An open letter to the GOP
Sorry, but I have to give you a little tough love right now. Please take your collective head out of your ass; I sincerely beg you.
Now, please read on.
I grew up in a very political family, in a particularly politically-charged era. Politics was what we talked about at the dinner table the way some other families might have talked about school, sports, movies, or the weather. When my grandmother died, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors adjourned – out of respect for her and the family.
My brother still deeply lives and breathes his style of politics. My father and I both held appointive office in our hometown. And I’ve been a professional speechwriter off and on since the late 1980s and have been involved in many political campaigns.
Politics, in short, runs deep in my blood and is bred in the bone.
Here’s something I believe to my core: there are both Republicans and Democrats that have served our country and the public’s interest well. In my lifetime, Republicans have tended to be the reasonable, rational party of Main Street business values, fiscal responsibility, honest and hard-earned patriotism, shared sacrifice, political moderation.
Even though I live in a very blue city, I know a great many Republicans; I like them, understand them, respect them. I have cocktails with them regularly. I’ve even worked for them.
All that said, I do not understand and cannot accept the currently prevailing direction of the Republican Party.
What I believe the current Republican agenda to be:
- Stop any and every initiative of President Obama.
- Use one particular (and, to my personal thinking, peculiar) interpretation of one particular religious text, the Bible, as a guide to policymaking, exclusive of all other texts and interpretations.
- Forestall, if not completely prevent, the dilution of white, Christian rule in America by what are certainly inevitable demographic changes.
All three are, to recall the words of John McCain (R-AZ), fool’s errands.
- They hurt constituents.
- They’re not American.
- They’re irrational (And, BTW, they make you look irrational for pursuing them.).
Here’s what you Republicans really need to understand:
- Uncritical reactive opposition to anything is juvenile. Witness Ted Cruz. To 90% of America, Ted Cruz is a mirthless joke. Is that what you want Americans to think of you? It can’t and shouldn’t be.
- The Bible is a book. (‘Bible’ is Greek for book, not THE book.) There are good and patriotic American Jews and Hindus and Sikhs and Muslims and Buddhists too. And The Bible is not a book upon which our republic was/is based. Our founders were rational humanists not evangelical Christians. Read some real American history, for fuck’s sake. Nor were our founders radical libertarians/individualists. (You’re confusing real American history with John Ford western movies.) America’s founders were communitarians. By the way, Ayn Rand was an asshole. And people who use her writings as the basis of anything in the real human world are also assholes; only an asshole would try to base something as important as government on her writings. Special message to Paul Ryan, et al.: Grow the fuck up, already.
- Do you not realize the potentially tremendous position you’re in? Sorry, rhetorical question. You obviously don’t. Get your head out of your ass. This could be a Republican century if only you’d realize the potential you have to organize and energize the coming wave of Americans. You can virtually own entrepreneurship and economic opportunity, two critical reasons people come here in the first place, if only you’ll leave abortion rights, guns, Obamacare, marriage and employment equality, equal voting rights, and the rest of the so-called ‘values’ issues alone. They’re not what the majority of Americans believe, not even the majority of your ‘real’ Americans. They’re just the way to quick death. (Besides, see above, they also make you look like irrational, ignorant idiots.)
Your Democratic friend,