I sense movement nearby, and a cough. I turn to face my oldest child, my son Joshua Abraham Lawrence Spurlock - named for Emperor of the United States Joshua Abraham Norton, General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine, and Michael Spurlock who was the first ever to return a touchdown kickoff for the Tampa Bay Bucs - standing a few feet away, history textbook in hand. It had to be something about his school homework. "Got a question, son?"
"Yeah, dad, I do." He's got his mother's eye color, as close to turquoise as you can get. Pity he inherited my hair: that double crown on the back of his head is making it burst out in all the wrong directions. "We're studying up on recent events, things in the news, and comparing them to, you know, stuff that happened years ago."
"Okay, what's the comparison you're working with then?"
"Well, I got an assignment on this guy here." Josh holds up a printed sheet of a web article: some ex-politician up for a parole hearing and the outrage it's sparking on the Chrome Kos site sponsored by the latest winter blockbuster film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Spiders From Mars.
I lean in to take a closer look. "Oh, yeah. Him. You had questions about that guy?"
"Well, I started glancing through the school book, and I just noticed that well," Josh shrugged. "that all this stuff that guy did, all the lying and staged outrage and the violence in the streets he stirred up, and well, this all happened just ten years ago."
"Before you were born, true enough." I smiled and reached over to tap my son on the shoulder. "I was like you at your age. I was pretty much born after all the crazy stuff from the Sixties."
"Well, I was just kinda wondering, you know?" Josh shrugged again. "It's just... you were alive then, right?"
"Oh. Yeah." I nod with solemn and wistful intent. "I was there."
"I was just wondering, though. What did YOU do during the Republican War on America?"
Well I'm sitting here right now, in the year 2010, wondering just what I'll have to answer to my boy when the time comes, when he asks me that question: What did I do when the Republicans openly declared War on America?
Because that's pretty much what the Republican Party has done:
- The Republicans want to repeal the 17th Amendment and TAKE AWAY the voters right to directly elect Senators. The Republicans want to give that power back to state legislatures that had proved less than 100 years ago to be too corrupt and too deadlocked to have such powers.
- The Republicans want to remove the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment, specifically the part about birth - being born in the United States or in designated territories such as overseas military bases - as the prime determinant of being an American citizen. The Republicans want to go after what they call "anchor babies" as part of their War On Illegals, even though there's little evidence that anchor babies work as a loophole in our immigration system (it'd be far easier for illegals to marry an American and get a Green Card, for one): but by going after the Citizenship Clause the Republicans are also going after ANY legal citizen they'd want, and considering the list of peoples and groups that Republicans hate, that's pretty much EVERYONE who's not a Republican.
- The Republicans want to deny Muslims in this country from not only building a community center anywhere near the Ground Zero site of where the World Trade Towers stood, but are now openly going after any Muslim mosque being built ANYWHERE in the United States. The Republicans want to go after what they fear are "extremist Muslims" but are in fact going after EVERY Muslim, even the political and socially moderate Muslims who AREN'T terrorists. And this is pretty much part of their decades-long war to make the United States a God-Fearing Bible-Thumping Evangelical State. The Republicans have honestly declared war on everyone else's right to Worship As They See Fit.
- The Republicans want to go after Blacks, and any organization associated with Blacks. The Republicans also want to go after Hispanics, especially since you can't tell which Hispanic's an Illegal and which was born in East L.A. And East L.A.'s not part of Republican America anywho, so why bother eh? The Republicans also want to go after Homosexuals, because they're gaying up our military and our wedding rituals. The Republicans also want to go after teachers, professors, anyone with a background in education. The Republicans also want to go after anyone suggesting that we, you know, allow the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled in order to help fight the Republican-created deficit because ZOMG THAT'S SOCIALIST TALK. The Republicans also want to go after jurors who don't perform to their liking.
- Pretty much, if you're not Caucasian and not making over $250,000 a year with membership to exclusive golf clubs, the Republicans are at war with you.
So... what am I doing during this Republican War On America?
