Talking to Republicans

Today (October 20, 2017) David Brooks, speaking on All Things Considered, said that members of the two major parties should talk to one another no matter how much they disagree. In theory I agree with him, but there is a problem.

It seems that Republicans and I do not share a common language or reality and are therefore unable to converse.

Either that, or the entire Republican platform and position is based on falsehood.

For two parties to discuss political options and solutions they must begin with an agreement as to what the current facts are, and then discuss how to address those facts.

When Republicans deny the existence of global climate change / warming, there is nothing left to discuss.

“You’re wrong.”

“Am not.”

“Global warming is real, Houston hasn’t dried out yet, Puerto Rico looks like an atomic wasteland, and California is on fire.”

“Is not.”

From here, where is the discussion supposed to go?

When Republicans say that tax cuts pay for themselves, balance budgets, create jobs, and create economic growth there is nothing left to discuss.

“Reagan Deficits.”

“Pay for themselves.”

“Bush Deficits.”

“Pay for themselves.”


“Create jobs.”

37 years ago when Ronald Reagan proposed his “supply side” theory it sounded pretty unlikely but, in fairness, it had not been tried and there was a possibility it might work. It has been tried. Over and over. It doesn’t work. Once is a mistake. Twice is foolishness. After the Kansas Experiment continuing to promote the same ideas is, to be gentle, hogwash. What’s to discuss?

When Republicans say that the second amendment expressly permits “shoot[ing] at our government when it becomes tyrannical,”

there is nothing left to discuss. I fought in a war because my government sent me to. Now the Republican party says it is all right for citizens to take up arms against it. On what basis can we debate this? When Republicans see paramilitary armed gangs intimidating citizens on the streets of major cities and say the second amendment permits it, there is, sadly, nothing left to discuss.

When Republicans say that all of America’s intelligence agencies, and the intelligence agencies of our allies, are lying about Russia’s influence on our last election, there is nothing to discuss.

And above all, when Republicans say, over and over, that money is speech, there is nothing left to discuss. I offer to buy them dictionaries but they don’t respond.

Of all the horrors, all the irrational ideas and falsehoods being put forward for “debate,” none is more poisonous than the claim that money is speech.

When payday comes I propose that the New York Times offers David Brooks a heartfelt “Thank you.” Nothing more. Because if money is speech then speech is money, and words are all the paycheck he needs.

The Court might as well have said that money is citizenship. One dollar one vote. I am serious. As a combat veteran living on a veteran’s disability, my voice has been utterly silenced in the nation I fought for. Every voice but the voice of the very wealthy has been silenced. A few hundred to a few thousand individuals absolutely control our government, because our Congress knows that those individuals hold the keys to their election. They don’t need us; they don’t hear us. Money is speech and we don’t have any.

I know I sound almost flippant, but this is absolutely critical to the survival of our republic. If the voting public is not presented with two more-or-less factual party platforms to choose between, elections are meaningless. Our last Presidential election, although possibly critical to our survival as a nation, was presented to the voters in terms far less factual than the election for my high school homecoming queen.

Sadly, while I understand David’s hope, there is nothing real to talk about.

Spread the word...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *