Before I moved from California last year, I was a registered Republican. (There, it took a lot for me to admit that--the embarrassment is overwhelming). Now that I live in Wisconsin, I'm not required to state my political affiliation, but if it were necessary, I wouldn't do so as a Republican--not anymore. The party, in short, abandoned me a long time ago.
I'd been wondering how to best describe my feelings of abandonment, when I saw a scene in an episode of HBO's Newsroom that resonated with me. In this scene, a news anchor for a fictional cable news program justifies his identity as a Republican after making several disparaging remarks about the party. This is what he says:
I call myself a Republican because I am one. I believe in market solutions. And I believe in common sense realities and the necessity to defend ourselves against a dangerous world and that's about it.
The problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. Now most of all, the biggest new requirement--really the only requirement--is that I have to hate democrats.Amen!
I cannot align myself to this new breed of Republicanism that claims to be Christian, but battles efforts to feed the hungry and care for the sick. I reject its assertions that science is trying to deceive the populace and that we have no obligation to heal the planet because God will fix our problems. I'm tired of how the party works to dismantle voting and women's rights that stood as bold lines against hatred and bigotry. I'm sickened by its depictions of the poor as lazy and its solutions that disproportionately benefit the rich. Most of all, I'm disheartened by its apologetic worldview that rejects fact and reason in search of ways to justify its intolerance.