Nation: Marketable Baskets of Issues

The parties stand for plenty—and are far apart

Is it the best of times or is it the worst of times? That all depends on which party platform you read and believe.

And indeed they are written for the true believer, for they admit of no possible party flaw. If there are national problems, those are the fault of the other party, which is castigated at length. As Finley Peter Dunne's fictional commentator Mr. Dooley noted of a practiced platform writer, "Whin he can denounce an 'deplore no longer, he views with alarm an' declares...

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