There can never be another compromise with them on anything. Ever.
Trump is all the proof any thinking person should need to accept the reality that conservatives and Republicans are waging a war on decency, intellect, intelligence, and the future.
The Republican Party is the enemy of everything this country is supposed to be about.
What to do?
Show up on every election day to vote against every Republican at every level of government, from school board and town council to Congress and the Presidency. If we don’t, we don’t get to complain, and we can’t be angry and outraged about the country sliding down the slippery slope toward the kind of hate-filled, corrupt, and stupid kleptocracy embodied by Trump.
Complain that the system is rigged.
Complain that there’s not enough difference between Democrats and Republicans.
Complain about Big Money in politics and anything else that bothers you.
But, stay home or throw away your vote, and you need to understand that you’re helping the GOP.
John McCain? John Kasich? Lindsey Graham? Now, Peggy Noonan?
Peggy-fucking Noonan? Now she’s being lauded for her WSJ piece as some sort of voice of reason because she found some modicum of self-serving political courage to criticize Trump and the GOP???
Oh, she’s so brave.
(Side note: For those who don’t know her, Noonan’s claim to fame was putting only slightly more intelligent words into St. Reagan’s and GHWB’s dimwitted heads than either of those two intellectually challenged conservatives could come up with on their own.)
So, I issue this plea with all due respect and humility to my fellow liberals and progressives; please stop with the, “Oh, he’s/she’s one of the good ones,” bullshit. PLEASE!
Noonan, McCain, Graham, Kasich, and all these newly minted “good ones” fall into the same who-gives-a-fuck-what-they-have-to-say category as Rick Santorum who, unlike these new Republican “reasonables”, proved once again and just yesterday on CNN that he is an unmitigated sycophant happy to say and do anything, including defending Trump, just to get air time. Why the fuck he is paid any attention at all by any media outlet is a mystery.
Which brings me to this question. Can you guess what media strategy so-called reasonable Republicans are starting to use? (Hint: It includes criticizing a certain someone they all helped to get elected.)
Me? I’ll start taking Republicans at their word when they start acting more and talking less.
As for my fellow liberals and progressives who are starting to turn a warm and welcoming smile toward some Republicans, this is your cue to stop willingly playing the fool.
I write this because I’m starting to see this in too many places and from too many liberals and progressives. There seems to be a drift by some lefties toward wanting to make room for and to even extolling the all too obviously disingenuous virtues of people like Kasich, McCain, and Graham.
We must resist their siren song. We can’t be so eager for reasonableness and sanity that we allow ourselves to fall for their politically calculated appearance of reasonableness.
Conservatives are the very people who set the world on fire. They and their actions going back to Reagan are what made a cretin like Trump possible. Now that the Earth is being scorched, they want us to believe they are in the fight to put out the flames with us?
Bullshit. They are doing what they do best; playing Americans for the fools we all too often are.
If we on the left agree to set the ethical, moral, and intellectual bar at a president who is now seemingly half a step away from flinging his poo at press conferences, we are allowing right-wing, empty-headed, narcissists like Noonan, soft-spoken ex-Lehman Brothers directors like Kasich, and hack politicos like McCain and Graham to try to appear as reasonable and to be more appealing to Americans generally.
And, that’s commendable? Laudable?
That’s no accomplishment at all. It does nothing to move this country to the left if we start giving credit to anyone for anything when it’s Trump they are compared against. It’s not just meaningless, it’s ridiculous.
We must give Republicans and conservatives no quarter nor any credit for doing anything more meaningful than serving their own ends by criticizing the horror of a person that they put into office.
The bar for me is still set where it always has been; liberal and progressive values that put people, the planet, and peace above the backward, destructive, and discriminatory ideology that is conservatism and Republicanism.
So, again I say to my fellow liberals and progressives, don’t be fooled, and stop playing the fool.
This country is where it is now because of conservatism, because of Republicans and their failed policies, and because of people like McCain, Graham, Kasich, and many who, yes, are far worse.
