Monday, November 05, 2012

Think about the most telling difference

Without dwelling on history and clichés, in 2012, what is the most important difference between the USA's two major political parties?

In this case, when I say “parties,” I mean the elected and appointed politicians, plus their staffs and the volunteer organizations that orbit around those people in the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

Of course, Libertarians, Greens, some Independents and a few thoughtful Apoliticals might say both parties suck up to Wall Street and cater to lobbyists, so there isn’t enough damn difference between Team Elephant and Team Donkey to matter. But someone else can write a piece to support that contention.

The typical Republican Party member now seems to believe it’s fine to suppress the vote, if that‘s what it takes to win. Laws and procedures have been changed by Republican controlled state houses and legislatures that have done just that, coast-to-coast.

Hey, a yellow dog Democrat might not give a staunch Republican a ride to the polling place, they might call the Republican a damn fool, but they would not favor using the power of government to discourage the Republican from voting. I say that because there's no evidence suggesting that both parties have been doing this.

To most Democrats it would simply be Un-American.

For just a minute, forget about all the arguing about other issues between liberals and conservatives. Just think about how dead wrong it is to lie about your motives, which the GOP has done this year, and then deliberately suppress the vote in a way designed to hurt the other party’s turnout.

The Republican Party’s leaders believe it’s so important for them to win this time that cheating in this way is OK in 2012. They obviously think of the Democrats as enemies that must be defeated by any means necessary. They seem to be imagining they are in a Holy War, with Heaven's permission to cheat their evil liberal adversaries.

Young or old, rich or poor, as you stand in line to vote, think about how dangerous such twisted, self-serving thinking could be to the future of our democracy.

It's not about ideology. It's about trust. 

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