For starters, I'm gonna do everything in my power to keep Republicans out of office. I'm not voting for a single one at any level. Period. Even if there are sensible Republicans on the ballot who would otherwise be reasonable choices, not now. Not for the next ten generations the way that party is behaving. The whole party has to lose now just to slap some goddamn sense into them.
I'm also looking to put in volunteer hours with Crist's Senate campaign. He's Independent now, so I'm not violating the No-Republicans rule I set earlier. Need to call the campaign HQ about anything I can do in person: right now they're pretty much just asking for money, the one thing an unemployed guy like me can't really afford to do.
I'm also doing what I can to get Democrats to get out and vote this midterms. THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM: Midterm elections are smaller in turnout numbers (because most people only care to vote for the Big One: The Presidency) and it all depends on the enthusiasms of the party bases. Right now, the Republicans are all stirred up thanks to the Teabagger crowds: The Democrats are all sniping among each other to the point that their voters are all "why bother?" Well, Democrats, here's WHY you should bother: THERE ARE MORE REGISTERED DEMOCRATS RIGHT NOW THAN REGISTERED REPUBLICANS, YOU IDIOTS. Here in Florida alone there's 4 million plus Democrats and 3 million plus Republicans: you've got a 900,000 ballot head start on the GOP! If every voter turned out, Democrats ought to win every non-gerrrymandered district at the state and federal level they can! And for the Republicans to win, they'd need more than half of the 2 million Independent/Third Party voters, which is unlikely... even moreso with the Republicans going so far extreme Right on the charts that they have to be alienating too many moderate and centrist Indys. Do you get that, Democrats? All you have to do is hew along Center-Left policies, secure moderate Indy voters alongside your Left wingers, and YOU. CAN. STOP. The DAMN REPUBLICANS. From retaking Congress this midterms.
And why should you do everything in your powers to stop the Republicans, O foolish Dems? Because I SWEAR to you on Day One of a GOP-led Congress: You will have the Republicans flat-out impeaching Obama, not even waiting the traditional few months or years of investigating him. They'll just flat-out impeach using the flimsiest forged evidence of a "Kenyan Birth Certificate" they can find. And it won't matter if they get the two-thirds vote necessary in the Senate to confirm the impeachment: they'll just refile again and again and again, anything to hamper harass and delay Obama's efforts to do his damn job.
And that's just the most obvious thing they'll do. Having campaigned on so many other wingnut issues to win elections, the Republicans of 2011 are gonna have to live up to their promises: that means for Starters, a draconian illegal immigration bill designed to alienate every Hispanic demographic across the nation (even the Cubans, who normally align with the party that's most opposed to Castro).
That also means a sudden re-interest in overturning Roe v. Wade on the abortion front, something the Republicans refused to do when they had the chance back in 2001-2006, and never mind the fact that solid majorities of Americans don't even consider abortion a Top Ten priority anymore (gee, you'd think unemployment, a shaky economy, a shattering housing and mortgage industry, failing schools, and personal debt bankruptcies would be higher priorities).
And other thing: the Republican Congress will push for a hard tax cut budget that would actually make our deficits worse, but hell anything for a tax cut right? Especially since the Republicans have pledged to kill Obama's HCR program. And especially at a time when so many unemployed people are going to be on so many much-needed social programs threatened by Congress' threat of hatchet cuts to the budget to justify those tax cuts. And if Obama threatens a veto of their budget? The Republicans can shut down government altogether, like they did in 1995-1996. Like THAT was fun for everyone involved back when the economy was actually WORKING...
That also means pursuing a Bomb Iran foreign policy platform that would only succeed in thrilling the neocons and pissing off 99 percent of the rest of the planet. But hey, anything for our friends in Israel who think they've got a "Get Out Of Jail Free" Card that allows them to do whatever they want against their Middle East neighbors... and against their European Allies' interests... Gee, a constant moving war in the Middle East! Thanks, neocons!
Oh. And about ten other things that ought to scare the CRAP out of Democrats enough to GET YOU IDIOTS TO THE GODDAMN VOTING BOOTHS this November. WAKE. THE FUCK. UP, DEMS!
Sheesh. This, future son of mine, is what I'm doing during the Republican War On America. Trying to get everyone else to wake up to the fact there IS a war going on. And the sane people are losing.