Servatius: Saving our nation

By By David Servatius

By David Servatius

Those of us alarmed enough by what is happening to our country to speak out about it are often mistakenly accused of being hateful, of succumbing to a blind hatred of everything Republican. Granted, we do complain a lot, and we do it loudly, but only because we see so much of what we value being threatened. At times our complaining can seem angry, but that anger is out of frustration and exasperation more than anything else. We have watched with dismay as the power centers of the modern Republican Party have been almost completely dominated by forces that are dangerous to America and frightening to us.

Of course, we recognize that little pockets of sanity still exist within the party, and we appreciate them immensely. Utah’s own Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is one. The two senators from Maine, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, are two others. Chuck Hagel is a very conservative Republican but seems to have a world view based in reality at least. There are others, but, unfortunately, these types are becoming harder and harder to find in the party, and soon won’t exist. The party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is becoming something that would have horrified the country’s Founding Fathers. It’s supporting things that fly in the very face of the American idea.

The America that the founders envisioned was one in which citizens would not know, and would not be interested in knowing, anything about the religious affiliations and practices of their elected representatives. Yet, so much of the ongoing dialogue within the Republican Party is focused on nothing but religion, with all of the national figures trying to out-Christ each other. The stranglehold of the evangelical Christian right on the party is something the founders actively tried to prevent.

We were given a transparent system of government with vital checks and balances in place. The modern Republican Party has actively worked to cloak our government in a veil of secrecy, and to dismantle or effectively disable the system of checks and balances that has served us well for more than two centuries. They have turned us into a country that starts unprovoked wars. They have abused the impeachment process. They have placed their lust for power above the good of the country.

This is why it is vitally important, for the salvation of the American experiment, that the modern Republican Party be thoroughly renounced and sent into the wilderness in this coming election. Defeat must be resounding at all levels — presidential, congressional, state and local. Party members need to spend some time thinking about what they have done and then return as people who actually contribute to our democracy rather than destroy it.

The Republican Party, believe it or not, did contribute something important at one time. Before the ascent of Reagan and the elder Bush, the party had an important role to play in American politics and government. It acted as a necessary balancing force.

Think of the American political system as a happy, 1950s Ozzie-and-Harriet-style nuclear family. This is a good model for the two-party representative democracy that we have.

In that mold, the Democrats have traditionally played the role of the mommy party — making sure that everyone was fed and had what he or she needed to be happy, making sure the house was clean and that the kids got an education, administering the love and providing the happiness.

The Republicans played the role of the daddy party — protecting the family, administering the discipline, making sure mommy didn’t spend too much money keeping everyone happy. It worked out well. Things got done. The country got most things right.

What we have now is the equivalent of daddy on crack. He’s attacking people for no reason, stealing from the neighbors and plunging the family into debt. Mommy has become an abused enabler who has to take care of everything. Once in a while, for no good reason, daddy decides to beat mommy.

So when we simply say that daddy needs to be sent to rehab to get better, or that mommy needs to divorce him and find another partner, that’s not hate. It’s anger at the abuse.

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