SourceFed's awesome party histories

Today, SourceFed posted a video of Elliott Morgan explaining the history of the Democratic Party.  It's a tie-in with their live coverage of the Democratic National Convention, coming this week, and with their previous video on the history of the Republican Party, which coincided with their coverage of the Republican National Convention. Here's the Democratic Party history:

And here's the Republican Party history:

These videos have a lot of the same kinds of problems that show up in most of America's political discourse (and political discourse everywhere, forever, to varying degrees) including, especially, equivocation and vague terms.

Equivocation is hard to deal with in political discourse, and in a pair of three minute videos it's hard to fault them -- though, I don't find it too difficult to imagine them fitting in a three second "Click here to explore this issue further" link.  Basically, while it's true to say "Both parties have corruption," and "Both parties contain good and bad people," it's an incomplete characterization, and while it dodges the "My party is fantastic and your party is evil" error, it leads straight into the "All the parties are the same, why even bother?"  error.

Vague terms include "Democrats believe in a progressive government," and a dichotomy that showed up in both videos: Ethics vs. Morals.  Democrats, apparently, support ethics, not morals, and Republicans support morals, not ethics.

Those terms have some weak connotations setting them apart, but they don't really mean much.  In most cases, they can basically be used interchangeably, and they're not particularly useful for parsing out the difference between two sets of views.

I'm not sure, exactly, what Elliott was getting at when he said that Republicans believe in morals and Democrats believe in Ethics.  But as best I can guess, that characterization is going to lead less towards a reasoned understanding, and more towards a bias based on the individual listener's gut sense of what those words might imply.

Still, these videos' coverage is better than pretty much any other media I've seen on the topic.