I always hate it when I write titles and think, “I’m pretty sure I’ve used that one before.” I guess in eight years, I’m allowed a repeat or two. But I come to this because I ended up in a political conversation with some people at work today and I left feeling like I had done something wrong.
The long and short of it is that the conversation was about how we/I shouldn’t lump all Republicans into one category — that one person doesn’t speak for the whole party. At the end of the conversation, it got specified that just because one person in the Republican party says something ridiculous (“legitimate rape,” anyone?), that it doesn’t mean that everyone who wants to vote Republican believes that.
For sure. I definitely believe that — I believe most people are an amalgam of thoughts, actions and feelings, and that we are constantly being paradoxical and contradictory. That’s not what I was driving at. I know there are people who are fiscal conservatives but pro-gay marriage. It’s not out of the realm for me to know there are people who are pro-life, but definitely think we should be raising taxes on the people who can afford it. I understand the nuances of the every day American. Not everyone, but a good majority — the people that everyone wants to win when they talk about “compromise” and “breaking down barriers.”
However, my original point was this — even if the leadership in the Republican party believe that Akin is an asshole and that Romney/Ryan have huge problems in their platform — no one ever says anything. They all line up and sign some crazy pledge that Grover Norquist shamed them all into, and continues to shame them into keeping. I don’t expect the everyman to go around denouncing everything going on in national politics, but I DO expect that when one of your own goes completely off the rails, you stand up and say so.
Silence is consent. By not saying anything or doing anything, they are consenting to abide by and stand for what their people are saying/doing. Crazy shit about the Muslim Brotherhood and constantly trying to disprove our President’s residency. Telling straight up lies because they aren’t worried about “fact checking.” That’s just a weird thing to say, right? And no one is standing up and saying different.
I know, I know, ALL politicians do and say crappy things. I’m aware. But it just seems rampant in the Republican sphere, and even more rampant to just let everyone slide by with racist, anti-woman, anti-poor remarks. I know not everyone can possibly on board with Rush Limbaugh, but the fact that his outrageous statements go unchecked or are not rebuked seems crazy to me. The Republican leadership has been caught in same-sex scandal, regular old cheating on your wife, and a variety of other things — but Bill Clinton almost got impeached around a blowjob and Anthony Weiner resigned over his crotch pics (Anthony, what were you thinking??).
Even when I don’t want them to, the Democrats are compromising, apologizing. But at the end of the day, I guess I’d rather have that than idly sitting by while others blow up your party. Because I truly believe that silence is consent.