Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Give Me a Damn Break
I don’t vote for Popes. I don’t vote for Saints. I don’t vote for ethereal, mindless demigods with a pronounced inability to mind their own business. I vote for Democrats when they stand four-square on the Democratic platform. That platform used to be firmly grounded in the idea of a social conscience. The God of the Christians said it best, "Whatever you do for the least of them you do for me."
The Republicans and their “Christian Base” long ago gave up the charity, humility and decency that Christ spoke of in favor of the symbolic stoning, judgment passing and ritualized hate that He abhorred. The Democrats on the other hand seemed to have lost their taste for the social and economic justice that He appears, at least to this Pagan, to represent.
They are terrified of the word that used to identify the best of us - Liberal. Even more terrified are they at the possibility of being perceived by the Republicans and their “Christian Base” as doing for the least of us. For the Republicans have hung the word Socialism on the best wisdom of the religion they have usurped, and the Democrats hide from that word like hookers hiding from the Vice Squad on Saturday night.
It takes courage to speak truth to power. It takes dedication to fight money armed only with morality. I no longer believe that the Democrats have either, and I grow tired of spinelessness passing for compromise. I grow tired of moral cowardice passing for righteousness. I grow tired of the double-speak and slide-of-hand that passes for accountability. Mostly, I grow tired of being told that if my Democratic President or my Democratic Party fail to behave like Democrats it is my fault for noticing.
I am sixty-one years old and have followed the Liberal ideal all of my life. I come from good Liberal stock. My father was first generation Italian, working poor. My mother was Irish, working poor. They were union organizers. I am proud to say that I am a child of the ‘60s. I went to college at a time when a premium was placed on the intellectual life and the activist lifestyle. At my age and level of commitment I don’t whine. I shout. Crawl out from under your rock, pull your head out of your ass and act like Democrats – Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson Democrats! If you are Democrats.