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Give Orcinus some love

Orcinus was there on the authoritarianism and the creepier features of the Partei long before anyone else, with beautifully written, cogent, analytical tools. His writing was instrumental in convincing me that we really are fighting for the soul of this country--and that victory, while not inevitable, is possible. Give.

This post from 2003 is one I found personally very important, even prescient:

I've always managed to maintain a substantial number of conservative friends (not to mention all those members of my extended family who are conservative). These are people I go hunting, fishing and camping with; people whose weddings I attend, and whose children I babysit and tend, people I stay with while on vacation. Because their value as my friends always far superseded whatever politics they might choose to espouse, and this was something I always felt was reciprocated. And of course, I always voted a split ticket, looking usually to reward moderate and progressive Republicans -- though this has become increasingly difficult in recent years.

But in the past three years, even that has begun to change.

I remember rather vividly, like the day JFK was shot, where I was and what I was doing, the evening [Bush v. Gore] came down. I was in a small harbor town in western Washington, staying with the parents of some close friends (who are themselves good friends) while I covered a manslaughter trial in a nearby town. He is an accountant, she a homemaker, good moderate churchgoing Democrats. We all sat together and watched the bulletins come over the newscasts (I think we were tuned to MSNBC).

And I remember she turned to me and said: "I feel sad. Because I can't vote a mixed ticket anymore." He nodded.

So did I. I knew exactly what she meant.

It is, frankly, foolishness at this point in time to even vote for a Republican. Not because the party lacks candidates who are utterly unworthy of support; there are, indeed, smart, thoughtful and honest Republicans even still, though they are harder to come by. But even they represent, and remain an integral part of, a party that has become nearly absolutely corrupted by its near-absolute power, and almost permanently tainted by its lust for utter control of the political and social landscape.

I'll believe conservatives are serious about civil, adult dialogue when they step back and give liberals some breathing room. When "civil" conservatives seriously confront the violent and vicious rhetoric coming from their own quarters; when they do away with suggesting that their political opponents are somehow disloyal Americans; and when they finally acknowledge that people's concerns about the legitimacy of the process by which Bush obtained office are not only well grounded but driven more by patriotic feeling than partisan rancor -- then, perhaps, they can expect to start seeing some civility in return.

But until then, they should not expect liberals to take the evisceration of their lives, both political and personal, lying down. The Culture Wars that they have been recklessly pursuing are slowly growing into a genuine and significant rift in American society. And it cannot be healed until both sides are willing.

It grieves me to see old friendships and relationships actually damaged by this war. But it was not a fight I or other liberals chose. It was thrust upon us. And until that aggression comes to a stop, I will not stop fighting back. Civilly, of course, but with all the blunt force and passion I can muster.

Because, yes, it is political -- but it's also become personal.

Bingo. And I don't plan to "get over it" anytime soon.

NOTE Via Avedon.

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chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i suppose i could excuse people for failing to see what we did in 2003, or even 2000. blogs are new, the SCLM is at the lowest level ever in terms of reporting on facts, and not everyone has a stout education in history and ideology.

but today? none of my remaining republican friends are bush supporters. while they may still vote republican, they admit to feeling deep shame and dismay at what bush and his gang have done to their party. they support decent republicans when they can. several of my republican friends have turned completely against the party, and will not vote for it until the war is ended and the party cleans out the authoritarians in its ranks. it's of note to me that the republican friends who currently hate it the most are also the wealthiest.

i wonder, when all is said and done, if this episode with pseudofascists will teach america a lesson. it's still not settled, but the costs of electing someone on the basis of "wanting to have a beer with him" are going to burden us, our children, our grandchildren...so much more. perhaps no great awakening will come, but few will have the luxury of being able to forget the cause of all the troubles that are the result of bush's profligate and willfully ignorant policies.