iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Thrity Umrigar

GET UPDATES FROM Thrity Umrigar
 

A Thanksgiving Letter to the Republican Party

Posted: 11/21/2012 5:27 pm

Dear Republicans:

Thank you.

Thank you for your class warfare, for your bull-headedness on taxes, your contempt for the poor and middle-class, your racism, your bigotry, your cluelessness about gender politics, your sneering hostility toward immigrants and minorities.

On this Thanksgiving Day, a personal request: Please don't change.

Please keep digging in your heels about not raising taxes on the top one percent even if it means sending the country into a second recession, so that the rest of us can see, once and for all, who your masters are, whose interests you really serve.

Please keep talking endlessly about the wealth-makers and the "small business owners," and never breathe a word about the waitress mom who works long hours at the small restaurant, the clerk who labors at the small insurance company, the teachers who work heroically in crumbling school buildings, the workers who toil in factories whose owners constantly threaten to take their business overseas. Keep doing this until people see, as they did in this month's election, that your loyalties are not with the workers who fuel our economy.

While you're at it, please keep pissing off women by talking about them in infantilizing terms, by not trusting them to make mature, adult, informed choices about their own bodies, by expanding your 40-year-old war against abortion into a war against contraception. Keep unleashing people like Akin and Mourdock onto the people, who are already scratching their heads, wondering if they have suddenly woken up in the 1950s -- in Russia.

Keep trying to convince us that a Republican who believes that abortion should only be legal in cases of saving the life of the mother or in cases of rape and incest, is a progressive Republican. That position will put you only slightly to the left of the Taliban.

Oh, and please don't forget to insult immigrants every chance you get by referring to them as "illegals," and talks of rounding them all up and self-deportation. Doing so will ensure that you stay out of power for at least another generation.

And remember, it is your birthright and solemn obligation to shun the reality-based universe and continue to exist in the world of your own making. In this world, unicorns exist and human beings and dinosaurs lived side-by-side and global warming is a hoax or a left-wing, anti-American plot, and the president is a Marxist Muslim who was born in Kenya and traipses around the world constantly apologizing for America, until foreign leaders plug their ears and please tell him to take his apologizing-for-America ways home.

And that's the polite version. In the more sinister version, the president is the anti-Christ or the Manchurian candidate, planted in the White House to destroy American from within. (I'm guessing he was dropped into the White House by those black U.N. helicopters that have haunted so many a Republican nightmare.)

Yes, please keep shunning reality because it will liberate the rest of us to live in 2012, where we understand that the way to improve our own marriages is really not by stopping gay couples from marrying, that just because of a clever marketing campaign coal doesn't really become "clean coal," and that speaking of dinosaurs, at least one political party in America seems about to become one.

Now, to quote Marco Rubio, the new Great Brown Hope of the Republican Party, "I am not a scientist." Still and all, I do believe in science. It's sort of like, I'm not a doctor but I do believe that T.B. exists. Because people who are doctors, have told me so. So I'm willing to stick my neck out and say, I believe global warming is real and that finding alternatives to fossil fuels seems like a pretty prudent and rational thing to do.

But rationality is of course, a four-letter word in certain circles. And so, I beg you, please continue your campaign against President Obama. Please don't be embarrassed when your presidential candidate courts the blessings of that old, adorable mop-top, Donald Trump. Be brazen enough that your toes don't automatically curl with embarrassment every time the Donald opens his mouth. Keep referring to the president as a wild-eyed radical, a socialist, a Muslim, an atheist. And for heaven's sake, don't acknowledge the contradictions inherent in each one of these slurs.

Blithely ignore the fact that the rest of us see a mild-mannered, earnestly decent man who at times seems to be the only American left standing who still believes in bipartisanship. Or that we see nobility and grace in the manner in which he disregards racist insinuations; that this a man who is never mean-spirited or angry, who seems more interested in policy rather than posturing, a man who has run a mostly no-nonsense, scandal-free administration, a leader who has kept more of his campaign promises then any president in recent history. Unlike you, we see a man who treats his wife as his equal, whose affection and love for his children seems heartwarmingly genuine, who doesn't suffer from any of the dysfunctions and neediness that have marked so many of our leaders. Above all, we see a man who does not cause us to wince each time he says the word "nuclear."

You see, we do not think our president is leading us into permanent decline, or heading a nation of losers and takers. We refuse to disparage our fellow citizens who are on disability or Social Security or food stamps or Medicare or veterans benefits, as somehow sucking the country's coffers dry. We prefer to reserve those labels for the corporate raiders and bankers and unscrupulous mortgage lenders, who actually brought our country to the point of financial collapse.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am so grateful that we can count on you to learn exactly the wrong lessons from your recent election debacle. I hope that you will continue down the path that you are on for a long time to come.

Oh, I know that this will not last forever. I know that at some point simple self-preservation will kick in and you will have to tackle the illegal immigration problem in a humane, civilized way that is worthy of the greatness of this country. I know the day will come when you will pretend that you were always on the side of marriage equity, that you always knew that discrimination against gay Americans was morally wrong. After all, it is very hard today to find a Southerner who would argue against the civil rights movement, or who would brag of his or her role in disenfranchising fellow citizens. This is the trouble with the arc of the moral universe -- it has this inconvenient way of bending towards justice.

Speaking of disenfranchising fellow citizens. Ahem. Please start raising money immediately from your billionaire supporters so that you can run more billboards in 2016 in predominantly African-American neighborhoods, reminding them that voter fraud is a felony. It was such a wonderfully visual reminder that the only way you can win national elections is by suppressing the turnout. Not to mention how much those billboards and other efforts by you pissed off black citizens, who were reminded anew of how precious their right to vote was -- and how much their elders had sacrificed to earn it.

So, my dear Republicans. Happy Thanksgiving. Don't let me down. Remember, I am counting on you to stay wedded to the same myopic, ahistorical, mean-spirited, irrational, xenophobic, discriminatory policies and tactics that gave us the great presidential election of 2012.

And for this, a grateful 51 percent/332 electoral votes nation thanks you.

 
 
 
FOLLOW POLITICS