City of Roses
Though I agree with many of the sentiments of RSWells here, I also believe it unfair to label all Republicans at large as the hateful and closet hateful.
I believe the party itself is corrupt, and is indeed discriminating minorities, particularly gays, at the moment. Also it is important to note out about 4 in every 10 Americans believe the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans should be limited, a majority of which are opinions of the right.
I couldn't agree more with Richard about the shape of the media, from allowing all kinds of stereotypical gay-theme shows to leaning further to the right, suppressing anti-war and progressive views in the process.
And I absolutely agree how incredible and perplexing it is how we even went into Iraq in the first place.
But though I believe the party itself is corrupt (and yes, I believe the Democratic Party is pretty corrupt too) I believe there are many sensible Republicans out there. I believe one thing that is often misunderstood currently about the current party is the set of values and morals they adopt to. Traditional conservative values include solvency, fiscal responsibility and low governmental spending. The first four years under George W. Bush we witnessed greater spending than any Democratic president in history, which the Democratic Party is traditionally the party that spends more. Personal liberties is another thing traditional conservatism has always valued, which I find the Patriot Act and discrimination to contradict. Even as far as the military is concerned, traditionally conservatives are more reluctant to get involved overseas without a collective, unanimous coalition. The neoconservatives promote an aggressive foreign policy in contrast.
I just think the problem in general is the definition of conservatism in general. Rather than juxtaposing the two doctrines apart, the doctrines have rather been bleeded together purple, or the traditional values have just been whitewashed.
As it is, those with so-called "traditional conservative instincts" have mixed feelings on the war in Iraq. There's much dissent in that pocket in contrast to the neoconservative base.
Indeed the left is experiencing this same sort of disorganization as we speak as well. It seems those with differing instincts are divided now in all sorts of categories: Democrats, Greens, liberals, progressives. Democrats are seen as sellouts to progressives, the liberals seen as inferior to reform wishes than progressives, Greens are like the Super Democrats, etc. There's a lot of chasms there.
I don't think the parties themselves are the main problem here. I think it's rather the intense stereotypes and classism virus. And when you have one type of political class or genre that dominates and squeezes others out of the way, you're always bound to brood resentment, tension, and misunderstanding. And indeed I believe there is some oppression happening under this administration.
Do I believe all neoconservatives are hateful? No. I don't tolerate their foreign policy views as well as the tendency to bend religion to their will and use it as an excuse to discriminate other classes, but I believe, like all parties, they just need to sort themselves out, and they're just very misunderstood right now.
It's just the same with forming a relationship. Often you face struggles, and you have to accept them and sort everything out, and despite the obstacles, you can make a relationship last.
In final word, I very much agree with Richard's sentiments, but I believe we're just going about solving and clearing the misunderstandings the wrong way. Every week there's this group of protesters called the Tualatin Valley Skins that get out and even record their protests under the name TV Skinheads, carrying signs and summoning chants with the frequent use of "fascist" and "Nazi". That really saddens and disturbs me, as I distance myself from those types of protesters in that I feel they, themselves, aren't showing any class or reciting anything positive in tone that can actually persuade and build a community, which protesting should be about in my opinion. They have the right to do what they do, I just believe they're not going to persuade anyone by bringing back such words into chants that only bring back reviled memories of sorrow and bloodshed that infuse anger, hatred, misunderstanding and bad blood, and actually are the types of protesters that'll divide communities.
No, I believe protesting should be educational and promote a positive message to how you can give back to your community. I keep "fascist" out of my protest diction and I rather just report news stories related to war and peace in the world and say in an unscripted tone what must be done and how to do so or where you can go to do so. Should there be angst in these rallies and gatherings? Plenty. Should there be moral outrage? Definitely. But what I think is often lacking is that positive inviting message, which I actually consider the most important element to a successful protest.
(sigh) Sorry for my lengthy ramble. I feel very strongly about these issues, and, I don't know, I just feel expressing your anger to the guilty consciences should be the second priority always. The first priority should always be to see how you can give back to your community and be the change you want to see in the world. Especially when we're aware the media can't serve our needs, and until they do, it is our obligatory role to make sure our voice isn't a ghost on a windy day.
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20