Ed.: 042518 – Words: 974 – Audio: N/A
In my “About Me” section I have a little history of how I evolved politically and in it I mention I was raised in a Republican majority ward deep inside the strongly Democratic City of Chicago during the Mayor Richard J. Daley years.
I had a childhood friend, buddy Craig, who was markedly more opinionated in politics than I could ever be at that age (pre-teen through high school). It was not uncommon to hear the occasional adult… parents of my friends… bemoan and besmirch and outright disparage, Daley and the Democratic machine. But Craig seemed to jump on that bandwagon.. chastising liberals and praising conservatives… even though he was likely too young to even know what he was talking about. In those days I was fairly ambivalent about politics.
The point being, the idea of trying to assign those political labels, and others, to classify and identify humans with the same or similar political thought (and assign fault and derogatory innuendo), is as strong as ever and currently forms the descriptive group identifiers that add to our national divisiveness. When Craig was making a vehement point using those terms I was rather confused because even at that young age I was already realizing that most folks didn’t necessarily fall nicely and completely into one specific classification. It made sense that people were liberal conservatives, or even conservative liberals; people who can shift their opinion by the issue rather than side with political ideology in general. Hence later in life I called myself a liberal conservative… but still a Republican in general. I’ve oft said that I don’t dislike Trump with some level of personal hatred, and that my objection to him is because he is so incapable to be President on so many levels, yet I am defined as a “Trump-hater” or a “libtard” (which I am guessing is a cute combining of “liberal” and “ retard”). More to the point, if I object to something Trump does I am obviously a liberal… but never am I accused of being “You dumb-ass disgruntled old school Republican with liberal conservatism tendencies!”… which would be a far more accurate label (but far less dramatic).
As this is being written former Director Comey just completed his town hall format with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Himself an ex-Republican, but he summed up his thoughts on the subject when answering an audience-posed question.. and I firmly agree with him as it best described my own disgruntled-ness with the party. Don’t worry; it’s about a 90 second video.
Comey mentions the old party had a preference for a moral character. I can’t answer for Comey but my definition of that was less formed by Christian-based Biblical beliefs and performance expectations and more from the standpoint of a moral character for the rule of law, for promoting truth, for traditional institutions, for a semblance of simple human morality and dignity in dealing with people, and empathy for ALL Americans (whether they hate you or not), and certainly ascribing to the moral assignment of the Office of the President as having the role of unifier, moral leader, and national cheerleader. In the days before Trump someone of that caliber could be from either political party.
As Comey suggested, the greatest hypocrisy is the trade-off of these lack of moral assigns for no apparent benefit to the country. As he said… a tax cut? Some weak and confused attempt to replace Obamacare? Immigration? Repealing anything with “Obama” attached to it simply because of an obsessive behavioral infatuation with the name? What exactly has been worth Trump-the-man and his lies (that have far exceeded anything Hillary is alleged to have told), and demeaning personal attributes being in office and sending the country into political and cultural turmoil? The Congressional GOP is confused as hell because there is no leadership… the Russians literally have attacked one of our national institutions and Trump certainly is exhibiting some complicity in the Russians having some control over him. It’s a mess. The most amazing and bizarre is how the religious right wing has swallowed all of Trump’s Christian moral shortcomings and sexual sins in exchange for the above list… and for what gains? A conservative Court Justice?
All throughout our nation’s history political parties have come and gone.. changed names, changed political ideologies. Maybe we are seeing yet another reaction to the flux in the political landscape of America. Maybe all this is just a “burp” in our current system… a cultural and political re-alignment of views. The bulk of Congress is made up of Baby Boomers who inherited the old system of their early 20th century ancestors. The Millennials have been coming of age and will soon take over as the Boomers get too old and ultimately die out over the next decade.
Think about it for a moment.. the historical comparison. I was born in 1951… it’s now 2018. Imagine the same date period 100 years ago. A guy born in 1851… living through 1918. The huge political shift as a result of the Civil War of the mid 1860’s (compared to the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War of the 1960’s), industrialization following the Civil War changing from the agricultural is not dissimilar to the rise in technology and instant communications of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s today. All the way the political parties have changed in one form or another… and will continue to change.
The bulk of Americans did not vote for the current President; he won on a legitimate technicality because of the Constitutional process. The only way that can be avoided in the future is if more Americans simply get out and vote.
The good thing from Trump’s presidency will be that we now have a performance scale on the type of person we do NOT want in the future as our President.