Monday, October 04, 2004

It's a complex thing

I think I know why it is I hate Republicans now and it is definitely for a more emotional reason than I would have initially thought. It all started last night when I was having a discussion with a colleague after deadline. She was talking about her conservative type things and I was listening and keeping my mouth shut (I'm a good friend that way sometimes) when she started talking about things I had never heard of. She mentioned a cotton-eyed something or other and some country music guy and all I could do was give a quizzical look. She asked me if I was from Texas and I told her I had lived in my hometown (just 7 miles from Crawford, TX) all my life. Then she suggested I might move up North and be happier. That just galled me more than words can express. The idea that I should move "up North" because I don't fit in in my own hometown because I don't listen to country music or vote Republicanor enjoy watching guys derive 100 miles an hour in a circle for 500 laps just seems so ridiculous that it shocked me. But there is more to it than that. Bush's rhetoric implies that the Heartland and the Midwest believe in the same "values" and are somehow the real America, not the liberal, elitists on either coast. That leaves out more than half the country already, but what about people in the Midwest and South that don't have those same "values?" For instance, I'm Catholic not evangelical Protestant and I personally don't believe the Rapture is upon us. I don't believe in the inerrant word of the Bible or that government and religion should be involved with each other. I personally find abortion to be morally repugnant, but I don't want the government to have the power to force women to give birth. I find it illogical that conservatives want government to have ablsolute control over this topic. If the government's position were reversed and they demanded abortions in the name of population control, they would balk. Any kind of position based in principle would at least have to be consistent, I think. I think the government has a responsibility to "promote the general welfare" of its citizens by helping those who are less fortunate. We help those displaced and homeless because of an act of nature, why shouldn't we help those displaced and homeless by an act of corporate greed. Both acts are tragic, one is just more dramatic and noisy than the other. I believe the government should act with fiscal discipline, not spending leaving structural deficits, cutting taxes for those who need an actual tax break, not the rich, and to use its enormous buying power to get a discount on prescription drugs to give to those who need them. Corporate bailouts and corrupt cronyism are not good business practices, but that is what we see from one side of the aisle. But the insinuation that I'm not Southern enough, and therefore not a real American, is just insulting. My pedigree is just as white trash redneck as the next guy's. Just because I don't have a deep accent because I took speech classes when I was a kid or because I don't know about country music singers, some jackass who spent most of his life in New England at an all boys academy and didn't develop his Texas Twang until after 1995 thinks he knows what a real American is. He is not a cowboy, he's a characicature of a cowboy that you would see in New England. The only thing real about the man is the "Made in Myanmar" tags on his campaign clothing. And that fury is what drives some of us to hate him. We don't hate him because he is a cowboy, we hate him because he's fake and he insults what being a Texan really is. I've railed on long enough, so I'll leave you with that thought.

2 Comments:

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not hate the President at all, but I find myself agreeing with so much you have to say. My biggest complaint with the President is that he has taken the tact that he does not have to talk to me. They idea that he only speaks to friendly audiences is repugnant to me. I am amazed that the press does not hold him more accountable. I am not a big fan of Sen Kerry but I think you have the right word when it comes to Mr Bush..fake.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Nate said...

I always like to point out that in a decent universe I would probably be a Republican, since so much of my political sense is guided by my moral compass. But that is the state of the Republican Party today; fiscal conservatives and those who would like a little less government intervention in the places it does not belong (in the bedroom for example)cannot reconcile their differences with what they see from the leadership unless they "sell out" or are in denial. The Democrats have a very big tent and anyone is welcome to come in and have an iced tea.

 

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