Many diversions have kept me from posting recently. But, greatest among them towers the virulent spread of an incomprehensible plague; a plague that threatens to leave many of us stunned into hopeless silence. I wish I was referring to something as simple as a zombie apocalypse. No, I am writing about the mass psychosis that now represents the Republican Party. Next Tuesday, whatever you choose to do in your polling place, I can only beg you not to further infect our society with this pestilence.
I didn’t always view the GOP this way. I respect the desire to control the size and influence of government in our lives. And I admire fiscal discipline. But this current mutation of the Republican Party leaves Goldwater and Reagan spinning in their graves. The principles driving this party border on – no, I take that back – they are insidious.
- Mostly middle-aged White men seeking to make medical decisions for young and poor women, parents and children, regarding not just reproductive issues, but basic health concerns.
- Fanatics imposing twisted religious doctrines on the population – rape is a gift from God, but homosexuality is a choice.
- Outright deceit and hypocrisy, bald-faced lying to the people and then shrugging unapologetically with coy smugness when called on their lies.
- Caring only about fetuses, but not children; only about troops, but not our veterans; and always about wealth and the wealthy and never about workers or families, children or the elderly.
- Proudly displaying complete ignorance of the most basic scientific principles, while denying global climate change and evolution and continuing to commit us to unsustainable and dangerous environmental policies.
- Placing the right to own automatic weapons designed only for mass killing above the basic right to affordable medical care.
- Giving corporations the rights of human beings and continually violating the rights of real humans.
- Proudly holding our government hostage, costing this nations millions of jobs and access to health care, all for their own political advantage.
I am an Occupier, so I don’t trust the Democratic Party much more. Both parties are corrupt tools of the 1%. And I will continue to fight in the future for a system of government that is compassionate and fair. But, this is not the time to vote for a third party candidate. While I share many concerns of Greens and Libertarians and my more anarchist allies, the time for a protest vote is not now. Barack Obama is by no means perfect – illegal detentions, drone attacks, “clean” coal – but the alternative, a Romney presidency, makes me think of the worst dystopian visions.
We must come together and vote down the current iteration of the Republican Party, the party that worships ignorance, religious dogmatism, mean-spiritedness, and the most short-sighted expedience. After the election, we can then begin again the hard work of making both parties understand that we are done putting up with business as usual from our politicians.
Please, people, you have not just a right of conscience, but a duty to act upon your conscience. Justice and fairness will not be handed to you. You must fight for them. And on Tuesday, your best weapon is your vote.
3 thoughts on “The Duty of Conscience”
“After the election, we can then begin again the hard work of making both parties understand that we are done putting up with business as usual from our politicians.”
Instead of a vain attempt at trying to change two corrupt parties, why don't we abandon them both and begin the hard work of promoting alternative parties? In Europe there are many parties available for people to vote for, and they have actual influence in their governments. That's what we need, not just subservience to the same old fake choices in America.
I have worked for alternative parties since John Anderson's bid for President in 1980, and will probably continue to do so. I don't believe, however, that precludes us from trying to overhaul the existing parties. Look at the Republicans, who have been utterly transformed (in the wrong direction, sadly) by the Tea Party. I would submit that it is possible that we could effect a similar change in a progressive direction.
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