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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:47 AM
Original message
Not all Republicans are despicable, sociopathic vipers.
But an awful lot of them are. I know some good if deluded people who think that Jesus was a Republican, and George Bush is Good personified. But a good many of the Republicans I know are mean, self-centered, narrow-minded, blood-lusting bigots who take pleasure in contemplating, observing, and causing misery and suffering in others. They project all their vices onto their opponents--as, for example, when their homophobia masks their secret, unspeakable desires.

The problem is, it seems there are a lot more people like that than there used to be. I grew up in a small, fairly close-knit rural community in which people relied on each other on a daily basis. The adults remembered the Depression, and we were still living in the shadow of FDR. Small acts of kindness seemed to be the norm, nothing remarkable. People had less but donated more to the common good. That world was not perfect, of course. There were assholes and jerks aplenty, but we tended to avoid them, to circle around them, rather than seeking them out for elevation to political office. And yes, there was the ever-present fear of the nuclear Gtterdmmerung. And there was McCarthy, of course. But remember what happened to him in the end.

Something went wrong. Neither that community nor the world at large has the same--what can I call it?--depth of humanity as once was there. If I were to identify the time when the changes became really perceptible, I guess I would say it was somewhere between the escalation of the Vietnam War and the ascent of St. Ronald in 1980. I dunno. Maybe it really began with the Kennedy assassination. But something went terribly wrong.

I have no notion that the world can or should be rolled back to what it was. There were many things wrong with that era. Jim Crow laws and the like. But still, the evils were being rolled back bit by bit. There was a sense of social progress. The unions were in their ascendancy. Each generation expected their kids to be more prosperous than they were. There was an overall optimism in the air, an optimism underlaid by a sense that the species was unfolding into something better than it had been.

As we approach this coming election, I certainly hope the Democrats win. But at a much deeper level, I'm rooting for the human spirit. We have let the morally twisted , the sociopaths, the curdled souls of the wastelands control the frame and set the agenda for too long. We need leaders with a clear vision of what the future might be. We must heed reality--confront global warming, the end of petroleum-based fuels, and all the other impending challenges--and seek a path that does not merely mitigate the effects of these looming crises, but that returns us to the high road of species advancement. I want people like Al Gore to lead us--whether as politician or as philosopher. I want a new Thomas Jefferson. I want a whole new world of humane visions to open before us.

Is that too much to ask?
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. interesting
I've noticed that trend too. There's no doubt America has become polarized, especially over the last 6 years.

But I'm also confronted with the idea that maybe much of that "depth of humanity" was a product of youthful projection on my part. Our eyes are a little more open now?
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. May not be the return of Eden, but at least the return of common sense
None of the crap that has been happening meets the common sense test. BTW my studies have shown that 66.67% of Republicans are despicable, sociopathic vipers, and the rest are gullible morons.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
3. Ann Coulter has been successful
The old idea that we were two sides who wanted the same thing, a strong and vibrant and successful America, is gone. Republicans are comfortable saying we want capitulation to Terrorism and to destroy the economy. They believe that, not that we are mistaken or in error, but that we are evil.

Shouldn't we fight fire with something close to fire?

What have the republicans done to earn any compassion from us?

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. Maybe not, but fixing the country is easier if you assume they are. n/t
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. My Republican Congressman is actually pretty decent.
He doesn't get a lot of fanfare and not a lot of press, but he didn't vote for the Iraqi War Resolution and he hasn't participated in the self-indulgent behaviors of most of the Republican Party.

John "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. may be anti-abortion and he may believe in quite a number of things I don't necessarily agree with, but he also doesn't believe in looting the Treasury and following his fellow Republicans in lock-step (read: goose-step) futility, either.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
6. I disagree about repukes.
The principle is the same as aiding and abetting a criminal.

The truth about and consequenses of repuke crimes have become blatantly obvious. Anyone who still supports them is not just some harmless, mistaken, well-meaning goof. They are willing accomplices to crimes against humanity.

