Sunday, May 20, 2007

You Might Not Be a Republican

This blog has been running for about nine months now, a "spin-off" of my other blog, Perpetual Folly which has been going for more than two years. Mostly I have tried to write about what I believe but I have on occasion criticized other bloggers--mostly the SWAC Reactionaries--for spreading lies, twisting facts and generally misleading anyone who stops by. I've also had to respond to their attacks against me, which have ranged from the childish to libelous. So I am puzzled by comments like those left by Chris Green of the SpankthatDonkey blog last night on my post from yesterday about why I don't support either Scott Sayre or Emmett Hanger--basically, why I am a Democrat and not a Republican. I guess he was trying to compliment my post, but he implies that my tone was somehow different from my "first 40 or so posts." To see what he was talking about I actually did take a look at my prior posts--nearly 150 of them, not 40--and I concluded Chris hasn't read them. And since he is regularly vicious on his own blog, in posts and in comments, he's got no room to give me advice on what constitutes responsible blogging.

I thought, then, that I'd recycle one of my early posts, from October 2006, where I reprint a letter to the editor. The endorsement of Jim Webb is outdated of course (and I'm still thankful that we won that election), but the sentiment is going to apply this fall when voters are considering their choises on election day:
Many people in this area think they are Republicans, because that's the way it's been for years and the lies and twisted rhetoric of the Republicans sound convincing. Now, before the election, is a perfect time to take stock. Valley citizens might be surprised to learn they have more in common with the Democratic Party than they realized!
If you favor fiscal responsibility, vote Democratic. Under President Clinton, the federal budget was balanced; under President Bush, we are experiencing deficits that threaten to derail the economy and jeopardize our well-being. Democrats don't love taxes any more than Republicans, but we do believe that it is critical to balance the budget and invest in essential services to assure an equitable future for all.
If you favor national security, vote Democratic. Republicans would have you believe that Democrats are weak on national security, but that is not true. Most Democrats believe security resources can be used more effectively. We are wasting lives and money in Iraq; that must change. But America must also remain strong, we must stay vigilant against terrorism; we must restore our international relations with our allies. After 9/11 we had an opportunity to unite the world against terrorism; instead, our arrogance has inspired new generations of terrorists who will threaten world peace for decades, if not centuries.
If you favor personal responsibility, vote Democratic. Legislating behavior doesn't work. We are all motivated by personal interest — Republicans understand this better than anyone — and resent when someone else's views are imposed on us.
What we ought to address is poverty. There is a shocking income disparity in this country, with many millions of people living in deplorable circumstances. Before we tell people what they can or cannot do with their own bodies, we ought to ensure that there is opportunity for the poor to participate in the economy. Right now, thanks to Republican policies, our economic system is pushing more and more women and children into hunger and despair. That's just wrong.
If you favor freedom of speech, vote Democratic. If you favor civil rights and fairness, vote Democratic. If you favor better health care and education for all citizens—not just a privileged few—vote Democratic. The list goes on, and the conclusion is clear. Support Jim Webb and the Democratic Party on Nov. 7.