Sunday, August 09, 2015

I'm Not a Republican, but Let's Be Fair

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed under Bush I, Nixon appointed liberal SCOTUS justices, Betty Ford supported the Equal Rights Amendment, Eisenhower (a veteran of and leader in war) was not keen to send Americans into avoidable wars and he didn't try to slash safety net social programs, no GOP president has ever used nuclear weapons in war (that dishonor is Truman's alone), and Barry Goldwater did not want to cave into to religious extremists in his party, and on top of all that, my paternal grandmother was a lifelong Republican (and a loving person). Even Reagan (who responded far too slowly to the AIDS crisis and far too little to South African Apartheid) dealt with his critics and opponents with charm and respect.

I'm a Democratic Socialist (and believe DemSoc values are the most likely to provide justice and fairness for the most people), but I bristle when I hear people calling Republicans "evil" may be true that an angry, fearful, resentful bunch have exerted undue influence in that party for 20 or more years, and it may be true that some GOP candidates sound a bit meaner than they would wish to but feel they  must to get the base's support, but the Tea Party Republicans of today were the Dixiecrats of yesteryear. The problem isn't which party the Tea Party/Dixiecrat types try to hijack, but the attitudes themselves; there have always been people looking for a place to make their myopic desires for an ultra-conservative, white privileging, woman controlling, heteronormative, all too often violent Christian theocracy part of a political platform, but in the last century, both parties at different times have housed those people.

It's too easy to demonize a party (or a religion), and it isn't helpful. We ought to support the candidates and causes we believe in, and we can challenge attitudes, behaviors, policies, platforms and even individuals that we find to be unhelpful or problematic, but let's not paint all members of a group with a broad brush. Some of us know how unfair that can be.

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