Monday, December 7, 2015

Republicans Need to Work with Us and Not Fight Us

Domestic gun violence with mass murders of innocent unarmed people. Refusal to pass any meaningful immigration reform. Glaring unjust economic inequality. Unquestionable racial discrimination. Blatant disrespect for the office of president and the function of government. These are vital national issues Republicans perpetuate and will not face.

Why do Republican candidates want to be president anyway? Why do Republicans in Congress want to serve? What is it Republican governors, mayors, and elected state officials want? Why are they there? I mean, what possible good do any of them want to do for the country? They refuse to cooperate with president Obama and Democrats. They demagogue. They patronize. They pontificate. They incite discord and often hate. They dismiss the constitution. If they dislike a law they just ignore it. They either distort the truth or outright lie about the economy, about immigration, about abortion, about Planned Parenthood and all the other social and moral issues facing the nation today. They assail gays, the undocumented, the poor and the vulnerable. They refuse to support our veterans. They want to shred Obamacare but they have nothing to replace it with but empty slogans and hype. They have blocked, stonewalled, and thwarted every reasonable piece of legislation offered by the president and Democrats and even some Republicans. And last week they dismissively and arrogantly voted down a bill to curb gun violence in this country. Voted it down proud to do the bidding of the NRA and its crowd of lobbyists with their goodies offered to all the chumps who play along. 

You know what this is? It's psychological street fighting. It's bullies dressed in suits using words as weapons, and not good words either, not smart words, not helpful or insightful words but crude gutter talk thrown around like bricks and bats in the hands of hoodlums. And who have they enticed to join them in their discredited ideology and infamy? Christians. Fundamentalists. Religious groups and individuals who blatantly  put aside the actual teachings of Jesus and pick up the weapons of Republicans in Congress and elsewhere and wield those weapons--the vicious rhetoric, the inflammatory language of hate, the undisguised bigotry, the hollow patriotism--and with anger and contempt they rage against thinking politicians and authentic religious leaders and others who are trying to encourage America to live out its core ethics that have always been about the dignity of others, compassion for those in need, and openness to other races, beliefs, cultures, and even political differences.

What do Republicans have to offer the nation that moves us out of the hysterical fears and the outrageous venom that keeps all of us stirred up one against the other? What moral values do they offer us? What guiding principles of decency and intelligence and cooperation have they provided us? Can they even provide any of that?

It is no longer a matter of both sides being guilty of doing bad things. Democrats are not perfect but at least they are not tearing apart the fabric of government and refusing to respect anyone who disagrees with them. They don't consistently over and over belittle minorities, shame women, and threaten the entire Muslim population. Republicans do. They do it all over the country. Their presidential candidates do it. Their governors and mayors do it. It's not both parties doing it. It's the Republican party. It really is that clearly defined.

We need two valid political parties in this country. We need to have more than one side, one perspective. Society breaks down and becomes dysfunctional and turns ugly when all cooperation is thrown aside and only one viewpoint can be right and everyone else is not just wrong but are considered enemies.

Republicans owe it to this country to work with Democrats, with the president, and with all citizens of every political, religious, racial, and cultural background and viewpoint and actually help us come together, unite, cooperate and be a nation solidly working toward common goals that affirm and advance all of us and the world beyond us.

(c) 2015 Timothy Moody

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