Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way- A speech I'd like to deliver to Republicans in Congress

That's the only advice I can give to the conservative right at this point. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Conservatives have proven for the last 8 years that they are incapable of leading the nation in the direction we need to go. Bull-headed unilateral war efforts on two fronts blew a hole in our budget, and neither nation has any real direction at this point, nor is there any clear way to progress. Republican leadership ensured that Afghanistan and Iraq will be war-torn, desperate nations for decades to come. And they have assured the rest of the Middle East that the United States isn't interested in bringing them peace and prosperity, but death and poverty.

Congressional leadership on the Republican side has shown where the right's priorities lie. They aren't interested in helping the president restore America to greatness, only heckling him during his address to the nation. They've shown their true feelings about domestic violence and bigotry against homosexuals. They have made it clear to us that they put the interests of multinational corporations before the interests of gang rape victims.

Their foreign policy, aside from the "shoot now and ask questions later, because they're probably all terrorists anyway" attitude has consisted of encouraging our allies not to trust us.

On education, they've shown that they prefer instilling our kids with religious dogma and blind nationalism instead of teaching them actual science, history and literature. Apparently they care little that American children of the future will have few skills to offer when it comes time for them to enter the career world.

They've shown that they still hold dear the backwards social traditionalism that we've worked so hard to move away from in the last century. Republicans have also been working so hard to please the Christian Right that they introduced legislation that would make the Bible the word of God for all Americans, despite that going completely against something our founding fathers held most dear.

House Republican leaders have shown Americans that they aim to bully women into accepting their elitist, jingoistic social agenda with fear and deception. They've made clear their feelings about equating anything they don't personally agree with to Socialism, even though the association of such concepts is nonsensical.

Instead of helping the elected leader of our nation work to fix the messes we're in, elected Republican officials have shown that they would rather spend their time insulting the President's wife. They've openly made statements to the press that reek of racism. They've been relying entirely on fear to force their regressive agenda upon us, and even focusing their fear tactics on veterans and parents of disabled children.

Congressional Republicans believe gay equality is allowing homosexuals to exist. They endorse attacks on everything humankind has achieved in science. Their attitude to helping the poor is to encourage them to stop breeding. They see hunger as a non-issue, instead telling us that it can be a great motivator.

Health reform has met Republican obstacle after obstacle since the FDR administration. While our president encourages bipartisanship, and while Democrats have repeatedly made costly compromises to get the support of the right, Republicans continue to offer a resounding "NO" to any measure put forth in fixing our broken health care system.

Neocon hero Rush Limbaugh epitomizes today's conservatives; rooting for our country's failure from his comfy seat and golden microphone. Likewise, conservatives have yet to offer any ideas of their own in solving any of the many crises--domestic and international-- we face today. As President Obama has said, this is equivalent to watching someone mop up a person's mess, and that person sitting on the sidelines instead of grabbing a mop and helping to clean up.

Congressional conservatives, I have only this to say to you now; if you can't lead and refuse to follow, then get out of the way. Let the people who actually care about helping America do their job.

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