What "went wrong" is a well-executed, massively funded conservative takeover of our institutions. They have eliminated populist progressive leaders, subverted the organs of power and taken over the media. Initially, this was fueled by rabid hatred of "Communism," which scared our capitalist masters to death. They soon realized that our collective fear of the commie boogeyman was the key to their power (and LOTS of money). This was an extortion racket on steroids. It not only motivated us to keep them in power, it elevated them into the position of "alpha" capitalists. So with the fall of the USSR, they used their ownership of the state propaganda apparatus to shift to a new boogeyman. It took them awhile though to successfully brand the new boogeyman, so we had eight years under Clinton with nearly fully participatory capitalism. Briefly, during the mid-to-late nineties, the rising tide indeed lifted all boats. The surging middle class enjoying the natural benefits of the US economy was an even bigger threat to our capitalist masters than "communism." They don't want an affluent, mobilized, empowered middle class competing for the control of our economy, so they intervened and have installed their front man, king george, and his minions to relentlessly attack the middle class and to sell us a new boogeyman. It has worked remarkably well. What "went wrong" is a profoundly anti-democratic class war in which the uberwealthy control virtually all the organs of "democracy".
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. That's about it
in a nutshell ;(

Supporting the Republicans at this point can no longer be passed off as merely delusional.

There is a clear choice. Voting Republican now defines a person very negatively.
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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. Maybe
I just haven't met one who wasn't.

IMO, they've always been there. They've always been vile, rotten, bigoted individuals. They need an enemy, "those people" to be afraid of and worried about. For instance, there's too many of "those people" moving into the neighborhood, or "those people" are taking all of the jobs, "those people" are so ungrateful, etc.

Since the Neo-Con Ascension with St. Ronald of Reagan, re-affirmed by the Contract on America Rethuglican revolution in 1994, they're out of the closet, so to speak. They can feel free to say it out loud. They liked what most here would call the "bad ol' days".
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. Is that too much to ask?
Of course not.

Good post, Jackpine!
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
9. I think one reason for this is the lack of community in the US today.
People move around a lot more than they did two generations ago. They don't know all their neighbors as they used to.

It's easier to act like an asshole around strangers. When you know you're going to see those same people in church, school, whatever, that makes a difference. Or at least to some extent it does.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. I'm swure that's a big part of it.
We have lost community in many ways. Remember Fait Popcorn & cocooning?
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. Afraid I don't remember either of those. nt
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
10. Well, I certainly don't think it's too much to ask...
....but I would respectfully (and provocatively) suggest that while GOPpies have made an art of mean and stupid, we have a few Warhols and Kandinskys of our own.

Some of the posts I have seen here on DU from self-avowed liberals/progressives are quite as spit-frothingly hateful and thoughtless as anything Free Republic can show. Others, while not descending quite so far into the hate-filled rhetoric bin for their language, express sentiments just as stubbornly close-minded, jingoistic, and certain of their own moral superiority. It sends goosebumps up MY spine, anyway. Like a funhouse mirror.

I'm not embracing any "go along to get along," "kumbayah will save us all" beliefs here. Evil has been done, in the name of the American people -- in MY name, dammit! -- and those who have done that evil need to be exposed and experience the political, legal, and social consequences of their actions. We will ALL feel some of those consequences because our system of government is intentionally and thoughtfully designed to share responsibility among all of us. Saying "I didn't consent, I didn't support, I didn't vote, I'm not part of it, therefore I am morally superior and not smeared with this shame and entitled to tell everyone what we should do to punish THOSE OTHER AMERICANS --the guilty-- and polish my halo in public and everyone should go along with me because I'm right" simply perpetuates the problem.

Being "right" (in the sense of moral/political correctness/superiority) isn't enough. Americans are waking up to the realization that our nation has done evil and is on the path to becoming something we don't want it to be. But that realization isn't going to change human nature. Hateful rhetoric, blaming, excluding those we consider "responsible" or "complicit" in the evil will not make them wake up some morning and say "Oh, wow, I was wrong and stupid and mean and everything bad is my fault and those other people are right and I must instantly convert to their beliefs and find salvation in the arms of the Democratic Party!"

