Friends, Family, and Republicans

In most of the blogs I have written, it is probably an understatement that I show considerable, and admittedly often intemperate, disgust with Republicans.  But in re-reading my political tirades, I see little to nothing of the content that I would take back, although I might amend the aggressive tone now and then.  But there is one important clarification that is necessary.  The Republicans whom I write about, and for whom I have no regard or respect, are in practically all cases the politicians who speak for and represent their party in Washington.

In the spirit of full disclosure, many of my friends and members of my family (mostly by marriage and thankfully not by blood) are in fact Republicans.  I suspect, since by far most of them are intelligent, educated people of good will and intentions, that this far less a manifestation of approval of the likes of (the recent) Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gingrich, and their current iterations such as McConnell, Boehner and an even crazier Gingrich, and far more their disapproval of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the Clintons, about whom there are indeed things to dislike.  And unlike the Republicans of Washington, my Republican friends and family members are not given to hypocrisy, mendacity and contempt for the downtrodden.  I also credit them with a fundamental and well warranted philosophical disagreement with the liberal Democratic arrogance of believing that they know better what is good for people than people know themselves (which is about the only reason I can imagine why the increasing millions of Americans who struggle to make ends meet financially would ever vote for a Republican).  And there is much to be said for the traditional Republican commitment to individual freedom trumping government involvement in people’s lives (which I totally support as long as the usually Republican-ignored requirements for equal opportunity and justice for all are met).

But at the end of the day, I continue to believe that there is so much more to abhor about Republican policies and politicians than Democratic alternatives, that they will likely continue to be the primary target of my rants not, however, to the total exclusion of condemning Democratic social elitism and political cowardice, the former a longstanding characteristic conceit and the latter their morally corrupt response first to Karl Rove and now the Tea Party (a case of fear and trembling which their Republican brethren and sisteren share in full measure, perhaps the only bi-partisan response President Obama is likely to get).

Anyway, even during a time when respect for America remains seriously eroded, and when our own political processes approach dysfunction, I join my Republican family members and friends in the recognition that we have much to be mutually thankful for, as citizens of what is still (and hopefully can once again become to a greater extent) the only country that has the capability to create and promote meaningful initiatives toward greater peace and prosperity for ourselves and the rest of the world.  Hopefully our respective parties can find some common ground toward those ends.  But much as I hate to say it, I’m not holding my breath.

Nevertheless, to my Republican family members and friends, Happy Thankgiving to all (whatever the extent of your misguided politics).   I offer no apologies for my attacks on your party, since, to paraphrase Don Corleone, it’s not personal, it’s only politics.  And you no doubt have no trouble ignoring me.