Monday, November 06, 2006
Voting Against Fear
James Thurber once wrote; "Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." Looking around on this day before the 2006 midterm elections, I find I am aware of a great many things.
Unable to escape the reality of failed policies and flawed leaders, the GOP has decided its best hope for survival is to give you someone to hate. This is not a recent decision. It actually was made in 1992 when the Republican Party took a hairpin turn to the far right. It was then that it became clear that conservative evangelicals were most willing to write the campaign checks to have their voices heard.
To keep that money flowing, as a collective entity, the Republican Party has spent massive amounts of time and energy and money demonizing gay and lesbian Americans. Saying from the both the podium and the pulpit that Gay and Lesbian Americans are a "threat" who are "attacking" families and children. Calling for their followers to "fight" some phantom' gay agenda' and to "defend traditional values".
It is through fear that Karl Rove saw his window of opportunity. If you can't get your base out to for vote for a war, you can get them out to vote against people who are different. Devoid of intellect, faced with their own failures the GOP again hopes to trot out their pet scapegoat. the GOP needs you to hate and fear Gay and Lesbian Americans and then vote that fear.
Never mind the mismanagement of our economy and how it has created massive budget, trade and foreign debts. Never mind how reckless spending and lopsided tax cuts have put more of our economy under the control of nations with agendas and ambitions very different from our own. (China and Saudi Arabia just for starters.) Never mind the Billions of Dollars missing, unaccounted for and misspent in Iraq. Massive amounts of Taxpayer Dollars which this Administration will never seek to investigate or recover.
Instead you bring out your pet scapegoat. You say that America must be defended against "Activist Courts" with a radical gay agenda. Instead, you do the exact same thing that was done 75 years ago, when operatives of another political party posted signs in the streets of Berlin saying "Deutshe! Wach Auf! Kauf nicht bei Juden!" (Germans wake up! Don't buy from Jews!)
Never mind, that the American People are more divided now than at any time since the Civil War. Never mind that as President, George W. Bush has pursued a deliberate policy of national division to push through his agenda. Never mind that the result is a nation where now more than ever, Americans are encouraged to marginalize other Americans . (Gays are "attacking" marriage and the family. Liberals are "supporting the terrorists" when they criticize the President". The Media "wants American Soldiers to fail in Iraq" Immigrants are a "threat to our culture and way of life", etc. etc.)
Instead you point to your pet scapegoat, and use the voice of Government to say an entire group of our own citizens are a threat to our families. Instead, you use the power of government to say who can and cannot get married or raise children. Instead, you do the exact same thing that was done 50 years ago when one of the GOP's more infamous Senators waved a "list of names " of people who he felt shouldn't teach, make movies, write books, or work in science, medicine or law.
Never mind the entire litany of failure, deception, and just plain stupidity that has been the GOP record for the last six years. Never mind the nearly 48 million people in this country without health insurance. Never mind the flood of jobs overseas, or the plight of urban and rural public schools. Never mind the proliferation of real weapons of mass destructions in North Korea, because you need to distract from your hysterical cries over fictional ones in Iraq.
Instead you trot out your pet scapegoat. Instead, you say that , not having health care isn't a threat to your family , "San Francisco Values" are. Instead, you seek to win a campaign of hate, and in doing so, turn the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater into an affront to everything our nation has ever stood for.
I don't often agree with Andrew Sullivan but he got it right when he said "this isn't an election anymore, it's an intervention."
Tomorrow all across this nation we go the polls. I plan to vote my hopes, not my fears, I plan to vote my conscience not my prejudice. I will vote because I want my country back.
I hope to see you there.