Every conservative and all of the right-wing own some part of Trump. For any of them now to try to convince us that they, too, are upset, angry, and concerned about Trump is like the arsonist now claiming to be worried about the neighbors’ houses.
They now want us to believe we’re all on the same side; unified against Trump.
Perhaps they even want us to believe that they are coming to their senses.
They may even want us to start thinking and believing they have agreed with what all of us Trump detractors have been saying since that idiot man-child came out from behind his failed businesses to be their candidate and the candidate of the hateful, the uninformed, and the aging white conservative voter.
Well, I’m calling bullshit on all of them. So should you.
What I see happening now just proves that they are nothing more than self-serving hypocrites and lying political hacks.
All they want now is to keep turning this country in their favor, and all they may need to realize that is to win a few of us liberals and progressives to their side.
Don’t do it. Don’t start complimenting them for pretending to care when all they are doing is being politically savvy.
Call them out for their culpability. Call them out for their guilt in helping to set this country on fire.
All conservatives and all Republicans are not equally guilty. Not all of them threw equal amounts of gasoline on the fire. But, they all threw some.
The conflagration that is Trump is on them.
Every conservative and every Republican owes this country and the world an apology. Then and only then can they have any credibility in helping the left to take down this abomination that is Trump, and only if they work with us to replace it with a progressive and liberal agenda.
If what we do is to once again move to the right by once again compromising and even embracing the right, then we truly are the fools.
I realize that this will make some people uncomfortable and perhaps even angry.
It needs to be talked about.
Every thinking person regardless of political persuasion, party affiliation, or religious leaning knows (or should know) the following to be true.
Religion has no place in our politics.
The Founders enshrined that ideal into the Constitution.
Today, there is one and only one party ignoring this. One.
The Republican Party.
Goldwater warned us about American Evangelicals usurping the GOP. They have spent the last 5 decades convincing American conservatives that somehow Christians are being persecuted and discriminated against in America.
Even *some* at Fox News get this. (Most, for sure, do NOT!)
This is why I firmly believe that today’s Republicans – both the politicians and those Evangelical Americans who support them – must be called to account publicly for wanting to violate a fundamental aspect of our democracy.
I’m starting with no longer accepting liberal cowardice.
For far too long too many liberals and self-proclaimed “progressives” and “trans-partisans” – yes, I’m looking at you, Join the Coffee Party Movement – are doing little more than wasting precious time and energy by pretending that every voice matters and that there’s more than one side to every issue. There isn’t, and the insistence that there is actually looks like cowardice to me.
The Left in too many places demonstrates far too little commitment to recognizing and acknowledging right from wrong; good from bad, in terms of people, behaviors, beliefs, leaders and policies. By “engaging”, we execute perfectly on a strategy of surrender. By “engaging”, all we accomplish is NOTHING. We allow the more committed, better organized, more unified, and more forceful conservatives – and their shills – to control the conversation and the outcomes.
By always wanting to “engage in conversation” and “really listen to the other side” and “working to find compromise and middle ground”, we have surrendered, and in so doing we allow the center to move further and further to the right. That’s dangerous and wrong for everyone except the tiniest few, and it must stop. Now.
You say you want to speak truth to power? I say, “Start by empowering yourself, and start that by speaking truth to yourself.”
The truth is on full display everyday. All that’s required is the courage to look at it.
Conservatives, corporatists, and the rich are the ones who effed this country up. It wasn’t us liberals, or the poor, or the peaceniks, beatniks, or hippies; it wasn’t legal or illegal immigrants; it wasn’t minorities or Santorum’s “elitists” in the ever-shrinking middle class who struggle to find ways to send their kids to college.
It always has been, still is, and always will be conservatives and their so-called conservative “values” who wreak havoc on the rest of us.
And just like it always does, it falls once again and now to us liberals to clean up the conservatives’ mess.
I say let’s do it differently this time.
Let’s stop pretending we can “work” with them. That’s the formula that has failed us for the last 35 years. It’s they who must change.
Yes, this is about Us versus Them. To deny that is the cowardice that denies the reality of our situation and how we got into it. To deny that reality is the cowardice that only strengthens and emboldens conservatives and their duped minions to continue making society worse instead of better for more people.
