Today before I began my conversation about Flannery O’Connor’s wonderful short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” I started with a short prayer from our “Book of Prayers and Meditative Thoughts.” Since I had been charged with hating Republicans recently, it was an interesting serendipity to find this gem: “Father, I know You tell us to love everyone, but some people make themselves so easy to hate. They are rude and arrogant, prejudiced and sometimes “out loud stupid.” God, forgive me, I probably look that way to them sometimes. Help me to be blind to other’s faults and worry about my own. Amen.”
Do I hate Republicans? Hatred is a very strong word, but the quadrant of the emotional circle it comes from does accurately describe how I feel about what I have sometimes in moments of uncalm declared to be the God Cursed among us. There is a considerable vocabulary in this lexical quadrant that may come closer to what I feel when I think about things Republican.
Certainly I should worry about my own faults perhaps. But it is abundantly sure that I abhor the Republican behavior and policy as seen in the most recent eight years of the Bush Administration. I think lying us into an unnecessary war in Iran an abomination. The acrimony of right wing Republican talk shows filled as they are with illogic and falsehood generates in me a considerable animus. I find myself regularly alienated from my Republican representatives whom I know full well are not representing me in the decisions they make as they govern.
If an allergy is a spontaneous immune system reaction to an invading irritant, then I am certainly allergic to Republicans. The incredible corruption of the Bush administration is an enormous antagonism which provokes in anyone who believes in good government antipathy, aversion and bitterness. I admit to a cold contempt for the arrogance of Republicans who are mere corporate lackeys who allow corporate lobbyists to write legislation favorable to corporations and damaging to the general public well being such as the infamous Commodity Futures Modernization Act which is responsible for much of the financial chaos we are now experiencing.
I detest the attack on our 600 year old system of law when Republicans jettisoned Habeas Corpus, which allowed W to imprison whom ever he wanted without charging them with any crime. I disapprove of the rampant rubberstamping of Bush era policies which gave us the mistitled Patriot Act which was a savage attack on the Constitution. Displeasure is a mild term for the kind of emotion I have when I think about the Gramm-Leach-Bililey Act passed in late 1999 which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and opened the floodgates to corruption on Wall Street generating the massive risks the Taxpayers now find ourselves paying for.
Distaste equally misstates the gorge that rises when I think about Guantanamo and the violation of the Genevia Conventions treaty we signed which forbade torture. Yes, I feel enormous enmity when I think about the possibility that the Vice President managed political assassination teams designed to eliminate those he thought were a danger to America.
Am I envious of Wall Street traders who get enormous multimillion dollar bonuses even as they drove their corporations into disaster. Oh, for the Republican dream where executives are to be awarded for abject failure and incompetence. Yes, I find myself regularly execrating Republicans for the odium of their looting the American Treasury. I do hold a grudge against Bush of leaving us in this economic wreckage. I have enormous hard feelings when I find my retirement income slashed by Republican incompetence.
I hate that Bush regularly cut Veterans’ benefits even as he regularly praised their sacrifice. I feel horror at the idea of turning Iraq into a modern Chernobyl through the use of depleted uranium shells which leave radioactive vapor and dust when they strike a target. Bush’s refusal to serve his country in Vietnam while he hid out as a drunken campaign worker is an ignominy I have never quite gotten over. I feel sick at the ill will Bush has created among most of the nations of the earth by his policies of savage interrogation, especially as they were exposed through the infamous Abu Grahib prison photo scandal.
I am provoked by the invidious attacks of the Republicans on Gay rights and the civil rights of immigrants. I have justified loathing for the Republican lie machine that regularly cranks out fabrications to mislead the American voter. I am shocked by the malevolence of Carl Rove’s treasonous attack on a CIA agent which broke her cover and exposed sensitive information to our enemies merely to seek revenge for her husband’s opposition to Bush’s falsified assertions that Iraq was seeking to buy yellow cake uranium in Africa.
I do not feel malice towards Republicans though I do not wish them well. I am politically militant against them as I work hard to defeat them in campaigns. I certainly have no use for them as drinking buddies or dinner guests. I admit to being in a pique when I hear Republicans at church jeering at Obama. I admit I have to work very hard to guard against being prejudiced against my younger radical Republican friends, reminding myself how young they are, and how they may well grow out of their conservatism when they discover the fruits of their ideology. I do feel rancor when I hear Congressional Republicans urging an irresponsible hooveresque do-nothing response to our current near depression economy.
Yes I feel rancor when I hear Rush Limbaugh’s repugnant diatribes force moderate Republicans kneel at his seat of power or else experience his bombastic over-the-air revenge. Is it repulsion or revulsion I feel when I see the sectarian violence set off by Suni Al-Qaida recruits against Iraqi Shia, recruits made possible by Bush’s “Bring it on” cowboy policies in the middle-east? I have only scorn for Governors like Mark Stanford and Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal who would refuse stimulus money which would extend unemployment benefits for those in the midst of financial suffering. I am not sure there is spite in my heart or venom in my pen, though I am sure I regularly express my spleen at Republicans when they invite corporate executives to do the very thing they will not do, even though it is richly appropriate for them: to apologize to the American People and then resign or commit suicide.
Republicans are rude and arrogant, prejudiced and sometimes “out loud stupid.” Of that there is no doubt, and yes, I probably look that way to them sometimes. I wish the Lord would help me to be blind to others’ faults and to worry about my own, but that is an awful lot to ask in the midst of this economic wreckage and deeply personal suffering many are experiencing as they stand in the unemployment lines and watch their 401Ks wither.
So upon reflection it may be accurate to say I hate Republicans, deeply, richly, wildly. But hatred is only possible where there was once love. My mother was a Republican, as were her parents. As a child my older brother and I campaigned for Ike, even. I wish I could be utterly indifferent to Republicans—which is surely the opposite of hatred—but I find it difficult to be moderate in my reaction to them when they work hard to drive any moderation from their ranks.