend the event [DAP Subang Jaya dinner]. And it was full house!”, commented one of my blog readers.
Photo of Hannah Yeoh’s high-class fundraising dinner that the DAP state assemblywoman bragged about, here. A tweet by DAP Subang Jaya mocked MCA to realise “how the tables have turned” (see photo of MCA dinner where working class men on motorcycles were sitting at the back).
Indeed the contrast shows a role reversal. MCA is looking at its corporate sponsors quietly drifting away while DAP is now the party attracting the well-heeled and well-to-do Johnny Come Lately carpetbaggers jumping on the bandwagon.
“The party [DAP] has almost trebled in membership with the entry of mostly younger members, who are used to tasting power and liking it. The exercise of power and the availability of perks and positions have also caused infighting among leaders of the once united party.” — in Baradan Kuppusamy’s column today
If you search the Chinese newspaper archives, you will find plenty of photographs showing the DAP secretary-general at posh dinner events with Tan Sri corporate bigwigs, particularly the property developers.
Read also, ‘Sitting on a landbank goldmine in Penang hill$’
Socialist principles are currently about as visible in DAP as Russia is glimpsed with the naked eye from Alaska.
In fact, some of the new DAP politicians look so well fed nowadays that they are beginning to resemble MCA leaders. The so-called ‘socialists’ have transmorgrified in a most decidedly Orwellian fashion.
DAP got the Fat Cat look
The pigs in the Animal Farm political satire by George Orwell mounted a revolution and created a set of Seven Commandments:
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend
3. No animal shall wear clothes
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed
5. No animal shall drink alcohol
6. No animal shall kill any other animal
7. All animals are equal
In Chapter Three of the book, the animals were taught to intone, “Four legs good, two legs bad”.
By Chapter Five, the order of things had changed to become “Napoleon [ringleader of the revolution] is always right”.
Post Jom Ubah, in Chapter Six it was said, “… they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere …”
Uh-huh. Dare to criticize the Dear Leader and his attack dogs will tear you to pieces.
“Under the guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six days”, clucked the hen
The sheep on Animal Farm bleated, “Four legs good, two legs baa-a-a-d” — a chant they had been indoctrinated with by the skillful propagandists.
It illustrates how “the elite class abuses language to control the lower classes” (SparkNotes, here) and served the purpose of drowning out dissenting opinion. Eventually the mantra morphed into “Four legs good, two legs better”.
After their leaders fast tasting power and feeding amply at the trough, some of the commandments in the surreal bubble-world were soon amended:
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets
5. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess
6. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause
7. All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others
Meet DAP 2.0 — Papas and the fat Mamas
‘Campaigning like no tomorrow‘, goes the headline of Joceline Tan’s column today talking about the DAP party election to be held in Penang this weekend.
Writes Joceline: The intense campaign has been wooing and sweet-talking the DAP delegates at dinners and via SMSes. (Don’t forget other social media like Facebook and Twitter and the non-stop tweet-tweet-tweet-tweet-tweet-tweet-tweet-tweet, yah, Jos.)
“Not everyone, especially those who do not have the resources [to host lavish dinners], is pleased about this type of campaigning. They said it is not the party culture and will set a bad precedent.
“But others argued that members expect it now that the party is in power and the leaders are getting big, fat salaries and going about in chauffeur-driven cars,” writes Joceline.
DAP flush with money may not have been “the party culture” before but don’t forget, CHANGE has come.
Four legs good
two legs better
but if you’ve become too fat to walk
then four fast wheels
on a gleaming Beemer
is best (DAP rebranded)
Continues from ‘Si gembala Animal Farm‘