We have long since passed the time for pretending we can work with conservatives. Instead, we need to start telling the right-wing that they are NOT welcome into the discussion because they ARE the problem.
This isn’t demagoguing. This is reality.
Prove it to yourself.
Ask yourself these questions. See if you aren’t feeling empowered as a liberal by the truth of the answers.
Who still wants to deny human rights to other human beings because they are LGBTQ?
Who wants to cling to the lie of in-person voter fraud just so they can make it harder for people they don’t like to be able to vote?
Who denies that everyone on Wall Street and in the financial services industry writ large doesn’t need regulators crawling up their asses every single minute of every single day?
Who wants to forcibly legislate their religious beliefs on the rest of us?
Who denies science and blocks policies that are rooted in and based upon science?
Who wants their racism and xenophobia to manifest itself in the form of walls, moats, electric fences, armed patrols, and drones on our borders?
Who screams at busloads of children?
Who seems perfectly content with the fact that we have become an imprisoned nation that applauds policing in poor and minority communities by para-military forces?
Who defends the abuse of police power?
Who thinks whisleblowers are the traitors and spies the patriots?
Who thinks the minimum wage is either fine as is and perhaps should be abolished altogether?
Who thinks that labor unions are still too strong in comparison to the people running corporations?
Who thinks health care is something only those with the means to pay for it should get, and who is warm and content in their unbridled selfishness when asked what alternatives they have to health care as a human right?
Who still votes for any politician anywhere who is still peddling the lies of trickle-down economics and smaller government?
Who believes that corporations are people and money is speech?
Look. There’s no excuse in modern America for anyone outside the One Percent to consider themselves to be a conservative or, for that matter, a Republican.
And, here’s why this is so important. Anyone outside of that tiny sliver of the obscenely wealthy and powerful who is still allowing themselves to be duped into voting against themselves is also VOTING AGAINST THE REST OF US.
We don’t have the luxury of time to try and convince them to end their madness and to stop voting for people who consider them to be just another expendable resource. Instead, we need to stop them by no longer pretending that they can be part of the solution. We need to stop wasting time trying to find compromise. We need to stop pretending like enough facts will someday turn the light bulb on over their heads.
We outnumber them. There are more Liberals than there are Conservatives. We’re just used to being conciliatory and willing to compromise. No more!
What we need to do is exercise our strength of numbers.
Liberals must become lions. We must roar louder, longer, stronger, and more ferociously than those Americans who call themselves conservatives and who think they’re Republicans.
We must stop giving them cover by constantly engaging them online, in our living rooms, and in the coffee shops and polling places.
We must show up in greater numbers. We must be loud. We must be forceful.
And most of all, we must vote. Liberals – and people who call themselves moderates only because they think “liberal” is an insult – outnumber the truly lost and dyed-in-the-wool duped conservatives.
It is Us versus Them.
It’s time we stopped pretending otherwise. It’s time to work together as Liberals so that we can fix the fuck ups that conservatives leave every time they end up in power.
It’s up to us to change the things we can no longer accept from conservatives. And, that’s everything that is stamped with the “conservative” label. Everything.
Left-leaning Independents and Democrats, if you stay home this November, a Republican Senate will basically be on you.
Republicans can be ousted, but only if you show up and vote against them. You can be damn sure that our fellow Americans who think they’re Republicans will be showing up.
Yes, vote against Republicans. All Republicans.
What the GOP Stands For
The GOP has become a party of extremist ideology that no longer resembles the core values of America.
Bigotry towards our LGBTQ brothers and sisters
Paying women differently than men for the same work
Limiting and even ending health care accessibility to women and the poor
Protecting corporations instead of the environment by denying climate science
Enacting local laws to curtail voting
Walling off and arming the Southern border in the name of protecting the country and the economy
Perpetuating a belief in the failed theory of trickle-down economics
These disturbing ideas are among Republican dogma and policies. They are NOT core American values. They are, in fact, the antithesis of what America is about, and it is why every Republican must be defeated.
