Howard Dean has at it (h/t Greg Hengler):
Allow me to submit, Mr. Dean, that the opposite of love is not hate; it is use. Those who hate me at least recognize me as human, a force with which to be reckoned, a legitimate source of ideas. Those who use me consider me nothing more than a means to an end. Those who use me dehumanize me. Does the Democratic Party really love gays, Muslims, Latinos, immigrants and women in the sense of wanting what’s best for them? Or do they just use ’em for their votes? I’m really asking, Mr. Former DNC Chairman.
Occasionally, Democrats give me the distinct impression that their positions on, say, gay marriage or immigration are based more on the desire to win votes than cohesive principles. It’s suspicious, for example, that the president’s official position is against gay marriage but “evolving.” It’s almost as though he’s just waiting for an overwhelming majority of Americans to be in favor of gay marriage before he switches his position. Reducing gays, Muslims, Latinos, immigrants and women to their concerns over gay-specific, Muslim-specific, Latino-specific, immigrant-specific and women-specific positions reduces them to something less than a whole, entire, complex person. But no person is reducible to the tiniest sliver of himself — his sexuality, his religion, his ethnicity, his immigrant status, his gender. We all care — broadly — about human flourishing. That’s what Republicans want — a prosperous, flourishing, fully human society. That’s what Paul Ryan’s plan sets out to achieve by reforming the social safety net, so, come the 2030s, we still have a social safety net. Why do the Democrats want it to disappear?
While I cannot speak for gays, Muslims, Latinos or immigrants, I can say that, as a woman, I have found the Democratic Party’s approach to my vote far less loving and far more insulting than the Republican Party’s approach to that vote. While Democrats reduce me to nothing more than my sexuality and assume that I cannot even pay for my own birth control, Republicans appeal to me as a whole person, to my ability to take personal responsibility for myself, to work hard, to reap the benefits of my labors and to voluntarily share those benefits with whose who truly aren’t able to be responsible for themselves. The Republican approach to my vote is profoundly empowering, even if it’s also demanding. How it it anything less than loving of me to wish for everyone — gays, Muslim, Latinos, immigrants, women and men alike — to experience that same feeling of empowerment?