Saturday, July 02, 2005

Independence Day Thoughts (letter from a red state)

Living in California, being a Democrat is a natural condition and one that doesn't embroil you, particularly, in a lot of heated political debate other than the circumstance of Dianne Feinstein's husband being a war profiteer and questioning why in Christ's name this woman even calls herself a Democrat. You hear that a lot among California liberals.

Republicans are so rare in San Francisco that when a real estate office on 24th and Noe started displaying Bush propaganda in their front window, passers-by would roll their eyes or laugh at the freaks from outer space. The little cowboy boots in their window were funny, aren't these zany people just precious? Arent we tolerant for allowing this trash to live amongst us without breaking their FUCKING WINDOW AND BURNING THE JOINT TO THE GROUND?

Ah, for the days when Republicans were as sparse as Tom DeLay's ethics. Since I moved to one of the reddest of the red states two years ago, I find myself now in the position of freak from outer space and boy, at times it ain't pretty. But with challenge often comes reward, if you're not adverse to looking for such diamonds in the shit mine.

Here, being a Democrat involves more than throwing cash to the DNC and casting your futile ballot for John Kerry. It involves being forced to examine and re-examine your political beliefs, and to be prepared to defend them. It means being able to state, succinctly and without hysteria, why you oppose George Bush, his policies, and his war. If you can do so, people will listen - and think.

What I've gained most from being here is that I no longer take being a Democrat for granted. It's a precious legacy that I love and nurture. I have to, to survive being surrounded by the Party of Christ and their followers. And the small victories mean something here, even if it's having steadily increasing numbers of people ask you about your anti-war button while you're out running errands and finding that these former war supporters now agree with you. You can't see the tide turning in Bush's America from the coasts, and you can't contribute much to the effort from behind a blue-state fortress.

Living here has radicalized me far more than living in San Francisco ever did. Here I see first-hand how the vicious and decidedly un-Christian policies of our Republican ubermeisters steal from the poor to give tax cuts to the rich. I've seen how the religious right infiltrates our institutions, forcing sham debates on evolution and pushing anti-gay initiatives using hateful invective on our citizens. It's one thing to chuckle over Republican outrages from a coffeehouse on Market Street, and quite another to live under their terrible governance and Holy Roller-style gassy condemnation.

This Indepedendence Day represents a turning point in our country, as we sit on the brink of a true one-party dictatorship with the final piece of the Republican puzzle falling into place as they take over the Supreme Court, leaving them with total control of all three branches of government. If you value your independence to be a Democrat or a Green or a Socialist or even nothing at all get involved. Contact your senators, regardless of their party, and demand a centrist Supreme Court. Let them know that the voters will hold them accountable if they allow the extremist wing of the Republican party to take over what should be an impartial judiciary - and what's more, they'll pay at the polls if they support a nuclear option for this nominee.

If we don't act now, we'll all be living under red state rules - and I can guarantee, from first hand experience, this isn't something you'd find attractive. Now go celebrate your independence and make your voices heard.


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9:48 AM  

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