Monday, September 30, 2013

The Republican Party Needs Our Help

I got a message recently about one of my blog posts, saying that I was too nice to Republicans and telling me I didn't know enough about how they are trying to destroy our country. It's not the first time I've gotten a similar message. You can see my response to such messages in another recent blog post. This post, I'm sure, is going to make more people angry.

I watch the news and I read. I can't pretend I understand all the issues as well as some people but I see what's going on. What's going on is things have gone crazy. I think people have latched on to the crazy too much and I think that has the potential to hurt this country even more. It's important to know that the crazy is out there and it's important to refute it, don't get me wrong. But when we paint an entire party with the same color paint, we're making it less likely for ordinary voters to use their voices in ways that promote reason and we're making the country more polarized.

I know a lot of Republicans. I disagree with them on some of the issues. They aren't out there crazy talking and saying and doing the kinds of things I've heard from people like Ted Cruz. Actually a lot of these people are just as disgusted with what some people in their party are doing right now as I am. I also hear from people who say they don't even vote because they feel they have no one to vote for, and I get the feeling a lot of them lean toward the Republican side of things.

I'm not suggesting that my friends who are Democrats start campaigning or voting for Republicans. What I'm suggesting is that when we hear about Republican candidates who are acting reasonable, even if we disagree with their positions on some of the issues, we say, "Hey, that's cool." Maybe we could write letters to them, telling them that even though we disagree with them on the issues, we appreciate that they are not doing things like advocating laws to take other people's rights or ability to make choices away or do things like shut down the entire government. When we talk about candidates we support, and someone says they don't support that candidate for whatever reasons, we could suggest another reasonable candidate they could vote for.

I think if more of us start doing this, we might have a chance to help eliminate some of the crazy. But it's going to take time. We're in danger now of creating a generation of people who don't care. The government is supposed to represent the people, and when the people start appreciating reasonable voices, even if they don't agree, the government will start reflecting that. Fox News might not be fair and balanced but that doesn't mean we the people can't be.


  1. Hear, hear! Thank you for this moderate, reasonable voice, Madison.

  2. Perhaps I could act more reasonably and tone down my rhetoric.

  3. Madison, in a conversation on my own blog (today's "Thor's Day" post on "The Christian Right and its cult of masculinity"), a former activist (in his youth during the Vietnam era) cautioned that when the other side is out to kill us, it is unproductive for us to stand around discussing WHY they want to kills us, which he observes is generally the nice, respectful, reasonable liberal way of doing things. Troubling thought....

    1. Morris
      Please don't exagerate. The Christian Right is not out to kill anyone. Don't perpetuate liberal lies.

    2. Dear "Crusader," the "former activist" referred to in my comment with which you take issue offers the following for you to consider:

      "It is not the killing of the body, but the killing of any belief that does not conform to their own. The people who have control of the Republican Party are the renamed John Birchers [the Tea Party] and the Christian Right, both have been around for a long time. They are not unlike a slow-growing cancer. They have taken over most churches and State Governments in the South. Now they have moved on to bigger things.These groups did not just come onto the scene. They have been quietly moving up the food chain for years. They started by running for school boards, then county offices, then moving into state offices and so on. Now they have power over our lives in ways no small group of people should."

      And he has a comment for Madison:

      "Madison these people are not Republicans. Goldwater, back in the fifties locked them out of the Party and said, 'If they were let into the Republican Party it would be the end of the party.'
          "Make no mistake, they believe they are in a war even if you don't, and after waiting so many years to get where they are now, they are willing to torch the earth before losing it."

      The writer is Mr. Ed Rogers, a contributing editor at Moristotle & Co. His "First Saturday as the World Turns" column this past weekend ("The 2014 Election") addresses the problem at issue.

  4. I'm partial to the Spider Man lesson on power: It comes with responsibility.

    (Actually, I think that power IS responsibility, but that's just nitpicking.)

    The problem (or at least A problem) with the Republican Party is that those who have the power are using it irresponsibly, and there is nothing (as far as I know) to stop them from continuing to use their power irresponsibly.