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.
PET PEEVES & MORAL OUTRAGES (THAT I CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT):
- WAR: GONG TO WAR UNJUSTLY WITHOUT PROVOCATION, OR JUSTLY BUT WITHOUT FINANCING AND WITHOUT PAYING OFF PREVIOUS WAR DEBTS.
- CRIMINAL JUSTICE: JAILING 2,200,000 CITIZENS, 5 TIMES MORE PER CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER INDUSTRIAL NATION, 2/3 BEING BLACK OR LATINO.
- LITIGATION: USING LITIGATION FOR HARASSMENT OR TO FORCE UNJUST SETTLEMENTS THROUGH FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS OR BARRATRY.
- PERPETUITIES: PERMITTING ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH WITHOUT LIMIT AND INDEFINITELY THROUGH LOW TAXES ON INCOME FROM STOCK SALES AND ABOLITION OF DEATH DUTIES.
- 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.
- 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.
- CONGRESS: SUBORNING OF LEGISLATORS BY LOBBYISTS, WEALTHY DONORS AND MILITARY, LABOR, LEGAL AND SCIENCE BLOCS.
- 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.
- PARENTHOOD: DISRUPTING FAMILY LIFE BY UNDERPAYING WORKERS TO THE POINT BOTH PARENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WORK.
- SAFETY NETS: BORROWING MORE FROM SOCIAL SECURITY AND OTHER TRUST FUNDS THAN CAN BE PAID BACK FROM REVENUES.
- FOREIGN AID: ALLOWING FOREIGN AID TO BE USED TO ROB, KILL AND EVICT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, LIKE PALESTINIANS OR TO APPLY HARSH RELIGIOUS PUNISHMENTS.
- ENERGY: DEPLETING NATURAL RESOURCES AND INCREASING CLIMATE WARMING WHILE NEGLECTING TO DEVELOP SAFER NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION
- WEAPONRY: BLOCKING OF BACKGROUND CHECKS AND OTHER REASONABLE GUN REGULATIONS.
- 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.
- FINANCE: OPEN THEFT BY TRADERS WHO BUY IN AHEAD OF PURCHASES, RAISING PRICES.
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