The Senility of the Republican Party

gop unravelingGuns don’t kill people, ping pong kills people.

Women don’t get pregnant if they’re legitimately raped.

Obama, born of an American mother anywhere in the world, would still be an American, but born to an American mother in Hawaii, he’s a secret Muslim terrorist.

We could fill up pages and pages with the outright bizarre comments Republicans make day after day. Any politician can have an off day, but these claims aren’t accidental mistakes that Republican leaders are making. They proudly defend these statements and then say even more outrageous things.

At some point, we have to wonder if the Conservative movement as an entity is developing dementia.

Every movement has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The desperate attempts to suppress voting, the financial support maintained almost solely by a handful of rich, white men, and the increasingly bizarre comments made almost daily suggest a movement that is in its death throes.

Anyone who has had to deal with a parent suffering from dementia knows that what used to be a sweet personality can sometimes become mean and cantankerous. We love the memory of what the person used to be and feel deep pain for what they’ve become. But however strong our ties to these very ill people are, we often find ourselves struggling not to lose hope and become bitter. Those suffering from dementia are a heavy cross to bear under the best of circumstances.

Part of the problem is the way these people we are lovingly trying to help lash out at us. They insult us and ridicule us and belittle us. And they frequently don’t remember that we’re family.

Sandra Fluke is a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

“Corruption is the mechanism by which Mexico operates. Its people spawn more corruption wherever they go because it is their only known way of life.”

“Gay marriage will destroy our civilization.”

Then there are the jaw-dropping comments which show they aren’t even living in the same reality as the rest of us.

“Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.”

“The greatest threat to America is not necessarily a recession or even another terrorist attack. The greatest threat to America is a liberal media bias.”

“Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”

“I feel the best way to ensure Americans’ freedom is to tighten restrictions on that freedom in any way possible. Only through wiretaps, illegal searches and seizures, unfettered government intrusion, a controlled media and a complete crackdown on free speech can we ensure the liberties of all people.”

These are actual quotes.

Dying and injured animals are sometimes the most dangerous, but we can only hope this oppressive movement will finally make way for a new life with a rational mind. Not only will we feel a sense of loss, however, when those we love who have dementia eventually die, but there will actually be a real loss, of the vital entity that used to be.

Still, their passing is part of the natural order, and it needs to happen if the following generation is to live freely and achieve their full potential.

When my mother looked up at me from her hospital bed and said calmly, “It’s time to get your snakes now,” I humored her. Losing her was terrible, and I’ll always miss her. Yet it’s also true that it’s less painful not to have to watch her miserable decline any longer.

I also remember this poor woman throwing up her arms toward the ceiling and calling out pathetically, “I want my Mama!” I still cry when I think of it. These are scared, terrified people, and that explains why their talk is so focused on fear.

Johnny TownsendThe Conservative movement is dying. It’s an awful thing for them to experience and it’s awful for us to witness. Perhaps understanding that this is what is actually happening, though, will help us to bear the misery a little better, and understand exactly what’s behind the increasingly erratic behavior we see about us every day.

Johnny Townsend

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Published by the LA Progressive on December 30, 2012
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