Grev (ilgreven) wrote,
Grev
ilgreven

A Traitor to Yourself: An Essay...

...so, here is my honest thought about the Republican Party.

No matter who you are, if you vote for anyone from the Republican Party, you are a traitor to yourself. Not even a traitor to your country (but then, your country is an extension of yourself, so...), but each and every group in America has reasons why they are worse off if they vote Republican.

If you are a woman and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you are giving up the right to make meaningful, informed, and affordable choices about your own health. Republicans have stated time and again that a woman has no rights to control when she can get pregnant (no contraception, abstinence-only education) or to control whether they want to carry a baby to term if they do get pregnant (no abortion). In these endeavors, they have succeeded in making it harder for a woman to control her health outside of pregnancy (defunding Planned Parenthood) and easier for a man in her life to make decisions for her (paying her less than a man in the same job, forcing teenagers to have a parent's permission to get an abortion). And if she doesn't have a man in her life, then she's fucked. (Attempts to end Unemployment, Welfare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Head Start, defunding schools, believing there are differences between types of rape, thinking that only a man, a woman, and 2.3 kids are a valid "family").

If you are a black person and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you will always be seen with suspicion from Republicans. Look at the way they treat a president who only has one black parent. Republicans want to make it harder for poor blacks to be able to climb out of poverty (no Welfare, no Medicaid, no Food Stamps, defunding schools, cratering government job programs, defunding police so that crime runs rampant). And if they do happen to climb out of poverty, blacks will still be treated with disdain (driving while black, more blacks in prison populations than the general population, attempts to "control voter fraud").

If you are a foreigner or obviously descended from foreigners and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because, like blacks, Republicans will always see you with suspicion. No matter how American you profess to be, the fact that you or your parents were born in another country makes you someone who simply wants to steal jobs from good, hardworking Americans and take that money back to the motherland you or your parents left to come here. No matter how legitimate your immigration (and there are still many more legal immigrants than illegal immigrants in this country), Republicans always see you as an illegal and act accordingly.

If you are a non-Christian and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because Republicans think you are a traitor. Especially if you're a Muslim (terrorist) or an atheist (for daring to go against the God of 'Murca and the Baby Jesus). They'll attack you by making it seem like they're the ones imperiled (But those Ten Commandments in the courthouse and no organized prayer in public schools infringes on my First Amendment rights!, I'm just protecting myself from the ragheads that flew two planes into the World Trade Centers!). Their goal is to make this nation a Christian nation, and they'll use any means necessary to do it, even if it means breaking the very tenets of their own Savior's teachings (banning Sharia Law which was already banned by the First Amendment, attempting to get creationism taught as science, trying to re-introduce faith requirements to hold public office even though it's been struck down by the Supreme Court, protesting the building of mosques and destroying mosques that have already been built, faith-based initiatives which exclude all but Christians).

If you are gay, lesbian, bi, or just not sure your identity matches up with your gender, and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you are giving up the right to be recoginzed for being who you are. From being unable to marry the person you truly love, to being unable to adopt kids with the person you truly love, to attempts to "cure" you or "cleanse" you of your "sin", to making you a criminal (anti-sodomy laws, attempts to ban gender reassignment surgery or striking it out of healthcare initiatives), to, when all else fails, just plain killing you for being "queer"...Republicans have many ways to make sure you live a miserable life.

If you are under 30 and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because the Republican Party has done more to suppress your growth than any party ever has. They fight minimum wage laws so your first rung is lower; they attack public schools and teachers so that the majority of you can't get a good education; they make no effort to stem the inflation that makes your wage nearly meaningless; they fight the safety nets there to catch you when you lose your job; and they fight the ways you express your anger at them (SOPA, retaining marijuana laws, attempts to ban violent video games, calling SWAT teams in at the slightest hint of protest). (This is, admittedly, the group that is screwed over the most by both parties, and thus, the group most in need of a third. Voting for Barack Obama (a lifelong and staunch Democrat in the current sense of the party being center-right) or Ron Paul (a 70-something-year-old lifelong Republican who claims he's a libertarian) won't help the young ones break free of this control.)

If you are over 65 and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because Republicans have screwed you over just like they've screwed over your grandchildren. They fight to allow the businesses you worked for to break their promises of giving you a pension because it's just too expensive. They fight to turn Medicare into a voucher program that most likely wouldn't even cover the cost of your prescriptions, let alone your doctors' visits. In their suppression of your childrens' and grandchildrens' wages, they fight to make sure you can't count on their support when times get tough for you, because times are already tough for them. And, if you actually want to die, they fight against that, too, by not allowing a doctor to end your life if he thinks it would cause less harm than prolonging your life.

If you make under $250,000 a year and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you've just voted for programs to make sure you never make $250,000 a year. Thanks to Republican help, corporations are slowly changing the face of the common worker. 25 years ago, the common worker could count on a decent wage, healthcare, a pension when they retired, and the knowledge that unless they fucked up extremely badly, they could keep their jobs for life, because there was a union fighting for them. Now, the common worker makes just over poverty wage, is not guaranteed either healthcare or retirement benefits, can be fired on the whim of their boss, and have no union to take their grievances. And, of course, they're working on stripping the ex-common worker of unemployment benefits and welfare and Medicaid, too. Also, they're masters at misdirection, getting these new common workers to be angry at teachers for making more than they do, when, in fact, teachers are making less than what the common worker made 25 years ago. If the common worker isn't making that, there are two entities he can blame for that, and neither of them is a teacher.

And if you are lucky enough not to fall into one of the above categories...if you're a male, white, longtime American, Christian, straight, 40-year-old, rich person, and you vote Republican...you're still a traitor to yourself. Because you interact with people that do fall into the above categories every day of your life. And the worse off they are, the worse off you are. Republican polices that hurt women also hurt the men in their lives, as they must share the burden of unwanted children and no access to affordable womens' healthcare. Republican policies for blacks in poverty also hurt whites in poverty, and their views on blacks as common thugs pigeonhole many of them into it, so that both black and white store owners must secure their stores to deter them. Policies against foreigners harm certain business owners, especially farmers who depend on migrant work to make a living. Policies against non-Christians hurt Christians because it only helps turn more and more people against their faith, even if they themselves don't believe any of the crap that their more radical bretheren believe. Anti-gay legislation hurts many industries: The marriage industry has fewer wedding parties to throw; foster homes remain swamped with kids that would have been in a loving home if gays were only allowed to adopt; many industries in the business of style are harmed by making gays miserable, too. Suppressing young people's wages hurts the economy even for the corporations, because they're the ones most likely to buy their products. Turning Medicare into vouchers would put a strain on the end-of-life care industry, which has enough trouble with the increasing tide of boomers that enter nursing homes every year. And keeping people out of work and out of money has devastating effects on an economy that can only function when money flows and is not held up in a bank in another country by people who will never need to access it.

So there you are. No matter what class of American you fall into, no matter how you identify yourself, no matter who you identify with...if you are an American, and you vote Republican, you are a traitor to yourself.
Tags: politics, rant
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