I used to see politics as just a matter of brand names. Republicans were more interested in the economy and Democrats in social issues. The two sides balanced each other like the ends of a teeter-totter and the ups and downs felt like the proper rhythm of life.
And, serving for close to 30 years as a public school teacher, I spent my days working closely with wonderful people, mostly Democrats, and though we would occasionally have testy discussions, mostly our political opinions seemed distant and unimportant amidst the immediacy of our daily high school drama.
Then the outrages began – Clinton’s finger-pointing lies, the fuss over the Bush election, 9/11, -- little by little it became harder and harder for me to see the liberal point of view as having any merit at all. If you support women’s rights and are horrified at the way working women are treated, how do you support Slick Willy’s use of cigars? If you can get your Fruit-of-the-Looms in a wad over election inconsistencies then why was it OK to only double check the Florida counties where you thought you could slant the recount? When they began to accuse Bush of lying about the weapons of mass destruction, which everyone knew had been shipped to Syria, I’d had enough.
Historically speaking, the transition started with Woodrow Wilson a hundred years ago; the Democrats began edging slowly left, and the Republicans, not to be outdone at stupidity, edged with them. Calvin Coolidge effectively reversed the trend, but the 1929 stock market crash and FDR’s socialist response dragged us left again. WWII yanked us back to reality and prosperity (those two go hand in hand), but by the 60’s we’d started smoking dope and indulging in riots (those things go hand in hand). By the late 70’s most of us were ashamed of our foreign policy and horrified about the economy – I know it was most of us because in 1980 Ronald Reagan beat Carter in a landslide and once again conservative principles proved effective. But we hit that peak, had a spasm of sensibility in ’94, but since then headed downhill at breakneck speed.
Now I’m just plain puzzled -- the Dems have sidled so far left that they not only embrace socialism openly – many proudly claim Marx and Mao as their heroes – quite a few in close contact with, or actually in our current administration.
Never mind that communism failed miserably in the Soviet Union. Never mind that socialism is failing all over Europe, right in front of us, not to mention the hideousness of the Third Reich and Mussolini’s Italy, both socialist states. And no one cares that many of these regimes had to murder millions of their own people in order to “accomplish” their economic downfall.
I grew up during the Cold War – we knew what was going on in Marxist countries – the poverty and death, the hideous Gulag punishments for speaking truth, the squelching of Christianity and Judaism. I remember hiding under my desk in useless drills designed to save us from A-bomb attacks. And now the people in charge of the United States of America are worshipping at the communist altar? What can the word liberty mean to these people? They surely know that socialism and freedom don’t go hand in hand.
And they know that Islam and many ultra-leftist concerns don’t go together, either. How can Democrats be holding hands with Muslims? Muslims imprison and execute gays – Sharia law endorses prepubescent marriage, marriage between 1st cousins, and polygamy, but not gay marriage. It’s not big on women’s rights either – in fact an Islamic woman in an Islamic country is lucky if she’s her husband’s only wife, she hasn’t been circumcised, and he doesn’t beat her. Are Democrats thinking at all?
Most Americans are nice, decent folk, therefore, most Democrats must be as well – but here they are, stubbornly voting for a man who wants federal bureaucrats to decide what health care they can have, who wants to take money from those who earn it and give it to those who just want it (and who will vote Democrat because they can get free phones), who defers to those who would gladly kill us all. What is a rational person to think of this?
Yes – since John Dewey, education has leaned to the left like the tower at Piza, and we’re now seeing the third generation from the flower children starting to vote. Yes – the church has forfeited its responsibility to educate its people in divine viewpoint. But I can think – you can think, after all, you’re still reading this, so what is wrong with Democrats?
There’s no need in their souls for rational thinking? There’s no awareness of the immorality of socialism? There’s no concern for their own future or, even worse, the future of their children? No understanding what our national debt will do to them? No awareness that we’re being openly targeted for death and destruction by people our government rubs noses with? What?!!!!
And what scares me most is that much of this revolves around a sophomoric need to be cool.
§ It’s cool to have no respect for --- for anything, really, but especially for any values our ancestors held dear – the Constitution, for instance.
§ It’s cool to doubt God, to hate the Bible, to create artwork that shows Jesus Christ – who died that we all might have eternal life – saturated in urine. That’s cool.
§ It’s cool to fly in the face of history and embrace failing ideologies.
§ It’s cool to hate parents, deride grandparents.
§ It’s cool to be ashamed of your country – and totally square to be patriotic.
§ It’s cool to smoke dope – our president is proud of how stoned he was during high school. He recently bragged that he, “inhaled frequently … that was the point.”
§ It’s cool to get drunk. Ditto.
§ It’s cool to sleep around – see Bill Clinton.
§ It’s cool to lie. Ditto. “I did not have sex with that woman.”
§ It’s cool to be gay.
§ It’s cool to be lazy, to fail at things uncool people work hard to accomplish.
§ It’s cool to cheat on tests, to plagiarize papers.
§ It’s cool to hate the right people – i.e. Christians and conservatives.
§ It’s ultra cool to just not care.
I’ll never forget an interesting encounter my husband and I had the summer after Obama was elected. We were driving down to San Jacinto and we had stopped at the In-and-Out Burger in Stockton. On the way back to our car after lunch we found ourselves walking toward a tall, handsome black man wearing a cowboy hat. As he approached he tipped his hat and said to us, “I’m really sorry I voted for that man.” That was all. Just the apology. I don’t know what prompted it – did we look that much like Republicans? I remember that day the unemployment numbers had come out and they hadn’t budged off of 9%. Maybe that was it. But I’m praying that millions more feel that regret and will either stay home or vote for Romney.
No one needs to eat crow. No one needs to apologize. The man, after all, was slick, and if you didn’t, as I did, spend your days sizing up adolescent boys, you might not have spotted the arrogance, the deviousness. The defiant tilt of his head wouldn’t have set off any alarms, the super-cool bop of his walk wouldn’t have looked familiar. If you don’t study history, you might not have had a visceral reaction to his Hitleresque nomination speech. If you don’t know economics you might not have noticed the central-planning tone of his promises, the general envy behind his words.
But now we’ve seen him in action – mostly inaction -- and we should know better. If we can rid ourselves of this 15-year-old stoner then I’ll know that Democrats have not abandoned common sense altogether, can still spot a scoundrel when they see one, and are really the good people they want to be.