Our politics are an embarrassment. It’s a cornucopia of purist, entangled with anarchist, blended with overall apathy. The rational, middle-of-the-road Republicans and Democrats have been replaced by ideologues regurgitating cable news talking points, without any reference or concern as to the source or context in which they are delivered. At some point, intentional intellectual dishonesty became an excusable offense as long as the speaker “won” the hot take.
Republicans have to end the practice of standing up at the people’s lectern and blatantly lying about even the most basic information. We’re not children who can’t handle the truth. I promise, despite what you may see on television, if you treat us like adults, we’ll rise to the occasion. Here’s a professional tip, if your policies are good, you won’t have to lie to voters to gain their support.
If Republicans are the party of ideas, let’s debate those ideas. Let’s engage in open dialogue about how to fix our health care system. Let’s address how to stimulate job growth and build an economy that gives every family an opportunity to realize the American dream.
We can’t do that if there’s no accountability for blatant political “hackary.” We can’t engage in a civil political debate when Republicans continue to fail to acknowledge the inconsistencies in their own arguments. We can’t engage in a debate of ideas when Republicans can’t even engage in an honest and open discussion. These are basic societal rules that are being broken every day.
If Republicans are worried about the sanctity of our elections when it comes to minorities and voter ID laws, then worry when a foreign government hacks into a democracy too. I’m just asking for some consistency. If Kris Kobach is worried about unregistered immigrants voting in our election, he should be equally as concerned when Vladamir Putin attempts to sway the election and pick the candidate of his choosing. You may not like Hillary Clinton, but you still love America, right? That type of political inconsistency used to be indefensible.
Maybe there was collusion, maybe there wasn’t, I’ll leave that to Special Prosecutor Mueller to decide. But, shouldn’t we want to know what happened, regardless of what the answer will be? Forget who’s in office, shouldn’t we want to know how our election was tampered with? It’s a fact that our voter databases were tampered with, how can we not do something to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. We have elections coming up in 2018 and 2020, does anyone think that Russia will miraculously wake up and decide it’s not in their best interest to do it again? There has to be some consistency on the part of Republicans.
If Republicans are worried about “fake-news” and the misrepresentation of material facts, then they should stop defending websites like Breitbart and Drudge who peddle the type of racial and political click-bait that is beneath even the grocery store trash I see in the check-out line.
Every media outlet will get a story wrong periodically, but when they get it wrong, they should issue a retraction and hold the responsible parties accountable. (*Which is exactly what CNN did. Breitbart, not so much.) We need a free and open press; delegitimizing the press because its narratives don’t align with political messaging isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous and against everything our founders believed in.
If Republicans believe in the sanctity of life, believe in the sanctity of ALL life. That’s kinda how consistency works. Being pro-life should mean you support the life after it’s out of the womb too. It’s not enough to support bringing a child into the world, only for them to suffer under extreme poverty and a lack of opportunity. Being pro-life should mean supporting life from the cradle to the grave. I don’t mean socialism, I mean an environment conducive to success.
We need consistency in our politics. If Republicans want to go after groups like Planned Parenthood while labeling themselves as “pro-life,” then they should also want to protect that life after it comes out of the womb. It’s not enough to talk about the sanctity of life, I want to see how pro-life you are when the next Trayvon Martin loses his life. I want to hear about how pro-life you are when the conversation turns to depriving millions of poor Americans of access to health care. I want to hear about your pro-life stance while comforting the mothers and fathers of sick children in Flint. Is that too much to ask?
One of the few things that can unite us in this country is that we all want the same things, the best schools, the best economy, the best country, we just differ on how we get there. That’s OK. That’s the whole point of a democracy. What’s not okay is the dumpster fire of false equivalencies that have become de facto political arguments.
It’s not that complicated, Americans look to both parties to explain nuanced policies, to be their eyes and their ears on difficult political issues. When Republicans play games with the facts, they not only let the American people down, but they chip away at the legitimacy of our democracy.
If Republicans want to be consistent, they can’t embrace Donald Trump at breakfast, run away from him at lunch, and then embrace him again at dinner. That’s not political courage, that’s political cowardice.
Every time our president lies and manipulates the American public, he delegitimizes the very office that he holds. He delegitimizes our founding fathers who envisioned our greatness. He delegitimizes our brave troops who fight to preserve our greatness. He delegitimizes each of us, who are supposed to be reflections of our nation’s greatness.
Donald Trump is exposing our flaws. Donald Trump is exposing our hypocrisy. Donald Trump is exposing Republicans. Maybe he really will make America great again, by forcing us to deal with the ugliness inside of our borders. Maybe we’ll finally be forced to live up to the virtues we judge other nations by, instead of being given a pass for the lip service that we currently call civic engagement. It’s time to step up and grow up.
It’s time to raise the bar instead of lowering it to meet our already incredibly low expectations. That’s how big boy democracies work. That’s how responsible leaders engage. THAT’S how we actually “Make America Great Again.”