The political party I can’t take seriously

I’ve found it increasingly difficult to talk to conservatives lately. In the middle of his endorsement for President Obama, John Scalzi eloquently explains why.

Look: The modern national Republican party is a hot mess, a simmering pot of angry reactionaries driven by selfishness and willful ignorance, whose guiding star is not governance but power, and whose policies and practices are tuned to build an oligarchy, not nurture a democracy. Its economic policies are charitably described as nonsense and its social policies are vicious; for a party which parades its association with Jesus around like a fetish, it is notably lacking in the simple compassion of the Christ. There is so little I find good or useful in the current national GOP, intellectually, philosophically or politically, that I genuinely look on it with despair and wonder when or if the grown-ups are ever going to come back to it. Before anyone leaps up to say that the modern Democratic Party has problems of its own, know that I do not disagree. But if your practical choices for governance of the country are between the marginally competent and the actively malicious, you go with the marginally competent.

That doesn’t even get into their attacks on women’s rights, although since he’d just posted a biting satire on the recent slew of pro-rapist remarks from Republican candidates, Scalzi can be forgiven for glossing over it here.

Conservative friends: this repulsive behavior by your leadership is the reason I can’t talk to you without seeing red.

I find certain truths to be self-evident:

that the most prosperous nation in the world should be able to provide basic health care for all its citizens, as all other industrialized countries do; that health care decisions cannot be left to corporations that profit by collecting premiums while denying coverage; that health care is not a “free market,” and that mandatory participation in the health care system is justified because even young, healthy people cannot opt out of emergency or end-of-life care;

that an income gap perpetuated by legislation that favors the superwealthy is neither sustainable nor good for the economy;

that gay marriage is a civil right, and that laws seeking to prevent it are based on religious belief and are therefore invalid under the First Amendment;

that women, being equal citizens under the law, should be paid equally for equal work, and are entitled to make health care decisions affecting their reproduction or the prevention thereof;

that corporations are not people, and should not participate in the political process;

that the news media has a responsibility to report the unbiased truth, including an obligation to inform the public when a politician lies.

These things are obvious to me. If they are not obvious to you, I am interested in your reasoning. I warn you, though: if it includes religion or trickle-down economics, I’m going to ask you to find a better argument.

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  1. says

    I’d love to offer up an argument to get a discussion going, but I can’t. I agree with everything you said.

    I’ve been watching The Newsroom and it makes me want to scream with frustration because, much like your post, it puts into words what has been bothering me for an age. News should not be entertainment and it shouldn’t be sponsored. And to call news “fair and balanced” is utterly ridiculous. News should be two things: accurate and informative.

    • says

      Yes! Well, I haven’t seen The Newsroom because I refuse to pay HBO for six channels when I want just one, but I am looking forward to watching it on DVD. But about the real news: yes yes yes.

  2. says

    Why does anyone support what the current GOP represents? If not for bigotry, ignorance or blind faith why vote Republican? After his first term Obama is far less than what I expected. Though the thought of another Bush-like era of leadership deserves at least another 4 years of Obama. VOTE next Tuesday November 6th!

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