Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In Which I Prove That I Chose the Correct Party Affiliation

Like every American, I occasionally wonder whether I chose the correct party when I registered to vote.  In this age of dangerous rifts between parties, it's not uncommon for people to be chastised for being "too Republican" or "too Democratic."  Equally unfortunate is the fact that under the current trends of political thought, any registered Democrat is immediately labelled something like a atheist Massachusetts college-educated liberal.  Contrarily, any registered Republican is considered a NASCAR redneck evangelical Reaganite.  The greatest threat this ideology poses to America is that the classic Moderate in either party is seen as siding with the enemy.  Why is this?  What happened in America that caused such a massive break between the parties?  Why is bipartisan cooperation considered such an evil?  Why can't we all just be a little bit more like, YOU GUESSED IT:


I consider this break in the parties to be one of the greatest faults in American history.  There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that encourages schism and denounces thoughtful cooperation.  Abraham Lincoln said something about a house divided against itself being unable to stand.  I'm relatively certain he wasn't conveying his understanding of architecture when he offered this warning.  History has already proven that when bipartisanship entirely separates the parties, something awful like say a Civil War can break out.
As of right now, I'm a registered Democrat in New York State.  That's almost like saying that I'm a human being that breathes oxygen apparently.  This wasn't always the case however.  A younger, more foolish BillChas did something very silly on February 25th of 2002.  It was the day after I turned 18.  I couldn't technically register to vote on my birthday, as it fell on a Sunday that year.  New York is a funny state, in that you may choose from the following parties upon registration: 
  • Democratic party
  • Republican party
  • Conservative party
  • Working Families party
  • Independence party*
  • Green party
*-Note that this oughtn't be confused with registering independent!  The Independence party is that of failed Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, which consists mainly of billionaire libertarians.  
Then there is of course the option of registering Independent or filling in your own political party, for those remaining Know-Nothings, Whigs, Bull-Mooses and Jedi among us.  I, a young and stupid idealist, blindly put a check mark next to Green party.  One day I received a literature in the mail from the Green party which illuminated, in shockingly disgusting detail, how the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 were orchestrated and carried out by our own government.  Naturally, I found this so despicable that I went down to the Sayville Post Office at my earliest convenience to change my party affiliation.  Ever since I have been a Democrat.
And why shouldn't I have registered Democratic?  There have been many fine Democrats in our time: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN just to name a few.  But I cannot help but wonder if I did make the right decision.  Several of my favorite politicians have been Republicans.  Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower, the ferocious graduate of West Point and Commander of the Allied Forces come to mind.  And here's where the moronic of our number pipe in and issue some pithy ex cathedra statement about "Ooh... but the Parties have changed throughout the years!  Some Democrats would be considered Republicans nowadays and blah blah blah blah..."  Well, I'll have none of your armchair, barstool political thought!  Try telling Abraham Lincoln that he was a Democrat!  If that were the case, then John Wilkes Booth most likely wouldn't have seen fit to lodge a bullet in Our Beloved President's brilliant skull.  I care NOT for your modern political thought!  These presidents were the HEADS of the parties they ran under.  And I won't listen to your inane ramblings any longer.
So how does one decide if he or she has made the right decision when selecting a political party?  It's a tough call.  But I did come up with a method for seeing if you've made the right choice.  How is it done?  Simple.  By the way, I came up with this method while I was pondering the most forgotten and underrated President in History:

Fig. 2: Mr. James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump
Make a list of every President of the United States of America.  Research each of their Presidencies, including decisions they made, how the country fared during their Presidency, and to what degree you agree with how they saw fit to run the country.  Now, you might run into a few snags.  You'll note that there are four Whigs, at least one Federalist, one awesome God-like war hero that refused to join a political party on the grounds that it might cause a great rife in the nation (and yes, George Washington was a goddamned Prophet) and several Democratic-Republicans in the mix.  YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CONSIDER THESE PRESIDENCIES.  These parties no longer exist.  We cannot retroactively assign Jefferson to the Democratic Party.  Nor can we lump the Adamses in with the Republicans.  You may as well skip all the way down to Andrew Jackson, THE FIRST AND MOST BLOOD THIRSTY DEMOCRAT, and begin your counting there - of course skipping all Whigs you may come upon.
For each of those Presidencies, use the following scale to assign a positive or negative number:

+2 = One of the most fantastical Presidencies that all Presidents should strive to emulate.
+1 = A fine and model President!  Job well done!
0 = I care nothing about what this President did, and I don't see how the country would be much different without this person's Presidency.
-1 = Oh come on!  You can do better than this!  You're the president for cripes sake!  Do something good, will ya?
-2 = Ran the country into the ground and ought to have the title of Mr President posthumously stripped from them.

