When I was at the beach in Lincoln City, Oregon yesterday, I saw a fella with a military buzzcut get out of his SUV and thunder some fearsome commands to his dog.
Then, I remembered the time when I was in an art studio where a painter was at work. The walls of her studio were decorated with anti-Iraq War, anti-Bush posters. And as she painted, a furry cat was curled up at her feet.
Seeing that surfside scene, and then recalling the scene at the art studio gave me an ah-hah moment. Ah-hah as in:
If dogs could vote, they'd vote majority Republican.
If cats could vote, they'd vote majority Democrat.
Why? Has this Russell Shaw- one who has had the cajones to blame global warming for broiling up the hurricane-nurturing Gulf waters -gone totally bonkers here?
Well, maybe not. Hear me out:
Many dog breeds, by nature, are hard-wired to follow hierarchical, military-like male-dominated command structures. If you take a look at enlisted military - a self-selected group that also must follow these structures - some 80 percent of them identify as Republicans. Male team athletes, who also must follow these hierarchical command structures, are mostly Republicans.
Many dog breeds, by nature, are fanatical defenders of private property.. They bluster,bark and attack. It's no secret that at least in the U.S., the ranks of "property rights" defenders are strong Republicans. And it is a fair bet that the guy who hangs "Private Property- Keep Out" signs on the gate to his home or land ain't gonna be throwin' no Woodstock concert any time soon.
Cats are beloved by members of the creative class, and most members of the creative class are Democrats. Why? Cats and members of the creative class tend to be independent thinkers. There are always exceptions, but these are people who tend to embrace lightness, not look upon it with disdain.
This is a mindset given to loving cats. Their feline behavior, the grace and unpredictability of their movements, makes it clear that they are not responsive to a dominating authority, but to whatever wonderous commands they hear from within.
Like creative people are. Creative people, like cats, are not given to militaristically barked commands nor herding like some breeds of dogs are.
So the next time you see some dude get out of his SUV, or Hummer and scream commands at his dog, you can bet he probably is a Republican. And you can bet that he probably loves dogs for the same reason he "hates cats." Dogs will obey and cats will not.
The next time you are in an artist's studio, or an antiquarian bookstore with a bunch of Kerry stickers, maybe a Dave Matthews poster on the wall and see a free range furry tabby wandering about, you can bet the proprietor is a Democrat.
And if the cat could vote, she'd be a Democrat, too.
Or, maybe even a Libertarian.