Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Imitation Flavoring in American Politics

Some people buy imitation vanilla to use in their baking. I confess that I have never understood this. Granted, the real stuff is more expensive but, its flavoring is so superior to the imitation (and also so seldom needed), that it just makes good sense reach for it when concocting your favorite recipes. They’ll taste better and, because you don’t really need to eat sweets very often, why settle when you do? In politics, as in baking, I also prefer the real thing to the imitation--so much so, that I’d almost rather do without than buy the imitation. Kathleen Parker has some not-to-be-missed reflections on the GOP’s imitation of Reagan, but more on the Dems and their attempts to imitate Kennedy. A very good read.  

Discussions - 15 Comments

I think at least with your taste in vanilla you're a bit out of touch. My family always skimped and bought imitation. The real stuff's three or four times the price-ridiculous. Now authenticity is good, but something tells me that your comment rings true about the whole GOP right now--they just aren't connecting with most Americans. We buy imitations at the store, and we just want a politician who would give us a good value too. Lot's of service in return for taking minimal rights and taxes, kind of like that cheap and oh so good imitation vanilla.

All I know is that when Julie bakes a cake, I hope I get invited over.........

Julie,

The analogy that might connect with some (particularly men) better than the vanilla one is beer. Why settle for industrialized mass market "lager", which in fact includes so much rice and corn and chemicals that it is not really even real beer. Bud/Coors/Miller etc. should be labeled "processed beer food". Why settle for this stuff when there is real beer (made from malt, hops, etc.) that is only slightly more expensive (in some cases the same price) and is so much better taste/quality?

Of course this begs the question, what will it take to turn women on to the joys of real bear?

Of course this begs the question, what will it take to turn women on to the joys of real bear?

Should of course read "...real beer" :) Silly of me to think women have any issues with real bears...;)

Christopher, as a home brewer I heartily concur with your assessment. And, as evidence that at least some women understand the importance of "real beer," I submit the example of my wife.

All "light" beers minus Sam Adams should be destroyed. Death to tastelessness!

If you're a true beer fan you've already made your move to the microbrews, or you've started home brewing.

Every time I see a Bud ad, and they're on all the time, I can't help but wonder why Bud spends so much on ads, and so little on actually making their beer palatable.

If only they invested a fraction of the effort they pour into advertising, to actually brewing decent beers, they'd find they wouldn't need to drop so much cash on actual advertising.

As for myself, I either buy microbrews, preferably Pennsylvania microbrews, or I brew my own. Try Weyerbacher, that's a microbrewery up in Easton, Pennsylvania, {if you don't know where that's at, it's up in the Northeast section of Pennsylvania, close to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, and if you don't know where they are, try mapquest}.

I vote for BOTH the real vanilla and the real beer. Unibroue is making some amazing Belgian style brews these days, and Dogfish Head is good, too.

Once again, home brewing like real vanilla is a fancy taste. Common folk are pretty happy with a Bud any day of the week. If I were running for election and could choose to have the support of 1) those who home brew and/or use real vanilla or 2) those who drink Bud and/or use imitation vanilla, it wouldn't be a hard choice. The secret of politics is to put real (and good ideas) in small packages that we can mass market...i.e. "culture of life."

+1 to Clint.

The secret of politics is to put real (and good ideas) in small packages that we can mass market...i.e. "culture of life." I actually agree with that, Clint. But I think you misread me if you think I'm suggesting a rarefied taste in this instance. I'm actually arguing for moderating expectations. The thing about using real vanilla or drinking "real" beer--though I'm less on board with that one--is that because one so seldom bakes or brews (and, unless you don't mind the consequences or you do it for a living, one shouldn't) you can and should splurge for the good stuff when you do it. If, on the other hand, you're so immoderate as to need to have those things in daily supply and thus need the cheaper varieties . . . well, there are consequences. It would be better to learn to do without for awhile and wait until you can do it right. Remember that statesmen will not always be at the helm. And it is rather foolish to pretend they must always be or the country will disintegrate. That said, there's certainly nothing wrong with using the imitation if there's no alternative. I probably wouldn't make a point of buying the imitation vanilla, but I might go next door and borrow some if I ran out of the good stuff in the middle of baking. The effort of going to the store may not be worth it and it may cause the batter to spoil. That may be exactly what's happened in this election.

And for what it's worth Clint, I'm totally with you about the beer thing. Home brew is a bit too rarefied for me too--though I've certainly got nothing against it and will even drink it when it's offered. It's just that its virtues are wasted on me. Remember, I'm a plastic spork conservative who likes McDonalds and Wal-Mart just fine.

If I were running for election and could choose to have the support of 1) those who home brew and/or use real vanilla or 2) those who drink Bud and/or use imitation vanilla, it wouldn't be a hard choice.

Hence the fundamental problem with democracy *sigh*. Oh well, back to my Mencken, and hooray for Dogfish Head!

If you're a true beer fan you've already made your move to the microbrews, or you've started home brewing.

I have my first batch in secondary fermentation right now. My wife walked up when I had my arm in the wort before the boil trying to verify the complete saturation of the extract. She said "your going to get your arm hair in it", so naturally my first batch will be titled "Arm Hair Stout"...:)

Wow, I don't know if I could handle that, "Arm Hair Stoudt."

There's only one descriptive for that ---------------------------------------------------------------- HARD CORE!

Of course, democracy is the worst kind of government, except for all other.

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