Left Behind (by the Republican Party)

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My dad turns 89 this fall.

My dad, who was a staunch Republican when I was growing up, meets regularly with friends to talk about politics. They discuss everything from genetically modified crops to the link between Citizen’s United and the Holy Ghost. This week’s topic was the National Conventions. As usual, their conversation continued by e-mail. Here is one of his letters addressing the sad narrowing of the Republican party to one color, followed by a list of moral outrages he’s compiled over the years:

Apropos of nothing: attached is a list which, in descending order of importance to me, reveals governmental behaviors that for more than 25 years I have considered to be immoral. These behaviors have been endorsed by a majority of our electorate with no more than a few whimpers. Some issues on this list reflect Bush 2’s ill-advised caper into Iraq and some recent voter suppression atrocities were left off. Yes, I do meant atrocities, like Jim Crow redux.

I had hoped, but I had never expected – to have any of my issues addressed during my lifetime. Then out of nowhere – it seemed to me – appeared an eloquent spokesman of mixed race who focused on my top three or four concerns right off the bat. What a pleasant surprise! I didn’t care as much what his solutions were as I cared about the raw fact that someone had the guts to do something – anything.

I will spare you my opinion of the Republican Convention which – as a fallen away elephant – made me squirm. Not a single immoral custom on my list was addressed. Not a danged one. I felt repulsed by all those white faces staring adoringly up into TV cameras, reflecting Lourdes-like faith that a con man would miraculously restore their supremacy. “I, I, I, – not we, we, we”, he said, and they missed the irony of it.

What a contrast to the Democratic Convention. Every one of my concerns was at least raised. I am old enough to know only small advances can be made from one presidential cycle to the next; but issues must be laid on the table before anything can be done at all.

One of the most moving addresses I have heard in 50 years was given by a black evangelist. He mentioned every immoral political transgression that has been bothering me for decades. And he did it in context of biblical scripture, scripture rooted in ancient tradition. He made David Brooks of NYT sound pusillanimous.

Gentlemen I will always be a conservative at heart. You know that. But what Democrats did this week was to incorporate into their liberal party every conservative principle and talking point I have cherished for years. Republicans left the barn door open and Democrats walked off with their livestock. Trump may or may not become President; but sadly, he has managed to destroy what was left of the Republican party and its conservative heritage, a heritage that I enjoyed until Nixon left it behind in 1970.

Andy

 

PET PEEVES & MORAL OUTRAGES (THAT I CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT):

