And then today…?

The dog did our whole walk fine, like it never troubles her. I was struggling to keep up, because it’s been a while since my knee has let me do our whole walk, but she was just walking along like life was good.

So, who the fuck knows? Not me.

I’m ready for this election to be over. I know it’s important to pay attention and I hector people about voting as much as the next person. But this season has just been unrelentingly unbearable. I’m really ready for Republicans not motivated by the desire to use their religion to dictate my life to come back into popularity in the Republican party.

I wonder what happened to that strain, honestly. I guess some of them became libertarians and some of them may have become conservative Democrats, I suppose. It’s just weird, though.

I’m tempted to say we’ve become more polarized as a nation, but what I suspect–though it’s hard to see from this seat–is that white people have become more polarized. When everyone else was in their place, white people could be generous with each other politically. The common ground was well-defined. “We” were all Christian, straight, and, of course, white.

As a lot of us–across the political spectrum–became less concerned about using those identifiers as a way to define an “us” (I mean, think about this. Not only do most 20 year olds–again, across the political spectrum–not care about opposing gay rights, how many of them can you imagine saying “I have a black friend.”? Doesn’t it go without saying? White kids know black kids. This wasn’t something that was, at all, true when I was growing up. I didn’t know a single black person my own age who wasn’t the child of a friend of my dad’s until I went to college. But the idea that there will be crowds of people who need a “cool” white person to tell them what black or Hispanic or other people of color think? That dynamic–even though it’s still somewhat present even in my generation–seems hilariously antiquated to young people.) and I think that’s disconcerting to other white people who liked us and enjoyed sharing common ground with us.

I think they feel rejected and, as such, really hostile.

But it’s a non-partisan issue that’s right now mapping onto political parties. Right now, the party of people who are like “fuck you for leaving us for those others” are mostly Republicans. But, if Republicans want to win in places where they can’t mobilize racial, religious, and “values” orientations, they’re going to have to learn how to appeal to people they think of as “different” than them.

And that includes, oddly enough, their conservative children. My uncle’s Republican party, for instance, didn’t have to have room in it for Chinese women. If my cousin’s daughter grows up sharing her father’s and grandfather’s political values, then it will, indeed, have to have room for her. Or it won’t exist, because she and the people who care about her will refuse to participate in it.

I guess what I’m saying is that I feel like the Republican party will eventually come to its senses, because there are a lot of people in this country who are fiscally conservative and who don’t like giant bureaucracies and who don’t want the government paying for everything. And those folks cut across all demographics. So, either the Republicans will figure out how to open their arms to those folks, or the Republicans will become regional theocracists and some other party will rise up to be the more conservative national party.

I’m ready for that.

Wow, well, this got off track from the dog. Not that she’d ever vote Republican. I mean, she runs around naked all the time and she’s taken steps to ensure she can never have children.

4 thoughts on “And then today…?

  1. Maybe pain meds, even over-the-counter ones, really do help her. Or maybe it’s also the weather? I know that my ankles feels changes in barometric pressure, and I know it tends to affect those with MS and arthritis. I haven’t really looked into the pressure systems these last few days, so this is really just wild speculation anyhow.

  2. @The Professor, The pressure systems were a bitch for the last two days but started to ease up this morning; they’re getting bad again in a couple of hours.

    As for where all the sane Republicans went…we were kicked out of our party by the neo-cons who saw Republicanism as the Big Government That Spends $$$$ On War Instead Of Entitlement Programs. So for awhile the Republican party was this uneasy confederation between old-style R and Neo Cons. And then Neo-Cons with Money decided to plant the seeds for that grassroots movement known as The Tea Party. And then the Religious Right got some of that money and decided to go big with Our Brand Of Sharia Law.

    So while I see why you think you can reduce it to a race thing it really isn’t entirely about race, although I concede that there are those (especially in the TP and RR subfactions) who are motivated in part by racist paradigms.

    It was about 15 years ago that the first wave of us left Republicanism. That was around the Clinton impeachment hearings and the realisation that Republicans were pulling dirty tricks. For me the death knell was 13 years ago George Bush campaigning on his Christianity and talking up entitlements for faith-based programs. That was too much peanut butter government in the chocolate of my religion and I defected to Libertarianism.

    Since then there’s been a steady trickle of ex-Rs into the libertarian camps. The problem with this election is that Romney’s team decided to exploit the evangelical base that got GWB a second term. The evangelical base was tickled puce at that idea and went along whole hog, making this election a referendum on an agenda that is not political as much as it is socialist. You either want a socialist distribution of funds or a socialist distribution of one very narrow style of religion. As a Christian I am more a fan of the socialist distribution of funds which is why I’ll have less of a problem watching Obama win again than I would if Romney won. But I dislike both of them, so I’ve found myself just sort of watching the game of pong that this has turned into and wondering what in the hell some people are thinking. Just last night I had to sit on my hands to stop from explaining why Obama is NOT the antichrist.

  3. Ya know, B is on to something about race/ethnicity, and Coble is on to something about trends in Republican ick, but I think there’s another element to the recent polarization. Well, two other elements, the second and less interesting (in terms of this discussion; more interesting in terms of real life) being economic contraction — because we’re just newly poor enough, as a country, that the renewed competition for newly scarce resources is a little shocking. But possibly the rising tide that lifted all boats and made it easier for us all to get along with each other, from the 40s onward, was the oddity and the blip. I hope not.

    Anyway, the other element in terms of political motivation goes back to the ’60s. When Goldwater lost the election for the Presidency so spectacularly, but in failing motivated a set of true believers, who taught their children to believe as well. And that was the belief not just that their politics were right, but that they’d be seen to be right forever, and that once they were enshrined in the gov’t of this country there would be no turning back. Well, for those folks Nixon didn’t count, since as often gets mentioned these days he was an FDR Republican. But when Reagan won, since Reagan had positioned himself as the hero of the Goldwaterites, that was supposed to usher in the new eternity. And Clinton was a shock, but his re-election was an absolute threat to the belief system. So the past 15 years or so have seen utter vilification, dirty tricks, everything, because there’s this expectation of “we were promised that we would win eternally.” It’s like the failure of Communism — just not supposed to happen.

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