Half or slightly more than half of American voters have bought enough of what the GOPpies have been selling for the last thirty years to keep them more or less in power much of that time. We need to look at the hows and whys of that. If we just write off half or slightly more than half of American voters as evil drones complicit in wrongdoing, who must be shoved to the sidelines and not allowed to participate in our noble attempts to restore truth, justice, and the American Way to our government and its policies, what's going to happen?

I can tell you. They're going to sit over there on the sidelines where we've penned them, and they're going to fester, and hate, and plot, and pour money into subverting everything we do. And they'll succeed.

We cannot simply write them off as "all evil, all wrong, all incompetent, all malicious," or even "all misguided, all stupid, all sheeplike, all deluded." We have to recognize that while we believe our liberal and progressive beliefs and ideology and policies will have better success in cleaning up the current mess and restoring America's strength, we aren't necessarily one hundred percent correct about that. Liberalism and the progressive agenda, unexamined, untested, and unchecked, can create evils of a different sort. I'm not saying anyone has to abandon any of their beliefs, nor yet subvert them to others' beliefs, but that we MUST commit ourselves to giving those who don't share those beliefs an opportunity to participate fully in the reconstruction of our nation, without relegating them to the back of the bus.

And yes, I know that's what they've done to us. Isn't that enough to demonstrate how stupid it is? Turning ourselves into the liberal version of their self-righteous "we know best so shut up and let us get on with it" philosophy will only keep us on the downward slope.

Here's the tradeoff: If we ignore them, repudiate and undo everything they've done, trample on their sincerely held (and of course WRONG) beliefs, and totally sideline them to "keep them from fucking things up," we will indeed be able to take advantage of this narrow window of opportunity to make some big changes, fast. Changes we believe are positive and good for America. We'll feel good about it, and be able to "show them" just how wrong they are.

Guess what? They won't buy it. And because the reality is that no matter WHAT we do, we will never be able to make everyone happy, make everyone better off, make everyone "see" that we're right, they'll ALWAYS have plenty to support their ideology and feed their hate and selfishness. And they'll nurse their grievance and hold their grudges and plan ways to retaliate, and continue appealing to the worst in just enough of our fellow-citizens to get their chance. And the only way we'll be able to stop them is by permanently disenfranchising them, exactly as they're trying to do to us. We'll have to become them. Liberal authoritarianism is no prettier than conservative authoritarianism.

If, on the other hand, we accept that we can't make all the changes we want right away, that we have to live with some of the horrors they've perpetrated for a while, and keep them involved in the process and give them a voice in choosing where we go from here, we will prolong some (maybe much) of the suffering and misery and injustice. But we will deprive them of the most potent thing that empowers them, and we will lay the groundwork for lasting, positive change. If we focus on restoring the Constitution and restoring the integrity of public discourse, in the long run we might win. No guarantees. But we will not have subverted our own beliefs to the evil of "the end justifies the means."

So yes, we must proceed on the assumption that all GOPpies are not despicable sociopathic vipers. We must not attempt to silence them or marginalize all of them simply because they are GOPpies. We must look for, seek out, and enable those whose ideological beliefs may differ from ours but who share our value of a robust Constitution and a genuinely participatory democratic process. We must advance our views with passion and oppose theirs with principle, and reach an accommodation of both with grace. There is no other way we can make lasting progress toward the goal of finally making America's actions congruent with the noble principles our Founders professed and which we've never quite managed to live up to.

Okay, I'm wearing my asbestos longies, flame away.

firmly,
Bright

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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. ????
:wtf: actually I DO want to marginalize the worst Repukes, ie. the Neocons and their supporters.

Yes I'm aware that some aren't "so bad" but those responsible for our current national decline should be shunned. They have demonstrated that they do not have the country's best interest at heart. It is our job to unequivocally reject them. Unequivocally.

