Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm with Stoopid

Apparently, we need to buy t-shirts for the members of the Republican Senate and House that state "I'm with Stoopid==>". I say this, because they must think that we are all idiots in this country.

When we have issues like a quagmire in Iraq that was brought on by faulty intelligence (both cognitive and stealth), a growing healthcare crisis in the world relating to HIV/AIDS, increasing numbers of Americans falling into poverty and living without any health insurance safety net, inflated gas prices, etc., etc., etc., the Republican party is consistently focusing on symbolic issues that affect few Americans or that affect those of us who are already marginalized and therefore, represent easy marks for them.

Not long ago, there was an emergency session of Congress to pass a law to keep Terri Schiavo of Florida alive (despite her doctor's assessment that she was brain-dead, which proved to be correct, by the way, and despite her disputed, but alleged desire for a natural death). Since when did it become the business of Congress to make laws for individuals? Had a Democratic Senate or House even attempted such a move, every Republican talking head would have been screaming the same spin simultaneously about how that just can't be allowed. It is not only unjust, it is unethical, for example, when Senator Frist of Tennessee, a medical professional, would attempt to override Ms. Shiavo's doctor's diagnosis from the US Senate floor without ever having visited the patient as her doctor.

Then, there is the whole gay marriage issue. The Republicans love this one because many people love to hate LGBTQ people no matter what. We are a threat to Apple Pie and the American, sorry, to their marriages. I still haven't figured that one out. Upon Spain's having passed legislation to allow gay marriage and adoption, thier Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero stated "We are not legislating, honorable members, for people far away and not known by us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and, our families: at the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members. In the poem, The Family, our poet Luis Cernuda was sorry because, 'How does man live in denial, in vain, by giving rules that prohibit and condemn?'"

Zapatero seems to understand that exclusion is a policy of evil that creates division. The Republicans understand that too, and they count upon our being the stoopids that they believe us to be to hop on their bandwagon and ride into a nation split by controversy. In that controversy, they smell their victory. Have you stopped to ask yourself how two loving people of any persuasion who wish to form a union with each other might threaten your desire to marry the person you love? Next time a Republican politician uses that rhetoric, ask them to explain exactly how it affects your holy matrimony. If that person preaching intolerance to you is a multiple divorcee, ask them how many of their former mates left because of homosexuality.

Now, we have Congress tied up with the issue of flag-burning. Woo hoo! It makes me want to rush out and express my dissatisfaction with the direction of my country in a dramatic way...but I had better not burn a flag to do so. I might end up in jail. We can not desecrate the flag. No. Not at all. We must leave the flag intact so that it can cover the bodies of our military men who are returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan in coffins that we are not allowed to see. Secrets and lies and Apple Pie...Bush's America.

I hear people say that the Democrats and the Republicans are no different from one another. Wake up and smell the rot, if you believe that. In the past 20 years, look at what the Democrats have promised and how they have held off the Republican machine to make slow, but steady progress in civil rights, increased minimum wage, and an attempt to revamp the US healthcare system before it implodes. Granted, they ahve not had huge successes in social programs, but they balanced the budget when the fically responsible Republicans have done nothing of the kind. Republicans preach smaller government that will stay out of your lives and cut taxes...but then we have gone from the largest government surplus to the largest deficit under their watch and the American people have generally nothing to show for it. They cut taxes to the richest of Americans while the middle class receives a pittance. It is kind of like a dysfunctional corporation (Enron comes to mind) that pays its CEO millions in dollars while taking away the pensions and benefits of the average employee.

What I can't figure out is how these irresponsible hypocrites have managed to win over the hearts of the working man and woman. I think it is by picking on these gut-wrenching issues that speak of "core" values; but do these politicians live up to their own values? Some do and some don't. However, the net-result of their policy is rarely in the best interest of the average man, woman and child in America.

We have an opportunity to put the Democrats back in control in Congress in 2006. As Mae West would have said "When choosing between the lesser of two evils, I generally go with the one I haven't tried yet." Maybe we should go with the one's we haven't tried lately and let them live up to their own rhetoric. If they fail as miserably as the Republicans have to live up to their own plans, then we need to evaluate an alternative to the two-party system. Let's have a little less symbolism, please, and a bit more reality in our legislation.



Blogger etbnc said...

Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, by George Lakoff

The Durham Library has it. The UNC-CH library has it. The Regulator can get it quickly.

American politics finally made sense to me after I read that book.

I'm still annoyed, affronted, and angry, but at least now I understand why, and I'm becoming more effective at responding.

6/26/2006 05:24:00 PM  

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