November 8, 2013

For the first time in nearly 150 years, a Whig is in office — specifically, a Modern Whig, in local office in Pennsylvania. But still.

The Whigs are back in town! They are back in town like Ichabod Crane, rising up after 150 years to discover that they are suddenly hip. Whigs are in! Do you hate people who think celebrity haircuts are a big deal? The Whigs never paid attention to celebrity haircuts! The Whigs never instagrammed a single meal and shared it with ANYONE! The Whigs favored canals! WHIGS! The Whigs never created a website that didn’t work! WHIGS!

The Whigs do not have strong, incorrect opinions about the pronunciation of GIF. WHIGS! The Whigs don’t send you obnoxious email forwards with TOO MANY CAPS or creepy “knock” subject lines! WHIGS! The Whigs looked good in vests! WHIGS!

Let’s party like it’s 1858!

Look, we can all agree: Andrew Jackson was the worst! We don’t want that man in office! Especially because we don’t believe in voting for candidates who have been deceased for more than 100 years!

And if you feel that way about voting for Andrew Jackson, you’re practically a Whig already!

Add the bonus of such fun historical figures as Henry Clay and– William Henry Harrison and um Zachary Taylor and also Abraham Lincoln, for a brief time, and you’ve got a real political party!
AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A WHIG PARTY ‘CAUSE AT A WHIG PARTY THEY GIVE THE LONGEST INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF ALL TIME AND HENRY CLAY’S THERE AND THAT GUY CAN ORATE!
This slogan needs a little work, but trust me: you want in on this.

Do you believe in canals? THEN YOU WILL LOVE THE WHIGS! Do you want a national bank? Do you like Henry Clay’s American System? Then vote Whig, by Jove! INDUSTRIALIZATION! TARIFFS! Maybe Prohibition?


Here are several bumper stickers I just made in a fit of wild excitement



In: Henry Clay! In: Millard Fillmore! In: William Henry Harrison!
In: Long speeches! So long you die afterwards from pneumonia!
Out: Parties founded after 1833!

Look, the Whigs are cool.

Do you hate all the gridlock currently running rampant in the House and Senate? The Whigs have had no part in that. Do you want to send someone to Washington who will really change the way they do things there? Then why do you keep sending back THE SAME EXACT PARTIES? SEND A WHIG INSTEAD! What’s the worst thing that can happen, aside from Civil War and compromises that permit the territorial enlargement of slavery?

The gentleman just elected in Pennsylvania as an election judge is a Modern Whig, which does not advocate the issues of the old party, but never mind. Whigs!

[mutters something very quickly about slavery and the vote for women]

If being a Whig is not for you, there are some other vintage parties to look into:
Jeffersonian Republicans: Ah, who am I kidding. It’s hard enough to be a Republican these days without tacking Thomas Jefferson on top, a man everyone knows only as a suspicious ginger hypocrite who took cruel advantage of his slaves.
Anti-Masonic Party: This was the first third party, which confuses me when I type it out just as much as the name of Fifth Third bank always confuses me. Fifth Third? If you can’t even figure out your fractions, why do you want me to give you my money? Anti-Masons believed that the government was controlled by a malicious freemason conspiracy. And we still haven’t proved that it isn’t! (Then again, as XKCD notes, a malicious freemason conspiracy might be doing a better job.)
Democratic-Republicans: Everyone is always saying we need more compromise and working-together-ness. People who vote straight ticket will be bewildered by the options, but maybe it won’t hurt them to have to go through candidate by candidate for once in their lives. This solves the problem of two-party rivalry the same way catdogs solve the cat dog rivalry, which is to say, it doesn’t, and the end result is weird and creepy-looking. (I realize that historically this is not what the Democratic-Republican party was like, but there are some words whose changed meanings we just have to accept and not try to change back, as we notice whenever we sing about “donning our gay apparel.”)
KNOW-NOTHINGS: I don’t know what this party was about. Hey, I’m in!
GREENBACKS: DOLLAR DOLLAR BILLS, Y’ALL. (As opposed to coins or silver, that is.)
BULL-MOOSE PARTY: Like most of the albums I’ve bought, this sounds a lot cooler than it is: Teddy Roosevelt’s third party.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
Continue reading