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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Doppleganger 

A moving Daily Kos diary today from a former Republican who writes about why she no longer is one.
When I look at the direction our own Conservative party is moving -- where "Progressive" and "Reform" have both been disappeared, where fanatic PR hacks are making a cult of Don't Speak Unless Spoken To By Dear Leader, where we see anti-democratic election financing shenanigans in the last election and disrespect for the election process AKA Stealth-Cons in this one, where we have had two years of reframing every single Canadian issue from Afghanistan to arts funding to listeriosis into another excuse for divisive partisanship -- this essay rang true for what is happening to conservativism in Canada as well:
I was raised by Republican grandparents. One of whom was black. My grandfather loved his party, proudly proclaiming to all and sundry his feelings about "the Party of Lincoln". My grandmother, a white woman from Kansas, was as middle America as one could be. Proud of her descendancy from forebears who fought in the American Revolution, the Mexican War, the Civil War; she was a poster child of American values.
Your party has no place in it for me, and millions like me. I am educated, female, fiscally conservative but socially responsible. I watched your convention, remembering my grandparents active participation in your party and I wept. There would have been no seat for them there.
My grandmother, a lady of the old-school, would not have invited Sarah Palin to her kitchen table, nor into her parlor. My grandfather, who was an advocate of education and hard work, in the style of Booker T Washington, would be aghast at the anti-intellectualism on display.
. . . I achieved the dreams my grandparents wanted for me. A college education, a home and a family. At the age of 61, after a life of work I can now think about retiring, or I could, until my future was destroyed by politicians in collusion with Wall Street.
Yes, I am bitter. I will continue to teach until my health fails, and I pray I will have coverage. I will report to you that my students are all Democrats -except for one. Most come from Republican conservative upstate NY homes. They see no place for them at your table either.
The recent displays of hatred and vitriol at Republican campaign events have left them aghast. They are this nations future, and you have lost them. All but one, and he is embarrassed to admit openly his party affiliation. He shared it with me privately. I patted him on the shoulder and reassured him, that what was important was for him to participate in our Democratic process, and shared with him the story of my grandparents. But now I regret that sop to his feelings. Your party does not deserve him. He is a fine young man. I hate to see him tarnished by what has become a place for the dregs, the Know Nothings and the haters. Those of you who are still capable of cogent thought should fight to wrest your party back from those who now resemble most Germany's Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.
The Republican Party is dead. An ugly doppleganger has risen in its place.

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