The first election in which I could vote was the presidential election of 1968. I was for Tricky Dick before I was agin ‘im.
(Disclosure: THE reason I voted GOP until 1992 owed entirely to how LBJ left the crew of the USS Pueblo to rot in North Korea. As an Army infantry veteran who had volunteered for Vietnam, I felt the trespass was unforgivably execrable.)
But in 1992, I registered as a Democrat, and now regard the GOP and those who vote GOP beneath contempt. Tell me you’re a Republican and you’ll get the dust of my sandals in your face. Nor would it matter if you were a relative; principle to me is more compelling than blood.
What did it?
Everyone — Well, I don’t guess “everyone” is especially accurate. Based on anecdotal evidence concerning the dour state of knowledge of the American electorate, my better guess is that perhaps upwards of 50% haven’t the first notion what the GOP acronym stands for — knows GOP is popularly translated as “Grand Old Party.” Which it was when folks like Ed Burke of Massachusetts, Ev Dirksen of Illinois, and Howard Baker of Tennessee were serving; men of character and with a greater allegiance to the United States than to the party. Since perhaps the early ‘90s, Republicans have tried to rework the initials to mean God’s Own Party.
And that kind of holier than thou self-sanctification just made me wretch.
Look, I’m an atheist, okay. But I’ve studied the Bible and hold in the highest regard Jesus of Nazareth, and he said some things that the Republicans have hypocritically dismissed with zeal. One is about ragging on the speck of dust in a neighbor’s eye while ignoring completely the filth-laden telephone pole in their own. Another is the missed-completely parable of the Good Samaritan; had zero to do with stopping by to help someone in need and everything to do with ethnic bigotry. Then there’s the fact that you can scour all five of the gospels where Jesus is reputed to have spoken without locating the first reference to homosexuality and more than a hundred pertaining to helping the poor. But you know where the GOP (God’s Own Party) comes down because they devote so much time railing on it. You also know which words they blithely pass over because you never, ever hear them either mentioning or doing anything about it. I guess the suggestion that “The poor you will have with you always” has been taken as a commandment to do all they could to guarantee that the poor really will always be around.
I’m not about to suggest that the Dems don’t suffer character flaws every bit as much as those in the GOP (God’s Own Party). We do. I do. But damn it, we just do not go around telling everyone, as Senator McCain recently did, how we’ve been “saved,” and are thereby better than those who just don’t know. I mean, when someone shows me the “Get out of Damnation” sheet of paper with God’s signature, and the VIDEO as evidence, maybe then he or she can authoritatively assert being “saved.” Until the production of that kind of evidence, the only evidence is that the person claimed it. And if that’s all it takes, then, hell, I’ve been saved by Zeus, or Apollo, or Mordoc, or maybe even God. Like, how do you know He, like Mom, doesn’t like me better than you?
One thing Democrats do, however, abundantly strive for is incorporation of the finest, most pure tasks that Jesus admonished us to undertake: care for and of those who are less fortunate, inclusive regard for our fellow (and sister) life travelers without judging for ethnicity, economic status, or gender, or sexual orientation. Yeah, LBJ and the Party might have gotten carried away with the Great Society and the War on Poverty. But you know what? Compare that with the determination by the GOP (God’s Own Party) to feed the overstuffed and drape with diamonds the rich beyond measure and militaristically dominate the entire world while concomitantly doing all in their power (And GOD, how the GOP — God’s Own Party — loves that!) to . . . Well, have another read of the last sentence of the paragraph two up.
Democrats may miss the boat from time to time. But that’s probably because they’re busy arguing amidst themselves how best to try to get everyone on board. That’s a great deal different than the GOP’s efforts to separate the 3-5% it deems worthy of VIP 1st class accommodations from those it tosses overboard, to feed the sharks.
— Ed Tubbs, Reno, NV
And yeah . . . PS: I am a bleeding heart liberal. But I’ve known more bleeding heart liberals who have bled for their country than I have the stalwart, loud and boasting GOP patriots who were all too willing to be a patriot, so long as it was far from harm’s way and cost them nothing.