Saturday, April 26, 2014

The GOP and Bundy

A reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog The Daily Dish weighs in on Bundy and the GOP.

I live in a very pro-agriculture and ranching area of the country, and I am friends with a quite a few Republicans who are part-time ranchers/farmers, some of whom teach at our local state U, a land grant university that has the biggest Agriculture and Natural Resources programs in the state.

The Bundy story, at first, tugged at everybody’s heartstrings because the family farmer is truly an endangered species all over America, and anyone who cares about that–or of the quality of your environment or the health and safety of your food – is pretty sad to see that way of life disappearing. And here in the west there are very legitimate points about land and water use and the government’s land grabbing ways that both the conservative and liberal sides can agree on.  But very quickly, as the facts became known that he was basically associating with crazy militia types and was just giving a finger to the very same laws my friends obey on a daily basis – he lost all the sane people.

Given the gridlock we’ve seen over the past few years, they totally hate Congress for it’s worthless political games and failure to do anything good anymore. They’re angry that defense of us from terrorists has turned us into a country perpetually at war and into a surveillance state.  Of course, they still blame Obama for pretty much everything, cuz God knows the President can just wave a magic wand to make the world change.  But in contrast to years past, they seem to me to be disillusioned, frustrated, a little sad, confused, and not very sure of just what the future holds anymore.

Sadly, they still see themselves as lifelong Republicans, members of a party that no longer exists to serve them, but rather, exploit their fear and sense of hopelessness in order to elect oligarchs to power. It’s like a church that you don’t agree with but dang it, it’s the church you were baptized in and all your friends and family are there so you remain a member even if you don’t follow it’s dictates anymore. I am so hoping that because this latest stunt hits so close to home, my friends take note of how despicable this party and its spokespeople are in trying to hoodwink THEM into thinking it’s only about low taxes and self reliance and freedom from government intrusion into their private lives. I keep hoping all the really decent, old-fashioned Republicans I know start taking the party back from the liars and cheats and scofflaws who control it now.

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