I did this.  And I was surprised with the results.  Now one must bear in mind that there have been slightly more Republicans than there have been Democrats.  Honestly though, there is a whole slew of Republican Presidents that even modern-day Republicans wish never existed.  You can omit these Presidents (Hayes, Garfield, Arthur) should you so choose, and suddenly the playing field is once again equal.  Here is how my scores came out:

Gray: Federalist
Green: Democratic-Republican
Yellow: Whig
Blue: Democrat
Red: Republican
PRESIDENT NAME Republican Democrat Neither
George Washington +2
John Adams +1
Thomas Jefferson +2
James Madison +1
James Monroe +1
John Q. Adams -1
Andrew Jackson +2
Martin Van Buren 0
William Henry Harrison 0
John Tyler +1
James K. Polk +2
Zachary Taylor -1
Millard Fillmore -1
Franklin Pierce -2
James Buchanan -2
Abraham Lincoln +2
Andrew Johnson -2
Ulysses S. Grant +2
Rutherford B. Hayes -1
James A. Garfield -2
Chester A. Arthur 0
Grover Cleveland -1
Benjamin Harrison 0
Grover Cleveland 0
William McKinley -1
Theodore Roosevelt +2
William Taft -1
Woodrow Wilson* -2
Warren G. Harding -2
Calvin Coolidge 0
Herbert Hoover -2
Franklin D. Roosevelt +2
Harry S Truman +1
Dwight Eisenhower +2
John F. Kennedy +1
Lyndon B. Johnson +2
Richard Nixon -2
Gerald Ford -2
Jimmy Carter 0
Ronald Reagan +2
George H.W. Bush 0
Bill Clinton +2
George W. Bush -2
Barack Obama 0
Total: -5 Total: +4 Total: +5

All Republicans together resulted in a total of -5 points, meaning that, as a whole, the Republican Party has produced a net of nearly THREE miserable failures of a Presidency.  On the other hand, the Democrats have produced a net of TWO divine leaders that have brought about a Pax Americana in their theoretical times.  Even the hodgepodge of mixed political parties from throughout history far outshine the Republican presidents, even if one is to completely omit the abysmal triumvirate of Hayes, Garfield & Arthur.
I've clearly chosen wisely.  Are my points awarded skewed by my political beliefs?  That is entirely for the Court of the World to decide.  For my money however, I can rest easy knowing that I categorically proved that I chose the correct political party, at least where the Presidency is concerned.  Try it and share your results!

* - Please note that I made an egregious error when I was translating my work from paper to Excel.  I originally posted that Woodrow Wilson received a +1.  My friend Alex pointed out that he found it odd that I gave Wilson a positive number at all, being that Wilson was famous for re-segregating the White House, endorsing the message in D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, needlessly dragging the country into World War I, and failed to garner Republican support for the centerpiece of his Fourteen Points, the League of Nations.  On paper I originally gave Wilson -1, but after some careful consideration and more insight from Alex, I have decided to give President Wilson -2.  This means that Democratic Presidents have earned a net of +4.  I have adjusted my analysis to reflect this.  Isn't that the beauty of this method?  I imagine that if I were to try this exercise 20 years from now, I'd probably get different results.


  1. Several notes:
    Tho Jefferson did NOT have a spectacular presidency. The Embargo Act, for example, and his stance on slavery, reduces him to negative digits, and the only truly magnificent thing to emerge was the Louisiana Purchase. +1

    JQA had the best intentions in mind. But Congress wouldn't do a damn thing he wanted. But he had a FANTASTIC 17 year post-presidential career in the House, and he managed to get rid of the gag rule on slavery. I know that part doesn't technically count but... 0

    John Tyler had southern sympathies. No one likes that asshole. -1

    Ulysses S. Grant had the most corrupt administration before Harding. Also, he was a sot. But he wrote the best memoir of any POTUS. -2

    Gerald Ford wasn't that bad. Everyone gives him grief for pardoning Nixon, but it was the right thing to do. 0

    Harry Truman killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians with a single pen stroke. -2

    Ronald Reagan was an old idiot. And he became the standard for which future "conservatives" pretended to model themselves after, when in fact they are taking way more extreme positions than he ever advocated. 0/+1

    Bill Clinton oversaw great years of economic growth, but was a social disaster, DOMA and DADT are proof of this. But that whole Monica thing was pretty cool. 0/+1

  2. Very, very well thought out. I would have never known The Green Party were 9/11 Truthers and your knowledge of the Presidencies is astounding. Would you mind if I linked to your blog on my website? I am adding a written word section to and think this is great Willie!

    1. Sure you can link to my blog, Frank. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Absolutely, hope there are more to come. Talk to you soon.

  4. Did Maria teach you about Goal Attainment Scaling? (Otherwise, so graciously known as GAS).