I used to be one of you. Now, I feel betrayed and abandoned. The revelation about secret prisons is the last straw. How someone can break the rules, lie about it and then get kudos for coming clean is just ... depressing. The actions of this administration are beyond the pale. Since when does being conservative require swallowing such bullshit?
Decrying Bush's policies is not the equivalent of advocating socialism. It isn't, no matter how much the Noise Machine tries to make it seem that way. It's not us and them, this or that, either or.
You can support a belief in the Divine without believing that God likes America best. You can believe Jesus Christ is the one true God without categorizing all believers of another faith as enemies of the state.
You can whole-heartedly endorse capitalism and a free market economy without supporting multi-national monopolies that dupe consumers, exploit employees, cheat investors, and buy no-bid contracts from lawmakers.
You can support a foreign policy that protects American security and combats terrorism without agreeing we ought to nuke all the towel-heads. You can admit that the war in Iraq is a fiasco, without saying that America should cut and run or dissing our troops.
You can call bullshit on the job federal officials did before, during and after Katrina, without agreeing that individuals, cities and states have no obligation to take care of themselves. You can believe the government has a role in helping the less fortunate, without endorsing a state-sponsored redistribution of wealth.
Who knew that my support of health care, environmental stewardship, a global perspective on leadership, better wages for America's workers and a more equitable tax system would one day make me a Commie-loving, blame-America-first liberal? Strange. They're pretty much the views I had when I voted for Reagan and Daddy Bush.
Now I would vote for a goat if it ran against a Republican.
Why? Because Republicans have, by and large, nailed themselves to the cross of the Bush administration. Neocons have made it their way or the liberal way.
But modern consumerism isn't about package deals from the company. (and gosh, shouldn't the party of commerce KNOW this?!) These days, we buyers like to customize. This plan, that phone. This car, that color. We like options. Companies that don't let us choose find themselves in time out, sometimes permanently.
If Republicans want to stay relevant -- and America needs them to -- then they are going to have to start distancing themselves from the policies of their current leaders. They are going to have to recognize that having conservative ideals does not mandate supporting Bush. And rejecting Bush is not the equivalent of pissing on the flag.
You think the Democrats will ruin America? I think having only one dominant party will ruin America. Having no options will ruin America. From the first discussions in pubs and taverns, this nation has been about debate and discourse. Argument and compromise.
So, Pubbies,step up to the plate. Stake out some high ground. Reclaim your party as the one that supports boot-strapping entrepreneurs, smaller government and a right to privacy. Return to the fiscal conservatism that refuses to burden future generations with our excesses.
Force your party politicians to get their hands out of the till. Demand they be held accountable for the rules they break. The more you pretend that egregious violations of public trust are not happening, the more likely it is that the revolt will be extreme.
You think I'm wrong? I can accept that. I don't know everything. The modern info-filled world can be tough to sift through. But I care passionately about this country. That deserves respect. Stop trying to humiliate me. Stop raging at me. For gawd's sake, don't act like I'm stupid. I'm pretty sure it won't convince me you are on the side of the angels.
And please, wake up and smell the Starbucks. There is global warming. There were secret prisons. People's constitutional rights were violated. Congressmen took bribes. We're in a bad way in Iraq.
Corruption is not new. Poor leadership isn't novel. It's not even a rarity. The question is what are you going to do about it? Pretend that the elephant is not pink and is not sitting in the living room?
Sooner or later, it's going to break something you can't fix.