A friend of mine was saying she had a hard time listening to my putatively liberal radio talk show "Con Games" (KNFO 106.1 FM in Aspen, 95.5 in Vail) because I had changed my tone over the last year and was now ranting and raving at Republicans rather than strumming kumbaya around the campfire.
Her main complaint was that when I rage against the Republican machine, I am no longer talking about her, but about those spindle-fold-and-mutilate whack jobs who have built a shrine to Rush Limbaugh and other nattering nabobs of negativism. Ergo: she feels I am lumping her together with the lunatic fringe.
Funny how people think. Yes -- I have actually changed my tone, but only since September 2009, little more than four months ago, after more than five years on the air. More to the point -- and this was my point to her -- I actually am blaming her and other Republicans who consider themselves somehow "moderate." One should feel uncomfortable when one's feet are roasting on the barbie.
It's simple, really: I can dip back into recent history to make my point. I started my show when President George W. Bush had an 88 percent approval rating. Everyone, it seemed, supported the police action in Iraq and loved the rhinestone cowboy from hell.
Everyone except me and perhaps you.
As the Iraq malfunction went down the crapper in the Bush Administration, I realized something that might be mildly profound. If you supported the war, and it went down the toilet, then it's actually your fault, and I actually hold you accountable. (That goes for Democrats, too). I mean personally accountable. It may be George Bush's fault, and Dick Cheney's, and Donald Rumsfeld's, and Karl Rove's -- but it's your fault as well and you should own it.
The same goes for those like my friend who still consider themselves card-carrying members of the Grand Oil Party. Being a Republican means fiscal conservatism and fear of government, and that's all well and good. But it also means -- hello? -- being anti-science, anti-evolution, rapturously evangelical, pro-assault weapon, and uproariously ignorant of all environmental issues.
So, to cut to the chase, when I rail against Republicans like Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn and the indescribable Michelle Bachman, I too am railing against the "moderates," because there is no such thing as a "moderate" Republican Party. If you classify yourself as a Republican, then you have to own the bat-bleep wing of the party, because they are indeed calling the shots.
The solution for my friend? First of all, listen to my show "Con Games," because that can only help. Second, stop thinking of yourself as a "Republican." Become an "Independent" and require all comers to fight your vote by speaking to the issues that matter to you. Disassociate yourself from the White Noise of the right because that's not what you or our country are all about. You, and I, and all of us are much better than that.
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