Editor’s note: This guest column is in response to the Daily Lobo’s recent initiative for the election season, introduced in the column “Kvetchers, come compose us columns,” published in the Sept. 24 Daily Lobo. We are asking for submissions about 650 words in length that present a political point of view, any political point of view, on any of this year’s election-season issues. If you are interested in submitting a piece, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and political party, if you subscribe to any one party.
Recently, the Daily Lobo has been running reader-submitted pieces in an effort to present both sides of the story, and I have been following them. You recently deigned to print a letter from the libertarian point of view (see “Using factual labels essential to debate,” published Monday) due to the lack of submissions from a Republican point of view. The seemingly reluctant printing of the libertarian letter is another topic completely, though it is an indicator of why the two-party system in the U.S. has become as intractable as it has.
But my point is not that. The point is the lack of letters received by the Daily Lobo from Republicans. Is anyone surprised by this? That this party that has spent four years slinging the most base, and sometimes ludicrous, accusations at the president can’t step up to the plate and write something that supports the GOP shouldn’t surprise anyone. When it’s time to leave rhetoric and fear-based politics behind and communicate, the Right is once again mute.
And who would write this letter if someone on the Right did step up? The most fervent believers in the GOP are too dumbed down by the party line to present any form of literate approach to the conversation. They offer only vitriol and straw man arguments along with loud tu quoque — Latin for “you too” or “you also” — misdirection when faced with any difficulties. For four years, this angry, delusional side of the party has been pandered to, and its members are left with a base dumb enough to believe the GOP disconnect whole, but unable to communicate.
Another large and moderate portion of the GOP are probably ashamed to speak up for a party that has spent four years in preparation to make President Obama a one-term president, and the very best they can offer up is presidential candidate Mitt Romney. How awful that must feel to want to support your party and realize that you’ve been disenfranchised in favor of the fundamentally nutty element, and to top it off, the current candidate of your party is Mitt Romney. Once the “But at least he isn’t Obama” wears off and reality has to be looked at, I doubt many of the rational Republicans left can muster up any reason to like this guy, let alone vote for him.
If bumpers and front yards are any indicator, not many people are willing to publicly support Romney. They may reluctantly vote for him, but they won’t be pleased with it, and they aren’t going to write the Daily Lobo to try to explain that this guy is fit to lead the country in any way, shape or form.
There is another group that could have written in to represent the GOP, except they aren’t Republicans anymore. I would be one of those. I’m not claiming my letter would be a missive to change the shape and face of politics or even change one opinion, but it would have been written with sincerity and positivity. It wouldn’t have been filled with odd accusations of Kenyan-Muslim-Commu-Facism; it would have been an attempt to explain why being fiscally conservative and socially liberal is not a bad thing, and that’s why I support some GOP candidate who isn’t some fundamental dolt.
But I left the party when it became intractable to the detriment of the entirety of this nation’s citizens. I left the party when its members sold it over to fundamentalist religion and Tea Party extremism. I left when there was no place for voices to speak logically above the din of idiocy taking over the GOP.
Wrapped in the American flag and screeching about the Founding Fathers lies the GOP. Clutching their pearls and catching the vapors and playing victim at every opportunity while they preach all-American values and toughness. This party, once the stomping grounds of guys like John Wayne, is now the party of the victims who cry for their fainting couch over every perceived slight, as Americans different than them — but equally citizens — begin to exercise the rights that are theirs as well.
Maybe in another four years, the GOP will have done something — anything — positive to motivate a Republican to stand up and write a letter in support. A credible letter that points to moving forward. A letter free from divisive screeching and victimization.
A letter with a plan and a point and not just empty rhetoric.
Until then, none of us who read the Daily Lobo are any less empty for having not read a letter written to support this current Republican Party.