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was born into a Republican, Christian family. I was part of the church. We
didn’t just go to church on Sundays. We were part of the church.
My father’s mother called President Roosevelt “that man,” and it wasn’t a compliment. My mother’s father reminded us that Truman was the worst president ever. So my upbringing was conservative. But it was nothing like the corrupt anti-human Republican Party of today.
My parents weren’t anti-working folk. They understood that, without limitations, corporations would exploit workers, the environment and everything else in their way. They knew that being Christian was for Christians and no one else. They knew that government should stay out of the church and the church should stay out of government. Everyone should have the same rights as everyone else and that included gays and lesbians, though that only came up later in life.
Planned Parenthood was very new then but, to my parents, it was a good thing. I was a bit irresponsible and was the cause of two abortions. They knew I was far too immature to be a father to children. In short, they were rational human beings, they were adult. They may not have agreed with the way things were but they understood the need to compromise and to be practical and make the country work. They understood the concept that 50 percent might disagree with them.
Now, the Republican Party has regressed to infantilism. It’s either play it their way or they take the ball and go home. The two legislative bodies are in gridlock because the Republicans won’t even talk about letting the tax cuts for the wealthiest expire, this, even though not one job was created by the tax cuts. Nine plus or minus percent unemployment should remind us how well tax cuts work. They seem to have no regard for history, truth or rational thought. They claim that they want to balance the budget but when a plan, any plan, comes up that they have the slightest problem with they won’t talk. This can’t be blamed on the Democrats (I have no love of the Democrat party).
Democrats have offered compromise upon compromise to the point where, I think, they have compromised themselves, but Republicans are being children and won’t budge. Republicans have reduced political debate to a competition the same as sports. Morality, ethics and efficacy have become irrelevant in their quest for a mark in the win column. I could go on with innumerable historical facts, statistics and proof of Republican perfidy but this essay would be way too long.
So, responsible Republican, if you exist out there, stand up! Be heard by your establishment. Your establishment has called this president socialist, insulting those of us who are socialists. He is, in fact, a center-right Democrat. Tell them to participate in honest consistent debate with compromise as a key ingredient. Remember, responsible Republican, if I didn’t compromise then we would insist on true social medicine, not the watered down version called “single payer.” Minimum wage would be $15 per hour. I have a whole lot of reforms for this country, and I can back up all my reforms with historical facts and logical arguments. But I understand that even though I am right and the Republicans are utterly wrong I must compromise. So you must too. Responsible Republicans, stand up to the ultra rightists in your party, and tell them you want your party back. It will be better for all of us.
Lehman lives in Warren.