The ACTEra – LIGHT IN THE GOP TUNNEL
There is a light in the tunnel that is the Republican Party.
This light appears to shine a path along a road away from the recalcitrant far right extremist of the GOP, through the larger crowd of conservatives of varying degrees, to the gate that leads out of the tunnel to the bridge that crosses the ideological divide.
In my mind this bridge mirrors a bridge that leads from the Democratic Party’s side of the ideological divide. Both these bridges are connected to a metaphoric island in the middle of a great expanse that is the sea of the ideological divide.
Quite simply it would appear that there are those in the Republican party who are at long last opening their minds to reason, but just to be clear they are few and far between, very few and far between. Some are changing their perspective because they still view this as the greatest of games, and only seek an advantage in the competition. They still simply want to win.
For today’s GOP the immigration debate lies at the heart of this realization. They that want to win and they that at long last acknowledge how the rot at the root of our great nation’s founding festers and looms in the GOP, have come to common cause around a policy issue that will truly benefit all Americans.
Still, we must not forget what the GOP has become, communicating both through coded language and overt gesture. Racism is real and though no party holds dominance over this evil, we cannot forget what Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson said, “Let me be candid: My party is full of racists.”
This is the unvarnished truth. Amazingly enough, minorities in the GOP hear this, know this, and shrug their shoulders, as opposed to adding their voices to Col. Lawrence’s call for reason. Still, there is a light in this tunnel.
Those who seek to hold fast to the title of conservative know we must be rational and engage positively in the gun debate. They know we must be rational in the tax and spend debate. They know we must be rational in the immigration debate. They know these things and many of them are decrying their missteps of old.
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is imploring the party to not be stupid. Governor Chris Christy has stood firm against liberal and conservative and called what is stupid, stupid directly to its face. He embraces rationality and doesn’t even care about the fine line separating him from the extremists of his party. Even Karl Rove is mounting a movement to take down the Tea Partiers. Pundits like David Frum, David Brooks, and Joe Scarborough can be incredibly infuriating to people who linger in the political center, but they still firmly embrace rationality, and seek to follow the light out of the GOP tunnel.
Unfortunately, for the GOP this won’t be easy, which means it won’t be easy for those of us who side with no party, and seek to remain logical aspiring critical thinkers. The path remains difficult and fraught with challenge. Why?
Because Mitch McConnell’s primary objective remains to deny this President any so-called victories, which are not truly personal victories at all but rather policy initiatives that benefit Americans.
It is difficult because we have Congressmen like Eric Cantor who pander to immigration reform because he knows he has to make his party likable to the majority of Latin Americans who supported the President upwards of 75 percent. But he still can’t bring himself to say and support what matters, which is holding open Lady Liberty’s Golden Door. Why? Because he’s been fighting against people who simply want to make America their home for so long that he barely has the internal ability to consider doing something different … like granting citizenship.
It is difficult because on February 4, 2013 eight Republican Senators, Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Johanns (R-NE, Rand Paul (R-KY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and James Risch(R-ID) voted against considering the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill that protects women from domestic violence.
Their reason for standing opposed to the bill is it contains provisions that would protect undocumented immigrants, as well as LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence.
This is clearly irrational, given the desire of the majority of Americans to evolve to a state of liberty that supports and protects all human beings from a positive perspective no matter their circumstance. They are behind the times and out of touch. Still, they are holding fast to their perspective, as they are free to do.
However, if we are to close the ideological divide we must not struggle to change their beliefs, but open their minds to understanding critically the perspective of those who stand diametrically opposed to them. They must be open to understanding why others think differently, and consider critically whether they can or can’t live with America protecting them, as well as immigrants, LGBT, and Native American women.
These challenges make it difficult to be sure, but the combination of those in the GOP who simply must win combined with those who know compromise is a requirement in civilized government will force the issue of acknowledging rationality.
This new team will form a new GOP that assigns the inane talking heads to the entertainment ash pile, and be about the business of serving with dignity the American people on the issues, as opposed to bowing at the throne of a radio head. There is light in the GOP tunnel, and those of us looking from the outside see it. It’s not all that bright, not yet. But, we have hope.
The Aspiring Critical Thinker,