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October 28, 2004

Unfit to Govern

When I was growing up, I hated the idea that voting machines had a lever to vote the straight party ticket. I thought you should pick the best candidate. When I was eligible to vote, I registered as an independent. I'm not really a "joiner".

But over time, what became very clear was that I abhored certain Republican behavior even more than I disagreed with some of their positions. This is frighteningly so in the Bush administration.

Whether the debate is about judicial nominees, the reduction of civil liberties by parts of the Patriot Act, the veracity of the justificaction for the Iraq war, the indefinite detention of hundreds of prisoners through a possible legal loophole between US and international law, how we work with international allies and institutions, the appropriateness of multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts, running up huge deficits, and all the other issues of our times, the Republicans today insist with righteous indignation on getting everything they want (and even grab for more if others try and whittle it back) and accuse the opposition variously of abetting terrorists or of being unpatriotic or, condescendingly, of being naive, or they yell at them and call them names and threaten them. Then they seek political revenge on those expressing their constitutional right as Senators to vote according to the rules of the Senate ... and ultimately they seek to stifle the voice of representatives elected by almost half of us.

There is some awful streak in the Republican party that seems to draw them toward divisiveness and vitriol. They become so convinced of their own rightness and they focus on achieving their goals at the cost of rejecting civil discourse over differing opinions, to the loss of respect for those who disagree with them, and to the loss of the rights of the political minorities. That is, they are focused not on the good of society as a whole but on imposing their view on the rest of us.

In contrast to being a "uniter", Bush has turned out to be the "dis-uniter in chief". He has divided America from its allies, divided the already-rich from those seeking the opportunity to move up the middle-class, and stimulated a level of partisanship that is at an all-time high.

With arrogance and hubris, with lack of compassion and lack of respect for others, the radically right Republican party is using their elected positions to force their own agenda on all of us. They are discarding compromise, they are discarding respect for others whether here or around the world. We can now see and hear the clamoring by the left as they rise up to fend off the bludgeoning of two decades from the right. It is this polarization that the right is creating which looms before us.

Thus has this Republican party has shown itself unable to promote the GENERAL welfare of this country.

In the last fifty years, the the greatest threats to constitutional goverment have been Republicans: Senator Joe McCarthy, President Richard M. Nixon and now President George. W. Bush. They are so focused on power that they are willing to villify patriots, to lie and deceive, and to disenfranchize voters.

Republicans are unfit to govern.


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