A battleground rooted more in morality than political science?

By: 
Gasconade County Democrats Club

To the Publisher:

This newspaper’s editorial focusing on the children’s story “Horton Hears a Who” started down the trail of political conflict that is tearing at our country by selecting incidents where Republican officials were treated crudely by Democrats.

Granting full accuracy on that reporting and acknowledging that boorish behavior insults both parties at the same time, I’d have to say the writer has a point.

But, it’s a cherry-picked point that ignores totally the deeper context of these acts. These altercations have not taken place within the normal range of political differences. The issues are more basic…lying, acting above the law, cruelty and betrayal.

It’s like parents blowing up at each other over whether to go out for dinner and the kids thinking, “Whoa, act like adults! It’s just McDonalds or Shake n Bake, not that big a deal!” 

True as far as it goes, but if they realized that one of their parents had been found cheating they might understand that the anger was about more than had met their eyes. 

The battleground today is rooted more in morality than it is in political science. We’re kidding ourselves if we don’t recognize why the outrage runs so deep among Democrats these days. Everyone knows that our President is a compulsive liar — some of us just don’t want to acknowledge it publicly or, perhaps, to ourselves. 

Devious political maneuvering like gerrymandering and voter suppression can’t be honestly dismissed as simply “playing politics”…it’s disenfranchisement. It’s taking something as basic as “one man, one vote” and perverting it in the name of “our side wins.”

Pretending anything less is hypocrisy. I’m not mincing my words here because that kind of murkiness is what’s gotten us where we are in the first place. We’ve learned to fuzzy-over truth and right vs. wrong, and have become a nation of game players and blind-eyed actors.

We chant on cue, communicate in codes and dog whistles. We bluff and wink our way to grabbing power that we don’t know what to do with anyway because we’ve lost our principles in the process. This is what’s being fought over, not seating in a restaurant or getting a cake baked. 

The great overlooked irony of using Horton to press the case for the little guy is that he’s an elephant, the symbol of the Republican party. This is the party that enticed everyday Whos to vote for a huge permanent tax break for the rich by tying it to a two year pennies-on-the-dollar break for the middle class.

And when the chickens had to be recognized as coming home to roost in the form of a greatly increased national debt, this is the party that wanted to pay down that debt by cutting into Medicare and Social Security, programs that benefit the Whos more than the Who’s Who of the world.

Income inequality in our country continues to widen as our booming economy looks good on paper but ignores the fact that wages have stagnated while CEOs and stockholders are reaping historic benefits. A rising tide is supposed to float all boats, but as controlled by Republicans, it’s only the yachts that are being lifted these days.

When desperate Central American families sought asylum at our southern border, they were portrayed by this administration as grasping unworthies and met with policies that separated them from their children or caged them inhumanely. 

This the party that supports in lock step our short-sighted billionaire President as he cuts environmental guidelines and denies Climate Change so big business can avoid regulations that would cut into its profits. Unbelievably, our future doesn’t seem to count up as well as dollars.

To this administration the Whos of this world don’t matter until it’s about an election and then they’re to be lied to, flattered, incited with rage, and promised shiny baubles until their votes are counted.

The list could go on and on, but I’m guessing that if Dr. Suess were writing today, just to avoid confusion, he’d make Horton a little blue donkey.