Friday, July 31, 2015

THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT


While most of us think of "The 11th Commandment" as being something conceived by  Ronald Reagan, it was actually created by Gaylord Parkinson, who was then Chairman of the California Republican Party. In his 1990 autobiography An American Life, Reagan attributed the rule to Parkinson, explained its origin, and claimed to have followed it:

"The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the state Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson, postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It's a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since."

Well, as a gay, black, liberal Democrat whose views so often differ from those pronounced by so-called spokesmen for gays, blacks, liberals, or Democrats that I call myself a "not always-liberal liberal," I have to say that Reagan/Parkinson's "11th Commandment" is only one version of that unspoken rule. And it's being broken repeatedly these days, especially  by and about someone who (at the moment, anyway) is calling himself a Republican.

What I'm here to say though, is that there are at least two other versions, and these are almost never broken:

A. "If thou art a liberal, thou shall not say anything ill of a fellow liberal"; and
B. "If thou art black, thou must never, never, EVER say anything ill of a fellow black person --- unless that person considers himself or herself a conservative or a libertarian."

I'll not make any further comments on this right now.