Talk about dumb! I actually thought this was a children’s book, and imagined that it was part of a series that would explain to kids what politics is about, and how politics works… Democrats Are Dumb… Republicans Are Rude… Independents are Ignorant… Socialists Are Sophomoric, and so on. In my little fantasy world, the books would look at stereotypes and prejudice based on political affiliations. Boy, am I dumb!
Reviewing Democrats are Dumb is like issuing an open invitation to be attacked — “Hey, y’all, yer mother wears army boots!” The reviewer who agrees Democrats are dumb will be branded a right-wing extremist; the reviewer who disagrees will be labeled a left-wing commie sympathizer. I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, a Communist or a Socialist; I’m a Methodist. That means I vote for people, not parties, and I vote for whomever I believe is most qualified. That doesn’t mean I’m always right. Or left.
Democrats are Dumb is comprised of seven chapters: “Democrats in General” (“If you see a Democrat run away, Just don’t listen to what they say.”), “Democrats on Religion” (“America is a Christian nation. It needs no further explanation.”), “President Obama” (“The election Barack Obama won, but the job of President still goes undone.”), “Democrats on Terrorism” (“Barack Obama likes to say, if we’re nice to terrorists… they’ll just go away.”),”The Politicians” (“Nancy Pelosi has had her fun. Now, stick in the fork. Democrats are done.”), “Democrats on the Environment” (“’Global Warming’… not based on facts. It’s just a way to raise your tax.”), and “In Conclusion” (“They’ll call me names for writing this book, but in the mirror they should look.”) Represented here are the first couplets of each chapter; the further you read, the nastier it gets.
Every page of Democrats are Dumb bears the same illustration, a blindfolded donkey. Without judging the politics of the book, one is prompted to ask “What’s the point?” Essentially, it’s just invective. If it were accompanied with illustrations of each couplet — as would be expected in a storybook of a nursery rhyme — it might be entertaining. Instead, it’s like an e-mail being circulated by the far right to entertain themselves.
What Democrats are Dumb fails at doing is making the Democrats look dumb; instead it makes non-Democrats (i.e., Republicans) look silly. Mark W. Stephens is obviously unhappy with the Democrats, and some of the issues he includes in his book are valid, although trivialized, and many people — including some Democrats — would agree with his displeasure at events in the United States. However, outside of the Kool-Aid Party, no political group is comprised of people who all think alike.
Stephens has written a book that parodies what Democrats allegedly believe. Although described as “tongue in cheek — but not too firmly,” much of Democrats are Dumb seems malicious. As such, it’s not fun. If it were, indeed, a tongue-in-cheek lampoon, it might have been humorous, but it’s more political rant than anything else.
I would have enjoyed reviewing Democrats are Dumb if it was a children’s book, and I would have enjoyed it if it was thoughtful political satire. Immature finger-pointing, stereotyping, and name-calling have no appeal (and, yes, I have looked in the mirror and agree that I also am immature. So what?).
Bottom Line: Would I buy Democrats are Dumb? I’d have to veto that.