The Change That’s Needed – Real Leadership
The GOP in its present incarnation simply does not offer anything of value in the short or long term to anyone outside the Top 2% of wealthy Americans. The only way for the GOP to get the message and to change is for those of us in the middle and the left to outnumber and outvote our right-wing fellow citizens on Election Day.
What would cinch the deal would be to get some help from whomever is left in the GOP rank-and-file willing to accept the truth, and that is this: Your party does not care one whit about you and, in fact, they are dangerous to you and the rest of society. Right-wing ideology and policy are traceable as the primary sources of all of our geo-political and economic problems, past and present.
Thanks to the tea party and right-wing Big Money nowadays, the GOP has moved too far away from any middle ground or compromise worth considering. This is where Republican leaders have failed their party and their constituents. For anyone to believe that somehow the current crop of tea party Republican leaders is going to start moving the party toward the rest of us is naive fantasy and a denial of reality. Unless and until the American voting populace rises up to defeat EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN EVERYWHERE, the GOP will not change.
We Must Lead
It’s more important than ever that we in the middle and on the left step forward and become this country’s leaders.
Independent and internal change from within really isn’t in the nature of politicians and political parties. Current campaign finance laws more than ever ensure this by rewarding the self-serving and cowardly politician. Politicians do not lead, they follow. They follow the money that funds their campaigns and the follow whatever policy mandates that money issue to them. Unless you’re among the wealthy and powerful, you (and I) are not having the influence we should have.
It’s not just the GOP. This truth applies to ALL political parties, but the first thing we must do is to stop agreeing with the notion that the Republicans and Democrats are the same. They are not.
That is why we must vote and we must lead our fellow citizens and our elected representatives with courage, resolve, and conviction AWAY from ultra-conservative, right-wing ideals and ideologues, not toward them. The time for hope and compromise is over.
Show Us the Money
Politicians demonstrate daily that they have no courage and no real convictions other than to those people and the money that they believe will help them to get elected and reelected.
Let’s be clear on how we got to this.
Thanks to CONSERVATIVE campaign finance laws and CONSERVATIVE laws meant to restrict voting coming from ACTIVIST CONSERVATIVES on the Supreme Court, our politicians and elected leaders are ever more constrained to serve their Big Money masters, not us.
While it’s pretty close right now, and while the Democrats are by no means pure on the issue of money and influence, it is immature, uninformed, and disingenuous to keep believing and to keep saying that both parties are the same and equally guilty.
They are not.
The Money Difference
The GOP demonstrates constantly that they have no appetite to move out of line with where the tea party and conservative Big Money powers are leading them. Therein lies a fundamental difference that separates them from the Democrats.
It’s important to understand this distinction: Conservative money leads Republicans toward politicians and policies like those listed above in this post. None of those ideals are designed to help anyone EXCEPT the rich and powerful conservatives in this country and abroad. (Think “abroad” is a stretch? Understand the ramifications and who benefits from the TPP and TTIP.)
This is what makes Big Money that comes from the likes of the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson different from money that comes from Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and Tom Steyer. The first two are trying to move the country in a direction that is harmful to everyone but them by backing Republicans. The others are not.
Where the money comes from and what it will be used for tells us about the choices being made by politicians.
This is why any politician who calls themselves a Republican must be punished at the polls. They have made a conscious decision to join the party funded for and rooted in ideals like inequality, bigotry, irrational xenophobia, science denial, and catastrophic economic theories.
No matter how moderate or reasonable any one Republican candidate might seem, any candidate who calls themselves a Republican is a representative of that party and so must be defeated.
It’s the only way to bring change to that party; to punish them for their ideology and their policies at the polls.
If you don’t get to the polls on November 4 and if you don’t vote against every Republican, you simply cannot expect them to change, nor our society or our politics to improve.
The Democrats in their current incarnation are no prize, either, but it is the Republican party which must be defeated now if we hope to pull them back to the middle where some compromises are possible.
I’m done moving toward them. It’s far past the time that conservatives were called out for the damage they and their ideology have done and continue to do,