Category Archives: decline and fall of the Republican Party

Am I Gaga for Obama?


It may seem like I have some form of Obama mania, that I lo-ove him and everything about him, that I am unreasonably supportive of him, and that I have become such a fan that I am incapable of viewing Obama objectively. However, my support for Obama involves having his back in spite of his flaws because he seems to be a good person and because we happen to agree about what will keep America healthy and strong. I also back him because he is a symbol of our best traits in America. We are trying to be an inclusive nation as opposed to an exclusive one and Obama will forever stand as our first African-American president – even though that is not the focus of his Presidency.

I am not just using rhetoric when I say that the Republicans will not come off well in our history books. They are stuck with goo-gobs of reactionary nonsense that their base requires them to tout. Perhaps these particular elephants are headed towards extinction, or at least their current platform is looking like an anachronism that will drag them to the elephant graveyard, unless they can get on board with globalization and diversity.

Still these aging Republican and Democratic dinosaurs should be our best statesman. They have the chops that come from years of service and from traipsing around the globe, from weathering millions of meetings and negotiations, and they have the brain power that often comes from having been schooled in some of the best programs available in America (however out-of-date ). They may represent the last of a dying breed with access to the way our Democracy has stayed alive, who once experienced the give and take of two parties who want America to live on as a nation and also as an ideal. These career politicians should be teaching the next generation how to govern, teaching them to be statesmen and women; but instead they are teaching them to be stern and unbending, and to tolerate an undercurrent of animosity and hate will that could eventually undermine our nation and dilute our important role as a beacon of freedom and justice in a struggling world.

Instead of arriving at the original consensus which we now know as the GOP strategy  to obstruct Obama in every way, they could have gone out of their way to make our African-America first family feel welcome and they could have kept up the hospitality and spirit of cooperation that would have given them a legacy of generosity and benevolence. They could have wooed Obama even if they felt rebuffed by the “brothers” in the beginning. Realistically, even though they believe, as we are informed again and again, in small government they must have realized that the goal of small government cannot be achieved instantly. Government will have to get smaller, if that is what we all want, through a series of planned baby steps. Changes in governments that affect millions cannot be treated like a NASCAR race where we expect 0-110 mph in seconds. The Republicans have not chosen this expedient route. They have left it to Obama to come to them, hat in hand, which he cannot do. The Democrats have not been exactly hospitable either. You have all earned the legacy that you will find in your great grandchildren’s history books. Of course, it is just possible that by then they will not be reading about the Republican Party in the present tense at all.

Goodbye GOP

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...Image via Wikipedia
These days people often say that they believe America is in decline as in the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. I believe that it is the Republican Party that is in decline, has, in fact, already almost committed seppuku and would not be around at all if we had anything to replace it with.
The Republicans have aligned themselves with two groups. These alignments make it almost impossible to vote for a Republican. First they have too close a connection with Fundamentalist Christians, both Evangelical and Conservative Christians. We get the sense that the Republicans would like to turn our government into a theocracy, instead of a democracy. Despite their Christian roots these are not compassionate Christians, they are “tough love” Christians who have closer connections to the Old Testament judgmental traditions than they do to the New Testament tradition of an understanding and forgiving Christianity where God’s harshness has been tempered by his son’s sacrifice on behalf of mankind. Their view is actually not so much Christian as existential. I don’t have a problem with existentialism. I do believe we are each responsible for our own fate, but this is a belief that is more at home with anarchy than with fostering interconnected human societies.
We are living in times where people around the world are trying to separate their religion from their government, and yet the Republicans seem in favor of moving America in the opposite directions. We know that people around the world have different religious traditions. If religion becomes a huge issue, if we expect the world to arrange itself around one main religion, to choose only one, then we probably have a long age of religious wars to wade through. But if we set our religion aside from our government we can still be a moral society, but we can continue to respect and allow people’s disparate religious traditions. Of course we will still have to defend ourselves when other people become too aggressively religious.
The second group that the Republicans have formed an unholy alliance with is Big Business and Corporations. They want us to pass laws that favor big business and corporations, when these are the very groups that have abandoned us, left us in the lurch, and thrown our economy into a tizzy (new technical economic term). We are supposed to try to lure business back to America by agreeing to slash and burn the American middle class. They are selling out the American people in favor of people who threw American workers out on the street with virtually nothing. Everyone would, in a way, like their old secure and remunerative lifestyle back. Everyone is still rather stunned that it went away in the first place. The exodus got much bigger than we ever thought it would. But Republicans ask us to beg these very “traitors” to return and shaft us again when we are just beginning to believe that somehow we can have a life without being totally dependent on corporations for our economic welfare. The fact that the Republicans are backing “people” who are not even in America anymore, the fact that they want Americans who were cast aside to now make major concessions to implore these deserters to return puts them at odds with the American people, turns them into “them” as opposed to “us” and sets them on the road to obsolescence.
I think the intransigence we are seeing in the Republican Party is fear; fear of change, fear of the future. I believe they can see that America is in an era of change, that they can see that they will become obsolete if they can’t adjust, and they are backpedaling for dear life. They think if we don’t have the America we had that we will not still be America. I do not agree with this. Our America dream is still alive and well, because it is not essentially about economics, it is about freedom and self-rule. We don’t believe that we need to become a theocracy or an oligarchy to continue to exist, in fact these are exactly things we don’t want to become. America is a spirit, an enlightened experiment in human dignity; it is not an economic entity, although we must also succeed as an economy.
The Republicans have turned themselves into dinosaurs who see the meteorite showers headed towards earth or the next ice age coming or whatever it is that killed all the dinosaurs and they are transfixed, like the proverbial deer in the headlights, and they cannot make a move to welcome the future. They are rushing towards the past to stave off what they see as disaster and the rest of see as inevitable. Get with it or be gone – goodbye GOP.
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