A few years ago, the Republicans seized the language of our politics and ran away with it. Overnight, the Democratic Party became the Democrat party in the mouths of Republican pols, as if the "ic" on the end gave the Democrats a moral advantage that had to be stolen from them after generations of accepted usage. After all, to be democratic meant that the party was inclusive, that it supported democracy, that it represented all the people, and that it spoke for the majority in its aims and through its candidates. Whoever thought up the trick of the disappearing ic, attempted to dissociate the party from the people it represented. With Democrat you end with rat -- and subliminally, the ugly sound evokes a rodent and who wants to vote for one of those. Clever! One of the unsung Republican dirty tricks.
I think it is high time that we Democrats of the old Democratic Party persuasion respond in kind. I propose that the Republican Party be renamed in the coming elections by all Democratic candidates, in every public forum, and forever after be known as the Republicant Party. It takes less work than went into lopping off part of the Democratic Party nomenclature. All it requires is the addition of a single letter, a tiny little t to the end of their party name and it does the big job properly, and best of all, truthfully. First, we have the obvious meaning of the Republicants. It is clear that they can't do anything right. Let's examine what the Republicants can't do, and if you agree, let us adopt this as our response to Democrat in the months and years ahead.
1) For starters, the Republicants can't tell the truth. From Bush downwards, they have lied shamelessly and consistently about matters of war and peace. Start with the Iraq war and the WMDs. Having started this war with a bogus claim, they proved that they can't work with the international community, and worse, that they haven't a clue as to how to get us out of the mess they created. They can't win a war against a homegrown insurgency and they can't leave the country for a generation to come -- or at least that is what Mr. Bush suggests -- leaving the task of extricating us from his national calamity and ours to another President. Try as they will to evade responsibility we cannot let them get away with that awful expression "mistakes were made." They, the Republicants, made those mistakes, and they can't hide behind fuzzy, evasive words to escape their actions and their reponsibility. They think they can, but they can't, not the Republicants.
2) It appears that the Republicants can't provide an economy that benefits anyone but the top 10 percent of Americans. They don't have a clue as to how you deal with a global economy, and the outsourcing of good jobs in America, other than letting profits pile up for the few at the top at the expense of the many and replace decent salaried work with poorly paid service emplyment. They can't provide jobs that offer a living wage, and they can't tell us why they can't. They can provide constantly rising gasoline and heating oil prices to the big oil companies but they can't take the growing burden off the middle class. The Republicants would call this "class warfare" but like Iraq, they started the class war by bringing us to a society of winners and losers -- with more losers every day.
3) The Republicants can't provide real protection from terrorists. Remember, 9/11 happened on their watch. They can't say that nobody knew; there were warnings, warnings they chose to ignore as witnessed by Ms. Rice's testimony before the Congress. And they can't play the terrorism card forever. People are realizing that the manipulation of fear, be it code red, orange, or yellow, or by Presidential rhetoric, is about as much about politics as it is about protection of the people. We all know that terrorism is a threat, but it must not be exaggerated so that every person with a Middle Eastern complexion is suspect, save a Saudi Prince of a Pakastani strongman. Was anything as shameful as the exploitation of 9/11 by the Republicant party, and the further exploitation of this administration to curb Civil Liberties and freedom of information?
4) They can't control pork barrel spending and destructive deficits. They have increased our deficit to a point where our children and grandchildren will be paying for their promiscuous errors for generations to come. The Republicants are the foxes who are garding our national chicken coop and they can't forever build their bridges to nowhere.
5) They can't understand science, but they can attempt to block scientific breakthroughs. That includes stem cell research and global warming. And failing to understand the problem, they can't do anything to provide government help to find cures for our killing diseases and to prevent the melting icebergs and the pollution of our air. W has never met a fossil fuel he didn't love.
6) They can't protect our citizens, particularly the least privileged ones, when a natural disaster such as Katrina occurs. Why? Because they don't care, and fortunately, they can't hide their lack of caring anymore. Appointing conservative African Americans such as Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, and Condaleeza Rice to be Secretary of State decieves no one within or outside of the black community as to where the heart of the Republicant party lies -- in the old pre Civil Rights South which they courted and inherited when the Democrats supported Civil Rights legistlation.
7) Most of all, and worst of all, they can't appeal to the best instincts of the voters, so instead they choose to divide people with bogus issues such as gay marriage. As a man who has been married to my one and only amazing wife for fifty three years -- I feel no threat to my life or my family from those who are gay and choose to marry. Given the sorry state of marriage and divorce in this country, we should celebrate anyone who wants to join their life to another to create a family unit and thereby gain the privilages as well as the problems of every marriage.
8) And they can't bamboozle seniors with a phony Medicare drug benefit which mainly benefits the pharmaceutical companies. Not to mention how they can't reform Social Security, since their notion of doing so is to present a gift to the brokerage houses and compromise the security of seniors.
Now, having said all that, and I realize it's a lot of can'ts for this can't-do Republicant party, there is another meaning to the cant that applies to our Republicant, an equally relevant meaning.
According to the dictionary, cant without the apostrophe is defined as monotonous talk filled with platitudes. Can anything better describe today's Republicants as they attempt to appeal to the voters by appealing to fear and bigotry, the worst instincts of those voters?
The second definition of cant is hypocritically pious language. Nuff said. The abuse of God's name by these Republicants leads one to belive that they can't have a conscience. And when a John McCain wiggles his way towards courting the very religious right that defamed him and his family, we see that even the most promising of their leaders can't win the Republicant nomination without selling out his own past with plenty of cant. Hear the pious language of the Republicant senators as they refuse to investigate the crimes of their own party, claiming that the Jusice Department is there for that purpose. By refusing to clean their own house, the Republicants expose their hypocracy time and again.
The third definition is that of cant as a special vocabulary peculiar to members of an underworld group. Can anything better describe the vocabulary of Rumsfeld, Libby and Co where all is being done to spread democracy and the billions to Halliburton are merely the side benefit of all that freedom spreading? And what of Mr. DeLay and Abramoff? Kenny Boy Lay and W? As the indictments pile up we know that we are dealing with an underworld group within the Republicant Party, and the special language they speak is greed, profits, at any price, and lies and coverups that are in the words of John Dean, worse than Watergate.
And fourth, cant means whining, pleading speech, to speak tediously, sententiously, to moralize. What better describes our President when he graces the podium to address the press and the nation?
So REPUBLICANT it is for me, and it shall ever be, until some Republicant comes along who is capable of speaking truth plainly and representing the interests of the American people and I will gladly drop the telltale t. Until then, I'll stick with the Democratic Party. I'll even vote Democrat if I am obliged to, for someone who can put the ic back in the party.