At first, I was going to call this post, "I now have man-boobs," but ultimately, I thought that would be oversharing. Also, I felt it would be sadly apropos to make a reference to one of the most prominent Republicans of the last century. I decided to do that as an example of how depraved an overwhelming majority of the leadership of the "conservative" wing of American politics has become. I doubt very seriously that Goldwater would even recognize the Republican Party today, and ultimately, his most worthy heirs aren't in the GOP, but rather in the fractured Libertarian Party. While I don't agree with everything former Senator Jeffords believes, I too find myself alienated from the party I once called home in my younger years. This is a problem that has been building for years, but stubborn as I am, I still looked for positive things to say about the mainstream of that party because of my agreement with their stance on fiscal matters. Well, as the last few years have demonstrated, any talk of their fiscal responsibility is laughable at best. As for the rest, well, that's the reason for this post.
The depth of my philosophical differences between my views and my former home, the GOP, has become increasingly obvious. I find the increasing element of extremism and fanaticism among the new "mainstream" Republican Party disturbing on a variety of levels. Perhaps most relevant to today's political climate, I strongly oppose "enhanced interrogation" on 8th Amendment grounds, as not only is that "cruel and unusual punishment", it rises to the level of government-sponsored torture, which is a far more serious offense. Also, it's a clear violation of the habeas corpus rights of prisoners, and of the Fifth Amendment, yet the GOP mainstream considers this acceptable when our government didn't even treat Nazi war criminals as poorly. Certainly, the public opinion of these depraved individuals was no more positive than modern public opinion of terrorists, yet we held to our more noble ideals back then. Instead of lowering ourselves to their level, we held fast to the calling of our better natures. I am sickened to see that we have become that debased in the 62 years since, and I have no doubt that, if they are looking down on us, our departed ancestors are turning in their graves.
Another example of my philosophical differences between the mainstream of the Republican Party is the recently-overturned Georgia law that prohibited all sex offenders from living within 1000 feet (305 m) of playgrounds, churches, schools, bus stops, public parks, and other places where children congregate. Can you think of a single place outside of Montana or Alaska that would fit those criteria? I'm in favor of protecting children, but these draconian measures seem more than a bit counterproductive, not to mention unconstitutional. There's that pesky 8th Amendment again, and for all their bloviating about the Bill of Rights, that's one amendment they by and large are determined to ignore.
To those who read this blog, it should not surprise you when I say that I am not a liberal in the modern sense. However, I have come to realize through conversations with a liberal Northern Democrat I know the fundamental differences in how he and I view the world. Even when we agree on issues, it is often for vastly different reasons, though those differences are most likely to occur in matters of governmental fiscal policy. So while I'm not likely to align myself completely with the Democratic Party, I'm much more likely to give them a chance, because the modern Republican Party is something I find frightening and alien to the greater American values, and a complete affront to the ideals laid forth in the Constitution and its amendments. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm starting to see parallels between modern America and Germany during the 1930s, and that scares the hell out of me. Also, it hurts me to see this happening to a nation once seen as a bastion of hope and liberty. I want America to be great again, but that will not happen as long as the reactionary wing of the Republican Party has power.
On a lighter note, and I use that term very loosely, I'm including a link to a YouTube video, one that was one of my father's favorite music videos. Since embedding has been disabled for this video, I'm including the link instead. Enjoy.