  1. WAR: GONG TO WAR UNJUSTLY WITHOUT PROVOCATION, OR JUSTLY BUT WITHOUT FINANCING AND WITHOUT PAYING OFF PREVIOUS WAR DEBTS.
  2. CRIMINAL JUSTICE: JAILING 2,200,000 CITIZENS, 5 TIMES MORE PER CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER INDUSTRIAL NATION, 2/3 BEING BLACK OR LATINO.
  3. LITIGATION: USING LITIGATION FOR HARASSMENT OR TO FORCE UNJUST SETTLEMENTS THROUGH FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS OR BARRATRY.
  4. PERPETUITIES: PERMITTING ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH WITHOUT LIMIT AND INDEFINITELY THROUGH LOW TAXES ON INCOME FROM STOCK SALES AND ABOLITION OF DEATH DUTIES.
  5. EDUCATION: UNDERFUNDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT ARE EXPECTED TO FEED, TUTOR, COUNSEL OR BABYSIT STUDENTS, WHILE EQUALING PRIVATE SCHOOL RESULTS, SADDLING COLLEGE GRADUATES WITH HIGH INTEREST, UN-PAYABLE STUDENT LOANS AND MANDATING SUBJECTS THAT ARE FACTUALLY INCORRECT.
  6. HEALTH: EXCLUDING INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR SOME WHILE PROVIDING UNLIMITED COVERAGE FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, LEGISLATORS AND ELDERS . WASTING 1/3 OF PUBLIC HEALTH DOLLARS ON EXCESSIVE CHARGES FOR DRUGS AND UNNEEDED TREATMENT.
  7. CONGRESS: SUBORNING OF LEGISLATORS BY LOBBYISTS, WEALTHY DONORS AND MILITARY, LABOR, LEGAL AND SCIENCE BLOCS.
  8. WAGES: MANIPULATING MEN, WOMEN AND FOREIGN POOR TO COMPETE AGAINST EACH OTHER FOR JOBS AND WAGES IN ORDER TO LOWER PAY BELOW POVERTY LEVELS AND INCREASE PROFITS.
  9. PARENTHOOD: DISRUPTING FAMILY LIFE BY UNDERPAYING WORKERS TO THE POINT BOTH PARENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WORK.
  10. SAFETY NETS: BORROWING MORE FROM SOCIAL SECURITY AND OTHER TRUST FUNDS THAN CAN BE PAID BACK FROM REVENUES.
  11. FOREIGN AID: ALLOWING FOREIGN AID TO BE USED TO ROB, KILL AND EVICT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, LIKE PALESTINIANS OR TO APPLY HARSH RELIGIOUS PUNISHMENTS.
  12. ENERGY: DEPLETING NATURAL RESOURCES AND INCREASING CLIMATE WARMING WHILE NEGLECTING TO DEVELOP SAFER NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION
  13. WEAPONRY: BLOCKING OF BACKGROUND CHECKS AND OTHER REASONABLE GUN REGULATIONS.
  14. IMMIGRATION: FAILING TO KEEP TRACK OF FOREIGNERS WHO ENTER THE US LEGALLY; AND THEN ATTEMPTING TO DEPORT THEM AFTER YEARS OF WORKING HERE AND PAYING TAXES.
  15. FINANCE: OPEN THEFT BY TRADERS WHO BUY IN AHEAD OF PURCHASES, RAISING PRICES.

For more interpretations on the WordPress Photo Challenge: Narrow

 

23 comments

  • That can’t be him at 89; he barely looks 65! He sounds like an extraordinarily thoughtful and sensitive man, though appears more to have the affinities of a lefty environmentalist than a (modern day) Republican!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Your dad looks great……I am certain because he of his continuing friendships and staying mentally active – no doubt due to the frustrating political climate we live in. His list reads like a conversation I had with my dad years ago before he passed away in ’09 – he would have been 83 this past spring, but he, too was a disillusioned former republican, though I believe, a conservative at heart. thanks for making me think on a Saturday afternoon. Enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Your dad sounds wonderful and a lot like mine, who finally gave up on the Republican party, saying it was the party who left him. I’ve also been a fan of Rev. Barber since he began Moral Mondays, but missed this amazing speech, so I thank you for that too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rev. Barber was new to me, but that was a two-hanky speech. Sad that it’s hard for socially liberal and fiscally conservative to find a place in today’s politics.

      Liked by 3 people

  • Great photo of your Dad and thanks for sharing! It’s nice to see discourse that doesn’t involve name calling and bullying, reminds me how great it is to live in a free country.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Our state Republican party, which had a long tradition of moderation, left many of us behind as it moved far right. Yes! We need more discourse, more opportunities to talk about our differences without fear that discussions will tumble into black-and-white talking points. We’re too great a country for that. And yes, it is a cherished right, to be able speak our minds. Most of us want the same things, and while we might disagree how to achieve them, mutual respect and dialogue is the best way forward. Thank you for your kind words.

      Liked by 2 people

  • Very well expressed. He says it all so well. My dad too is 89, although mine is a declared democrat. What I appreciate about your father is the fact that he is not just “sticking with his team” as so many appear to do when it comes to American politics.

    It feels like we are at an all time low in American politics. Its all rather hard to fathom and feels to me like watching a spoof and a bad one at that? How is it possible its real?

    Your father looks great and is certainly very eloquent. Best regards his way.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • This year’s election is forcing Americans to face up to the fact that we are all too human, not anything special. A spoof is right! Oh well. We who know who we’re voting for can probably safely turn off all news about the election, which is most of the news. Think of all that potential news-free time. Cheers to your 89-year-old dad! Hope you both are well.

      Like

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