Friday, December 16, 2011

The Republican Debate. God help us.

I watched the final Republican debate last night. The candidates were in Sioux City, Iowa and were trying their best to convince voters of their individual bona fides.

It was mostly a very disturbing two hours of saber rattling, Obama bashing, and self congratulating nonsense.

We have no statesmanship left in this country; certainly not among any of the current Republican presidential candidates, except perhaps for Ron Paul.

I have been disappointed in many of President Obama’s decisions but I do see a certain amount of decency in him. The man had a huge task handed to him the minute he walked into the White House. Blaming him for the poor economy is simply refusing to see the reality of how damaging the Bush years were.

What troubles me the most, however, about the Republicans running for president is how all of them, except for Dr. Ron Paul, simply pander to voters, promise the moon, trash Obama and all Democrats, thirst for war, and create more division in the country.

Most of them are obsessed with control. Rick Santorum wants to tell us how to live our personal lives. Michele Bachman wants us to live in cringing fear and take us to war. Mitt Romney wants to make defeating President Obama a contest of petty one-upmanship. Newt Gingrich wants to be God and let the country worship him. Jon Hunstman wants to look good in his suits. And Rick Perry? Honestly, I have no idea what he wants. He always looks as though he just stumbled onto the stage and is trying to figure out what’s going on as though someone said go up there and stand behind that podium and pretend you have something to say.

Dr. Ron Paul is the only voice of reason among them. I wouldn’t vote for him because his domestic policies are strange and extreme. Instead of improving government he seems to just want to slash it into oblivion getting rid of agencies we desperately need.

But his views about war and foreign policy are refreshing and intelligent should be paid close attention to.

Why are Americans so attracted to aggression, hate, prejudice, killing our enemies, taking control of the world? Why can’t we see that we have our place on this planet but we do not have any right to dominate it? Who says we are better than other countries? We haven’t shown that in decades.

Why are so many of us terrified of joining the world community? Why can’t we learn to respect other nations, other religions, other cultures while working on our own country? We have so many needs to face right here at home.

Why are we so self-righteous? Look at our religious institutions. They are filled with mean-spirited, bigoted, selfish, snooty, un-Christ-like fanatics. Our Congress is a decomposing corpse of contemptible autocrats. Our Supreme Court has turned into just another crowd of bickering, undignified tyrants. Our banks and big corporations and Wall Street firms are run by gluttonous bullies who use oppressive, exploitive, unfair practices to enrich themselves at the expense of their clients and customers.

We are obsessed with the shallowest things in life. We want nothing but money and power and to be better off than the guy next door. We don’t give a damn about the old, the poor, the unjustly imprisoned, the abused child, the drug-addicted parent, the self-hating prostitute, the handicapped and the hurting, the forgotten and the lonely, the minority, the immigrant, and the dispossessed.

What have any of the Republican presidential candidates promised to do about any of these human needs? Why are we not interested in a president who wants to help us be a more humane, more compassionate and intelligent nation? A country of alliances and cooperation? A country where love blooms and people care and goodness is honored?

Writer and journalist, Matt Taibbi, has written: “To be robbed and betrayed by a fiendish underground conspiracy, or by the earthly agents of Satan, is at best a romantic sort of plight – it suggests at least a grand Hollywood-ready confrontation between good and evil – but to be coldly ripped off over and over again by a bunch of bloodless, second-rate schmoes, schmoes you chose, you elected, is not something anyone will take much pleasure in bragging about.”

Keep that in mind as you consider the Republican contenders running for President.

© 2011 Timothy Moody

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