Sunday, August 26, 2018
Examples of Strength and Weakness
John McCain has died. He was the last of his breed. Brave, honorable, outspoken, unbiased about his friends. Although I often didn't agree with him politically, I admired him immensely. I don't have to agree with my leaders to honor them. All I expect from my political representatives is integrity. It is in short supply these days.
Most of the vicious criticism of John McCain I've heard has come from conservative Republicans. They've called him a traitor and a collaborator, despite being tortured in Vietnam for five years. He could have left because he was the son of an admiral but he refused to go without his men. He suffered beatings, broken bones, starvation, isolation. But, yet, the right wing can find no mercy in their hearts even in his death. A few weeks ago, Trump refused to say his name though the Defense Bill he was signing was named for McCain. What a petty, weak little man your president is compared to McCain.
When did the Republicans get so mean? They didn't used to be decades ago. They were just a slightly different version of us - a little more hawkish, a little more frugal, but we cared about the same things. Nixon signed the EPA into law. George the Elder signed the Americans With Disabilities Act. Both the Bushes were pro immigration reform. Reagan signed a gun control bill. We all cared about American children getting a good start in life and having enough to eat. We all wanted our representatives to set aside politics and work together to solve the county's problems.
These were the Republicans I knew when I was young.
And then they changed. They became the party of winning at all costs. They became the party of the smear. They became the party that put politics ahead of patriotism. They impeached Bill Clinton because "character counts" but their behavior of today proves that was a hypocrite's lie. They swift-boated John Kerry, a man who spent his life serving his country. It was sad and ugly to watch. They have always had a scorched earth policy toward Hillary, accusing her of the most lunatic conspiracy theories, from being responsible for myriad murders to being a lesbian to operating a children porn ring in a pizza parlor to embezzling million of dollars through the Clinton Foundation, a social service charity with an A rating. The viciousness of the way they treated the Obamas was despicable - Obama as a witch doctor, Michelle as a bull dog. Michelle accused of being a transvestite. Obama was accused of being a non-American Muslim (and, of course, these malicious theories were helped along by the self-righteous Mr Trump).
The Republicans have become the party of not giving a damn if babies are taken from their mothers and locked up in cages. They are the party of giving gigantic tax breaks to the rich while defunding programs for the poor (although they totally disregard the deficit these days. They are the party of white nationalists and Nazis and wanting to pitch anyone who isn't white out of "their" country. They are the party of calling teens who are devastated by a school shooting, skinhead lesbians and professional actors and no-nothing children. They are the party of censorship wanting The View taken off the air because it offends them.
And, my goodness, it doesn't take much to offend them. Obama wearing a tan suit and Michelle wearing a sleeveless dress is like a knife through their self-pitying hearts. They are professional victims. Even their Christian base, supposedly the religion of peace and kindness and Jesus, has turned cruel. Instead of 40 pieces of silver, they sold their souls for a couple of Supreme Court justices.
If meanness is weakness, the right wing is one of the weakest groups of people we've ever had in America.