I’m not a Republican, I don’t even pretend to be one on TV, but I can have empathy for my Republican brothers and sisters who have to defend their choices on a daily basis. There are assumptions made about them that aren’t always true on the individual level, yet they get lumped together all the same. Here are some examples:
- All Republicans are racist: How did they get from being a Party founded to oppose slavery to one accused of being racist? It’s a circuitous route and they indeed had beginnings they could be proud of. Once, “The Party of Lincoln,” they became the Party of Trump and there’s a huge difference. They started down a slippery slope when they traded away Reconstruction and removed federal troops from the South in exchange for the Presidency in 1877. They sealed their fate and accepted with open arms the racists that fled the Democrat Party in the 1960s after they adopted Voter Rights and Civil Rights Acts. Then they implemented the Southern Strategy and currently support a President with a long history of racism dating back to being sued twice by the government for housing discrimination, taking out a full-page ad advocating the death of 5 black boys later found innocent, calling all African nations “shithole countries” and Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas.” Not to mention caging brown children and separating them from their families with no thought for reconciliation. While individual Republicans aren’t necessarily racist. When your leader is and he brings white nationalists into the White House (e.g. Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller) and you back them wholeheartedly. You will have to keep explaining why your association with and support of racists shouldn’t be held against you?
2. The Party has lost its values: The religious right used to care about morality. Now it seems to have pared that down to only being concerned about abortion and getting Federal judges and Supreme Court Justices in place who will overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal. They are willing not only to overlook but to make excuses for a philandering whoremonger who was technically stealing from the offering plate when he took monies intended for his charitable foundation and used it for his own purposes. That charity, The Trump Foundation, has now been shuttered and paid a $2 million dollar fine for its fraudulent activities but the harm is done. To the Republicans out there, you know by now who and what he is, the majority of you don’t care. Please accept my apology, I’m supposed to be demonstrating empathy but got carried away.
3. You lost your way regarding fiscal responsibility: Being a Republican used to mean something; being for reduced debt, a balanced budget, and small government. Which of these things can you honestly say still have meaning. In the last few years, you’ve blown the budget giving a huge tax cut to the rich that quite expectedly meant higher taxes for the lower and middle classes. Trump’s answer to the ballooning deficit, “I won’t be President then.” Don’t worry, your wealthy representatives in Congress are more than willing to eliminate your healthcare, cut social security, and increase retirement age until your 70s. Some of you say that Trump is the only one fighting for you. Substitute the word himself for you and you’d be right.
The hardest part about being a Republican is having to throw away things you’ve believed in all your life once Trump issues a new tweet or Executive Order. You used to believe in “The Rule of Law,” but now you want trials without documents and witnesses. The Party that once fought to ensure all eligible Americans could vote; your very survival depends on voter suppression which you adopt everywhere you have control. Because there is someone crying out, “What’s the matter with voter I.D?” I have far less of a problem with photo I.D. as with all the things that always accompany it; reduced early voting, limited polling locations, redistricting, gerrymandering, poll watchers. As your membership decreases and demographics work steadily against you, voter suppression (and the Electoral College) is the only way you hope to maintain power.
I guess I didn’t do such a good job of defending Republicans. I know in my heart that you are all individuals and don’t necessarily adhere to the policies and actions of the worst of you. Then I watch a Trump rally and have to start all over again, not lumping you all into a big basket of deplorables.