How I Know I’m Old

My youngest grandson, the calendar and the Republican Party. The preceding sentence was not a question; it was the answer to the question: How do I know I’m getting old?

I was playing catch with my youngest grandson a few months ago when he asked me how old I was. I told him I was 69. His immediate reply was: Are you dead yet? Now that you know the topic the inclusion of the answer: the calendar is obvious. The answer: the Republican Party takes a bit more explaining.

Starting with its surrender to the Tea Party in 2009, the Republican Party no longer resembled the Republican Party of the past. The racism (which they took over from the Democrats in the 60s) became much more blatant. I still contend that if Barack Obama had been white there never would have been a Tea Party.

The whole birther movement (which was Donald Trump’s springboard to Republican prominence) was the obvious embracing of a lie that conveniently dovetailed with a political narrative designed to exploit prejudice. And it was successful!

Trump followed the path laid out for him by former autocrats and blamed the “other” for all the woes. It was the Mexicans (darker skinned people), the homosexuals and the Muslims. Change a few specifics in some cases and was his rhetoric really any different from Mussolini’s or Hitler’s?

The vast majority of the Republicans in Congress even dismissed a coup attempt that they were the victims of in fear of offending their current dear leader. Tribe over nation and politics over patriotism are the only accurate ways to describe their actions.

The Ukraine situation is the clearest illustration yet of the Republican Party’s abandonment of American ideals and principles. The initial reaction was to follow Trump in being pro-Putin and pro-Russia. Of late many are backpedaling; but was it really a difficult call from the beginning? It only was if you were more concerned with contradicting Trump than you were with defending democracy. It started a bit before I was born, but I remember when America considered it self the, “Arsenal of democracy”, (FDR December 1940) and defender of the free world.

I remember a time not that long ago when Republicans ran around calling each other “Patriots”. While thrown around loosely, and in too many cases inaccurately, calling another Republican a “Patriot” was the highest compliment you could bestow on them. Today they don’t even want to defend the sovereignty of borders or the existence of a struggling but emerging democracy for fear it will offend the business partner of their leader.

I know I’m getting old because I remember when the Republican Party was a pro-American political party that could legitimately embrace the American flag. Look at actions, not rhetoric. The Republican Party has become the party of lower corporate tax rates too often resulting in the “big boys” paying no federal income taxes at all. The major “achievement” of the last Republican presidential administration was a tax break almost entirely skewed to big corporations. They also claimed the “achievement” of reducing, eliminating and often simply not enforcing safety and environmental regulations aimed at protecting the people. How much is your job or your house worth when you can’t breathe the air or drink the water?

In order for a representative democracy to efficiently function and offer voter a true choice it needs a center-right party. I’m old enough to remember when the Republican Party filled that void. They no longer do. I ask you to vote for American values which today precludes you from voting for Republicans and that is sad!

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