So, who am I? I am probably like you. Just an average, unremarkable American. Nothing special per se. I’ve never been particularly engaged in politics, nor interested in becoming engaged. I don’t think I voted in a Presidential election until more than a decade after I was eligible to do so. Not for any particular reason necessarily. It just never seemed to be that important. Like many Americans, I assumed other people would deal with it. I find that is simply no longer an option.
Which is why I started this blog. Once I began looking, I realized there were already a ton of blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter hashtags, forums and other venues in which I could participate. And I will do that. But I specifically wanted to promote a certain idea, and one that is larger than just ousting Republicans serving in the current Congress – although that is undeniably a key goal at the moment.
I grew up in a Republican household, many of my school mates were from Republican households, and I live in a red state. But the Republican party my parents belonged to no longer exists, and hasn't really existed for several decades. It was the party of Lincoln. It was "...socially moderate, environmentally progressive, and fiscally cautious...". Now it is dominated by religious extremism, pro-life activism, fiscal irresponsibility, ethical and moral corruption, and bigotry. I remember being somewhat shocked when my mother said the abortion issue had no place in the party platform; that it was no business of the government's. I'm pretty sure she was actually pro-choice but mostly she was opposed to it as part of the Republican Party platform because she didn't think it was a governance issue. And when my father said, in reference to G.W. Bush (whom he had voted for), that he hoped he lived long enough to vote him out of office.
I picked “repeal and replace the republicans” primarily because it is so emblematic of the deeper issues. For over seven years, Republicans in Congress have been talking about “repealing and replacing Obamacare”. The issue is, however, that they are not – nor will likely ever be – interested in providing affordable health care to the American people. Rather, repeal and replace is nothing more than the frenzied temper tantrum by Republicans in Congress who didn’t like that their candidate lost and have been hell-bent on obstruction – rather than governing – ever since. And apparently they are willing to go to potentially treasonous lengths to do so. I find that beyond deplorable.
I don’t mind differences of opinion in our political system; the pendulum usually swings back and forth a bit. But I have lost complete faith in the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Party elites. They have shown again and again that they cannot be trusted to put our country, our constitution, or the best interests of the American people above their own political party’s agenda, an agenda that does not have the best interests of Americans in mind.
I’m tired of Republicans telling me who I can or cannot love, or telling women they can no longer choose their own reproductive fates, or allowing prejudice and fanning the flames of racial hatred such that people’s lives are threatened in tweets, for god’s sake! I’m tired of them institutionalizing corporate greed over consumer protections. I’m tired of the hubris and arrogance in thinking only their way is the “right” way for all of us, even with substantial evidence to the contrary (e.g., trickle down economics). I’m tired of their disparaging science, scientists, the disabled, LBGTs, immigrants, blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, women, or anyone who is simply different than they are (i.e., not a white male or a “Christian” religious fanatic). And I’m tired of hearing them cloak their hatred and bigotry under the banner of “family values” or “religious freedom”, neither of which are reflected in their behavior. Really, WWJD?
I know there are Republicans out there like my family and friends, who do not support the shift in emphasis of the Republican Party platform over the years. They are as much an enemy to the current Republican Party establishment as any Democrat. For better or worse, ours is a two-party political system, which works best when there is civil and respectful discussion and debate of the ideas and approaches that we, as one people, choose for ourselves and our descendants. It is my intent to be part of that discussion, and to promote engagement in our democratic process by both Democrats and Republicans.