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A political safari through the wilds of Washington DC
Political Zoo Animals
Welcome to the Political Safari, folks. My name is Able S. Kordt and I will be conducting this expedition into the national preserve known as the District of Columbia, a zoological garden set aside for the country’s lower order of vertebrates.
There are many bizarre creatures one can spot here in just a relatively small area. The best place to see a large variety of life forms is here in this natural-looking manmade habitat. Today we will be observing them during feeding time as they gather at their favorite watering hole.
But first you must understand the proper terminology that we will be using on our sightseeing trip. The types of animals that band together are known by their own distinctive classifications. For example, you are probably aware that it’s common to speak of a pride of lions, a school of fish, a covey of quail, a troop of monkeys, a gaggle of geese, and so forth. Just keep that in mind as we make our approach.
Now, as we unobtrusively enter the common gathering place of these beasts our first impression is that we have encountered a great beltway of blowhards, all mingling together in large and small groups or milling about seemingly aimlessly. At first the din of their vocalizations and the commotion of constant activity overpowers our senses.
But once we’ve settled unobtrusively into our small niche here on the outer edge of this scene where we can calmly observe the tumult we can see that this is not just one huge, homogeneous group. For example, in the middle of this teeming mass we see a large sleaze of politicians, but just to one side there sits a bumble of bureaucrats. And hovering nearby we can make out the ever-present bribe of lobbyists.
DC Zoo: Hogs on The Hill
You may already know that politicians and bureaucrats interbreed. These creatures are all opportunistic scavengers. Members of one pack often cross over to run with the other band when it suits their purpose, and then return to their original group when situations change. But just look at that bribe of lobbyists! They’re usually solitary creatures, rarely seen together, most commonly spotted attached to a politician or a dominant bureaucrat like a suckerfish on a shark or a rhino bird on a RINO.
Now look closely and you can see smaller groupings within the horde.
Over there is a tedium of conservatives. But even they gather in smaller sub-clusters. The larger number consists of a cunning of neocons, but off on the edge, as though they’ve been shunted aside, is a pulpit of evangelicals. And look. Circling the larger assemblage, attempting to gain the notice of the group, you can just make out a straggling thinktank of traditionalists. And keep an eye on that ever-growing anger of teapartiers. They’re beginning to challenge other conservative species for control of the herd.
The teapartiers have an interesting genesis. Several years ago some libertarians culled a few disruptive beta members from the conservative and liberal herds and attempted to interbreed them in the hopes of producing a socially liberal / economic conservative brood. Unfortunately the rightwing DNA became dominate and once released into the wild they mated almost exclusively with republicans which produced today’s mongrelized hybrids.
Meanwhile, we can see that the biggest complement at this gathering consists of that welfarism of liberals over there. But even here one can discern the subgroups that function in dogmatic ideological units in what professional behaviorists have come to call “groupthink.”
The largest and most raucous subclass is that weird of progressives. They become especially frisky this time of year whenever they catch sight of their alpha female. But pressing in ever closer, fighting for more territory one should think, you can plainly see a large eco of greens. Nearby there’s an exploit of unionists watching every move intently, perhaps hoping a few scraps will be tossed their way after the feeding frenzy has waned. And look, don’t miss that bern of marxists over there on the far left, bellowing repeatedly in their attempts to cut enfeebled victims from the herd.
And if you can see over there, foraging around the edges of this vast gathering, sniffing here and poking noses in there, you can just make out an unpleasant grassroot of populists.
DC Zoo: Rights Rattler
Well, this has certainly been an eventful and entertaining excursion into the deep inner regions of the District and…
Oh my goodness. Wait! See there, just entering the scene, in very small numbers … no, there are many more coming now … appearing to be an integrated group but in fact a wide-ranging number of individual creatures … we are being treated to what was once an incredibly rare sighting indeed... a principle of libertarians!
I’m sure many of you aren’t properly familiar with these noble beasts. Libertarians were once thought to be an endangered species, nearly extinct, but their numbers have rebounded exponentially in recent decades. Unlike their European cousins, the American strain of libertarians you are witnessing here today are the descendants of several individualistic progenitors consisting of a few philosophical alpha females and numerous economic alpha males.
The most interesting attributes of the libertarian genetic makeup is that they will cooperate voluntarily but don’t run in packs and don’t have established pecking orders or a top dog, but interact in a manner known as spontaneous order. They won’t attack or intimidate one another or even others not of their own kind, but be careful; they will defend themselves aggressively when threatened.
And here’s something else that’s interesting. Even though they all move about with an easy confidence, in a nonaggressive and non-intimidating manner, they too break down into their own various breeds. Over on the far right you can see a rightleaning of minarchists. They’ve interbred with a dwindling lostcause of classical liberals for many years now. Then there’s that sovereign of voluntaryists strolling peacefully together and farther to the left you can see a small but growing autonomy of anarchos.
And scattered throughout the entire group, if you know what to look for, you can identify a nonconformist of rothbardians, an econ of misesians and even a somewhat standoffish hardcore of objectivists. But keep in mind that only the polity of LPers are zoo inmates; all the others are still free-range denizens.
And there you are folks. The grand tour of the nation’s most fascinating menagerie. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something about the creatures that inhabit the DC Zoo today.
(Video credit: Kent McManigal/Times Up Flag)