Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Republican South

I'm hugely relieved that Barack Obama won the election. What a breath of fresh air! His acceptance speech (along with many of his other speeches) made me feel like it is once again possible for us to work together to solve the problems we face as a nation.

I also find myself somewhat embarassed to live in the Republican South. The good news is that Athens is one of 32 blue counties (out of 159) in Georgia. I was frankly surprised to see so many blue counties. Looks like most have fairly high percentages of African-American residents.

The way the final map played out as far as red and blue states, I started thinking about the Republican Party and what they stand for. Frankly, it's hard to come up with much that they are for. Mostly I thought of things they are against.

Republicans are against African-Americans. The McCain gathering on election night was about as white as it gets. Just a glance at the McCain counties here in Georgia and the McCain states in the U.S. suggests to me that racism played a large role for many white voters. Instead of red states, they are really more like redneck states (and counties).

Republicans are against immigration and a path to citizenship for migrants that are already here. Kiss the Latino vote good-bye.

Republicans are against gays and lesbians. I'm still surprised by the apparent joy--make that downright glee that many Republicans expressed when rights were stripped from gays in California (Proposition 8) and other states.

Republicans are against education. The fact that Obama has a Harvard degree made him part of the liberal elite. You don't have to have an Ivy League education for Republicans to be against you. If you get information from any source other than The Bible or Fox News, they are against you. It's in their best interest to be against an educated public, as only the ignorant are fooled by their hateful rhetoric.

Republicans are against abortion and choice. Nope. Republicans don't trust you to make your own decisions. They prefer to mandate the behaviors they find desirable. Anyone that believes the Republican leadership gives a rat's ass one way or the other about abortion or gay marriage is naive. These issues enable them to have a grassroots effort to get out the vote without ever having to go to the trouble of organizing and setting up operations on the ground. All they need to do is push these hot buttons and ignorant religious freaks do the rest.

Obama's big victory, I hope, is the direct result of a country that is sick and tired of hate, ignorance, and fear dominating the national agenda. The Republican pundits are in a tizzy now, and they vow to make life miserable for Pelosi, Reid, and Obama over the next two years. Sore losers once again. Instead of working to be part of the solution, they'll continue to be part of the problem.

In the end, if they keep going down that road, I think they'll eventually self-destruct. They aren't far from it now. And that makes me anything but....

The Crotchety Old Man

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