Friday, February 11, 2005

To My Republican Friends

Some Republicans have complained that Democrats are being sore losers, by calling them ignorant for their conservative beliefs. Our republican friends claim that we lost because we were out of touch with America's mainstream, and that our so called refusal to embrace God, and we couldn't stomach the loss, so we turn our anger gratuitously on them, launching a savage attack on their right to strongly hold their beliefs. Though I could definitely make an argument for Republicans being "sore winners" some times, all in all, I agree: ideally, we should not call people ignorant because of their beliefs - religious or otherwise, and I genuinely and sincerely try not to.

That said, as a black person, when people mistreat me in a restaurant because of my race, when I am refused the entrance of country clubs because of my race, when I can't date the woman I love because of my race, and an old white conservative tells me there is no more racism, that it's all in my mind, that I am just looking for ways to defame the country that his forefathers built, I call that ignorant (in the literal sense : people don't know what they are talking about). Plus we can argue exactly whose forefathers actually put in the sweat in building the country.

When, within the USA, the life of an American citizen becomes less valuable to the eyes of his own country's government because of his/her ancestry, and they are denied/restricted some of their constitutionally granted civil-rights (including the right to own guns, by the way!!!) - i.e:Arab Americans, African Americans, Latinos - I call that institutional bigotry.

When there are gay people beaten to death on the street because of their sexual orientation, in the name of so-called conservative principles of decency and Christianity, and they are not granted equal rights by the STATE, on the basis of the unilateral beliefs of one RELIGION, to me that is institutionalized religious bigotry. Unfortunately, it is the kind of things that - it seems to me, I may be wrong - the Republican party tends to support.

When the President of the United States cares LESS about the life of the VERY born people in Darfur, Somalia, Congo, Chiapas, etc than he cares about the "lives" of foetuses, I call that arrogant and reckless endangerment. This is the country that said ALL MEN - not all American men, but all men - ARE CREATED EQUAL! Liberals tend to understand that better, in my opinion. Republicans - it seems to me, I may be wrong - tend to make the call that an American life is more valuable to the World than other lives, because it belongs to some "shining city on a hill"...

The Republican party built itself on the principles of hard-work, and I respect that aspect of it very much, because hard-work is a value I also hold dear. But although not all Republicans are gun-totting bigotted racist WASPs, it is the pandering to the extreme right - and its corrolaries of racism and theocratic tendencies - that we have seen recently that concerns me. I know some people compared Bush to Hitler before, and it was excessive. Nevertheless, for those of us in the darker shades of the skin-color spectrum, we can't help but seeing that the ultra-conservatives power-houses tend to be white old men who do not always think of us as equals... and the current turn right seems awfully and dreadfully familiar... and that's what I fear.

See contrary to popular beliefs and myths, I am not a Liberal because I want Staline to take over the World, or "Communism to triumph". I am a Liberal - and by Liberal I just mean "on the left side of the political spectrum" - because I believe in tolerance, and in equality of rights regardless of races, genders, consensual adult lifestyles, religions or abilty. I am a Liberal because I believe in equal opportunity for all people, and the state's responsibility to guarantee it. I am a Liberal because I believe that those of us that could not fulfill the promises of opportunity should not be left to rot and die. I am a Liberal because I believe that a more equitable society will only come to fruition when justice and equity are taught to children as a higher values than dominance and survival of the fittest. I am a Liberal because I believe - that's the African in me - that the society as a whole is ultimately responsible for its members, and humanity is at its strongest when working, living, and growing as a social compact. I am a Liberal because I believe we need to ensure that this planet lasts for many generations to come. Finally I am Liberal because I believe that Freedom and Democracy are the aspirations of all people. I am a Liberal because I believe that though we have differences in opinions, our common humanity should and does matter more than everything else.


Anonymous said...


I am pleased to read your testimony on the roots of political persuasion. I hope that exploring underlying intentions and hypotheses can reveal unimagined commonality across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, I have found that frequently I have an underlying hypothesis which is quite the opposite of my Republican friends: that humans are more strongly inclined to do good and build social compacts than to succomb to selfish desires. From my friend Matthew Fox I learn:
Albert Einstein was once asked, "What is the most important question you can ask in life?" He answered, "Is the universe a friendly place or not?"

TheMalau said...

Thanks Anonymous,
Though I have to admit that I am not grasping the fullness of your comment (probably due to my being ESL). But I do also wish that we can find some comonalities accross the political spectrum. As for human goodness, I have been exposed first hand to the worst of humanity (the Rwandan genocide), and it took a while for me to trust humans as good-doers. But ultimately, most people would choose to save a child's life, than to kill it... and for that reason I believe that we are ultimately good.

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