Could the Republican Party be a secret organization of Sith Lords? Okay, so maybe I’ve been spending a bit too much time on Wookiepedia, (not to be confused with Wikipedia) but there are some striking similarities. I’m not talking about how Dick Cheney seems to become more and more like Darth Vader every day. No, rather it is the many parallels between the political and philosophical views of the two groups that makes me ask this question. They are both marked by a focus on individualism, an appeal to emotion over reason, and a tendency to manipulate the truth to achieve their goals.
Take the recent rhetoric of the party and its Tea Party allies. They insist upon the values of personal responsibility and government non-intervention. They advocate for cutting taxes for the richest Americans giving no better reason than they should be able to keep the money they earned. Similarly, the Sith focus inwardly on gaining power. They care little for working with others, and believe in the most literal form of “survival of the fittest.” It is from this individualistic attitude many of their other similarities stem.
“The Sith rely on their passion for their strength.” – Anakin Skywalker
The Sith are most defined by their reliance on emotion to gain power. More specifically a reliance on fear and anger. Does this sound familiar? How about the “War on Terrorism” started under a Republican president or the anti-Muslim rhetoric trumpeted by many self-proclaimed Republicans. Then there is the angry populism of the Tea Party. They capitalized on the negative emotions resulting from the recent economic collapse. While the Democrats may tap into emotion from time to time, they usually try to back up their statements with facts and data to temper the passion of the situation. Something far less common on the other side of the aisle.
Which brings me to the final parallel between the two groups. The reliance on manipulation of the truth to accomplish one’s goals. Much like Emperor Palpatine’s use of lies and distortion to turn Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, the Republicans manipulated the American people into turning against Obama and the Democrats during the health care reform debate. Over and over again the Republicans manipulate the American people into supporting policies that are not in their best interest. In the case of the Sith, their manipulation of the truth lead to the downfall of democracy. With any luck, the Republican’s anti-government rhetoric won’t get that far.
While the Republicans and Sith have many similarities, we don’t have to be Jedi to counter Republican rhetoric. Many of their followers truly believe in the philosophy they espouse, even if it is not in their best interest. The key to winning this battle, is to emphasize that which separates the Democrats from the Republicans. Emphasizing the importance of sacrificing our individual needs for the greater good. Checking emotion, with hard facts and truths. And not allowing the truth to be manipulated by those who choose to do so. Only then will the misconceptions and untruths be revealed for what they are.