I posted this on Facebook:
“‘All X are Y’ is Binary Thinking. We are not binary, we are a spectrum. Don’t just lip it, live it.” Which got a friend to comment the following.
Damn, Keith….how on earth did you EVER call yourself a republican….no offense to your old former party but you speak the progressive with such conviction (btw as does my then republican brother in the past few years)..what made the difference for you…truly…did you change parties because of your values OR did your party leave you little choice because of what they were allowing to stand for theirs? Truly curious.
I registered to vote in Maryland in the late seventies. Maryland, like seven of the other eight states I have lived in as an adult, has closed primaries which means one must be a D or an R to vote in a primary. D’s like to promise salvation through Unca Sam while R’s promise to allow hard work to lift us up. I registered as a Republican and voted for the first time in 1980.
Coming from a time and place where working class white people COULD lift themselves up through hard work and education I was a believer in R rhetoric. (Very parochial, privileged view of the world. I was born with a silver foot up my ass. Just keep reading.) Those days have slipped away and the disparity of opportunity based on color of skin, zip code and the income of previous generations is a problem of which I was ignorant as a manchild. R philosophy does not address the real world for most US citizens as it asks barefoot folk to lift themselves up by their bootstraps.
Income and opportunity disparity is a huge and ongoing problem in the world and R’s are glib and isolationist while D’s still insist that handing out money is the answer. In a world where my choice is binary D’s are addressing and trying to alleviate the problem while R’s want to “Build A Wall!” and “Lock ’em up!” my choice has to be duh D’s. (BTW- We deserve better solutions and less partisan power grabs.)
I, like the Republican and Democrat parties, have changed over the last forty years. I deplore violence, I deplore the hateful, inane, “All X are Y,” rhetoric that both sides use to fan the flames of discord and alienation that plagues my nation and as I age I continue to grow in understanding of our need to listen, contemplate, feel, learn and change. The ironic thing is that my post was in response to a young adult writing A.C.A.B. (All cops are bastards) in response to a comment I made decrying violence and riots as a tool of social change while encouraging nonviolent, in your face, civil disobedience.
Another big draw for me was R’s stance on abortion. I was, and remain, a staunch believer in the Right To Life, a movement which is way more than abortion restriction but I’ll focus on abortion. I am still personally in opposition to all elective (Not therapeutic) abortions but now fully embrace that Choice v Life is a case of Civil Rights where no matter what happens one party gets screwed. (Sorry, too easy.)
Women MUST have autonomy over their bodies but everyone has a Right to Life, Liberty and Pursuing. I REMAIN a supporter of abortion restriction but I am now a moderate RIGHTWINGSONOFABITCH!!!! on this topic and “ONLY” want to make all non life saving 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions illegal. Allowing full access to first trimester abortions is a balance between the Inalienable Rights of the two conflicting parties. That’s pretty hard core R territory there. BTW, totally on board with government funded birth control- just don’t call it FREE!
Republicans have become a party that believes the Great Wall of China will keep the brown skinned hordes from invading our nation, raping our women and destroying our culture with SOCIALISM and GLOBALISM! (Can’t you see ’em waving their AR’s in the air?) Donald Trump illustrated for me what became of my former party, a party that has devolved to hate, a party whose 2020 vision is that of the nineteen fifties, a party of voter restriction and a pussy grabbing, “I could shoot somebody on Wall Street and get away with it,” quaking in their boots Great White Hope hero supported by Evangelicals. (WHAT!?!?)
The 2016 election totally disenfranchised me from the Republican Party. Plus I moved to North Carolina where we have open primaries so I am now officially an independent who longs for social progress, greater equality, a government that allows us to do great things, protects the environment, treats everyone within our borders with dignity and respect, looks after ALL her citizens and a citizenry where we work together to build us all up, not a fragmented, Balkanized, in our bunkers nation of nay saying nabobs of negativism. Do D’s deliver on my dream? Hardly, but they sure are heads and shoulders above the Trumpist’s nightmare.