The last thing we should be thinking of --right now--is "accomodating" them. Let them worry about adjusting to our agenda.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
11. Some are just stupid. Others just scared, or selfish.
Some joined because they don't really care about politics and that's the party their family joined.

We'll make nice after the war is over. Until then, fuck 'em.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
15. and the rest are enablers
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mykpart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
16. Yeah? Name 5 who aren't!
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Moderate Repugs have been nuetered.
The Rethug Party has been taken over by Neocons, RW Fundies and Fascists. Actual "conservatives" have been swept aside. What "Conservatives" believe has been tossed into the wastebin. Do a search of "Conservatives against GW Bush" and it will be obvious that the "new, not improved" Rethug Party does not stand for "conservative values".
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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. I can name one....my husband
clueless person though he is....
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
18. Rethug POLITICIANS ARE!
There is a segment of rethug voters who are as well, but rethug office holders are the real problem.
They are a genuine threat to democracy and to the republic.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. Beautiful piece
"Not all Republicans are despicable, sociopathic vipers."

"The problem is, it seems there are a lot more people like that than there used to be."

Rush Limbaugh

"The adults remembered the Depression, and we were still living in the shadow of FDR. Small acts of kindness seemed to be the norm, nothing remarkable. People had less but donated more to the common good. That world was not perfect, of course. There were assholes and jerks aplenty, but we tended to avoid them, to circle around them, rather than seeking them out for elevation to political office."

aka "Reality" and the lost "sense of community" that was mentioned above....

"Something went wrong. Neither that community nor the world at large has the same--what can I call it?--depth of humanity as once was there. If I were to identify the time when the changes became really perceptible, I guess I would say it was somewhere between the escalation of the Vietnam War and the ascent of St. Ronald in 1980."

The "Greed Is Good" decade was the beginning of the end of that "depth of humanity" and "sense of social progress." And all of us are complicit in that, in going along with, in riding the economic tide whether it was Reagan's bullshit "Trickle Down Economics" or Clinton's corporatist sell-out-the-Commonwealth "Float All Boats."

"As we approach this coming election, I certainly hope the Democrats win. But at a much deeper level, I'm rooting for the human spirit. We have let the morally twisted , the sociopaths, the curdled souls of the wastelands control the frame and set the agenda for too long. We need leaders with a clear vision of what the future might be."

"Rooting for the human spirit" is a beautiful way to put it. And not only do we need leaders with vision, we need need a public that can do a bit of self-reflection. Or else nothing will change for the long term. There are plenty of "go along to get along" folks in both parties. The choices we make in our daily lives, what we choose to support or not support by how we live, ultimately affects the outcome.

Many have been around since the beginning of the end -- whether VietNam/Watergate/Reagan or back to JFK as you mentioned -- and yet the gap between 1980 and 2006 is as if we've all been sleepwalking. Some (and some too young to remember) like to think this started 6 years ago. Whenever it "started" Democrats and Republicans and Independents and Greens and non-voters, etc. all need to look at how we have reacted (or not) as our economy was gutted and our nation was disassembled-- and as our national "sense of community" and "depth of humanity" was intentionally destroyed.

"I want a whole new world of humane visions to open before us. Is that too much to ask?"

No. Thanks for asking. :hi:
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. Not too much to ask at all
I am hoping and parying that we shall have it, or at least some of it.

And I have to say that I noticed the meanness increasing during the 80s. But I wasn't alive when Kennedy was assassinated, so I have no recollection of that.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
22. I'd rather not have leaders.
I would prefer public servants. People who are actually trying to solve problems, rather than run things. The morally twisted are not just in the White House. They are on Fox News, CNN, ABC, writing in the papers, etc. A rebirth of the human spirit requires more than just another President or another Congress. It needs something like a nobler American Dream.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Yes, exactly. A nobler Amrican Dream.
A nobler Human Dream, with all of us as participants.
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