Sunday, April 26, 2009


Over at the Mother Blog, Winefred had something to say a couple of years ago about the cancer metaphor for liberalism, much as Kindly Doctor Summa has outlined below. It's a worthwhile mental gymnastic, I think, although far too easy to constitute exercise. Ya don't even break a sweat. Here it was:

THE CANCER METAPHOR -- a meditation on National Security voting

I’ve spent the last month and a half dealing with the swift and deadly course of metastasized cancer in a family member, and will keep the details of that experience pretty much to myself. But in retrospect one can’t escape its perennial usefulness as a political metaphor.

Imagine the war on terrorism, with its primary mass lodged in Iraq, as an increasingly lethal cancer on the gasping lungs of the body politic.

Dr. Republican says:
You can try chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or some combination thereof, all of which can be painful and physically devastating to the point where you may consider the cure worse than the disease and may wish for death—but at the end of the day, you could very well extend your life for many healthy years. You could also opt to co-exist with the disease as long as possible, managing it with pain medication and a healthy living regime (and possibly a Mediterranean cruise or two), until such time as you enter into professionally managed palliative care towards a peaceful end.
Dr. Democrat says:
You should never have smoked.

Because you did we’re now going to spend years issuing subpoenas to everyone you ever met, and probing your past until we find out who offered you your first cigarette, whether that person owned shares in a tobacco company, whether the package had a warning label, if you were sold cigarettes as a minor, if the manufacturer had engaged in false advertising or covered up medical research on the negative effects of smoking, if your school provided adequate anti-smoking education, if your mother smoked while driving you to school, and (if you’re female) whether you took up smoking in order to eat less and conform to unrealistic ideals of body image foisted on you by the fashion industry.

Have I left anything

Stop that coughing
—I can’t hear myself think…

Impeach Joe Camel, and have your lungs removed by a date certain
Everybody dies. But most of us don’t advocate refusing even to confront a fatal disease. Death may be inevitable—the blood-soaked triumph of a new Muslim caliphate is not. That IS the jihadists’ goal. We should stop at nothing to cure them of that ambition. With Dr. Republican (ideally) you get some course of treatment—with Dr. Democrat you get diagnosis of everything but the cancer.

We achieve a brand of immortality only through our children. Yes, we and they will die-- but let it not be by suicidal distraction, myopia, or indifference. “Not today, O Lord / O not today...”

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