A Phrase for Our Time

Near the end of the presidential election campaign of 1884, the Rev. Samuel D. Burchard, a supporter of Republican candidate James G. Blaine, proclaimed the Democrat Party the party of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” It is believed that Burchard’s statement inflamed enough drinkers, Catholics, and Southerners to swing the election to the Democrat candidate, (Stephen) Grover Cleveland.

Regardless of the truth or falsity of the belief that the election of 1884 turned on an inflammatory phrase, there was a lot of truth in that phrase. How would a contemporary phrase-maker characterize today’s Democrat Party? Here’s my offering:

Repression, Handouts, and Appeasement

P.S. Examples of repression abound — from taxing success to regulatory micro-management to siccing the IRS on conservative groups to the denial of property rights and freedom of association — but this takes the proverbial cake.

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