Monday, November 03, 2008
The day is finally here. Tomorrow we elect a new president. On TV now the Republican Wingnuts like Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan are explaining the "thread the needle" theory of how John McCain can still win this election. They admit that McCain could lose the popular vote by as much as ten million votes and still win the Electoral College vote. Scarborough and Buchanan are just two examples of the Republican Right Wing who see history overtaking their kind of extreme exclusionist governing. Scarborough dominates his morning show "Morning Joe" mocking Barack Obama and the Democrats while at the same time whining that the media is unfair to McCain and the Republicans. This is the same Joe Scarborough who spent a good deal of his career trying to impeach former president Clinton because Clinton lied about his sexual activity. This is the same Joe Scarborough who approves of torture of our captured prisoners of war. One of my great delights that I am anticipating like a 7 year old kid on Christmas Eve will be watching Scarborough whine and moan after Barack Obama is elected president tomorrow. This feeling is called "schadenfreude." Of course he will blame Obama's election on the media's favoritism of Obama. He will blame McCain's loss on the media. Scarborough now has his own morning show that he inherited from Don Imus, after Imus self-immolated by his racist's remarks. Scarborough loves to hear the sound of his own voice. He bullies and talks over anyone on his show who dares to disagree with him. Just this morning Paul Krugman came out with a very thoughtful column about the present state of the Republican Party. Scarborough's reaction was to paint Krugman as a "cartoon." Never mind the fact that Krugman recently won the Nobel Peace Prize (for economics), Scarborough's immediate reaction to anyone who disagrees with his narrow view of the world is to minimize and mock them. Scarborough represents the part of the modern Republican Party that I rejected last year when I changed my registration from Republican to Democrat. While I still have a natural affinity for the values of the old Republican Party, I don't recognize the current version of the Republican Party. Perhaps my disenchantment with the Republican Party ended with Buchanan's hateful speech to the 1992 Republican National convention in Houston Texas. He said:
Buchanan later threw his support behind Bush, and delivered a keynote address at the 1992 Republican National Convention, which became known as the culture war speech, in which he described "a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America." In the speech, he said of Bill and Hillary Clinton:
The agenda Clinton & Clinton would impose on America--abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat units--that's change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America needs. It is not the kind of change America wants. And it is not the kind of change we can abide in a nation we still call God's country.
The enthusiastic applause he received prompted his detractors to claim that the speech alienated moderates from the Bush/Quayle ticket.
The reality check for me was watching the white, well scrubbed Republican conventioneers smilingly applaud Buchanan's divisive speech. Buchanan drove the point home that his version of the Republican Party was not for the likes of someone like me, a gay man, when he said:
Referring to AIDS in 1983, Buchanan wrote in his syndicated column gays have "declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution." In later years he urged New York City Mayor Ed Koch and New York State Gov. Mario Cuomo to cancel the Gay Pride Parade or else "be held personally responsible for the spread of the AIDS plague." In a 1990 interview, he stated he was, "the first national columnist to demand why the government wasn’t dealing with this national epidemic," and stood by his view that AIDS is a consequence of immoral sex. In 1993, Buchanan called homosexuality unhealthy and said most people will describe sex between two men as, "not only immoral, but filthy." Further, Buchanan said public acceptance of homosexuality inevitably leads to societal decay and the collapse of the family. In his autobiography, he wrote,
"Someones values are going to prevail. Why not ours? Whose country is it, anyway? Whose moral code says we may interfere with a man's right to be a practicing bigot, but must respect and protect his right to be a practicing sodomite?"
However, Buchanan does not reject gays as political supporters.
Any questions left as to why I no longer can support the current version of the Republican candidates? The new candidates are not much different. The Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin proudly states that one of her best friend is a lesbian and while she "would not have chosen that lifestyle (like we have a choice)", she "tolerates" her friend. Well, thanks but NO THANKS. I don't have to be tolerated.
Tomorrow, barring a major tragedy, Barack Obama will be elected president of the United States of America. A politician who is not afraid to actually say out loud in his stump speech "gays and straights." Tomorrow history will be made. Perhaps, just perhaps, the past eight years of divisive politics in which so many in America were marginalized and denigrated while the likes of Scarborough and Bush and Rove have declared that America is only for a certain select group of Americans. We are a very diverse country and for the first time since Robert F. Kennedy ran for president in 1968, I have hope for this country. To paraphrase Barack Obama, my faith in this country will be vindicated. Yes, I will enjoy watching the Joe Scarboroughs of this country whine and moan and wonder why they lost power. Then this country will start on the long road back to regaining respect for our country with the world wide community. A new day is dawning and that day is tomorrow when we go to the polls to elect Barack Obama as president of the United State of America. History will be made tomorrow. I am so thankful that in my retirement, a man will be elected president who will have my interests at heart. One of Obama's campaign promises was that senior citizens who make under $50,000 a year will not have to pay ANY TAXES. Now that's a campaign promise that affects me. I won't be around long enough to benefit from any supposed benefits from trickle down economics by giving tax breaks only to the very rich. I await tomorrow's election results.