Tuesday, December 19, 2017

moderates in the middle, part 2: I tried, I really did

For a dozen years, I assiduously avoided blogging about politics. Then a couple of weeks ago, I published a post that had been sitting in my drafts folder for months. Every few weeks, I'd read it, edit it a bit, and try to decide if I wanted to start blogging again--and more than that, whether or not I wanted to write about politics. Finally, I did post it. But oddly, almost immediately after proclaiming my moderation, I gave up on being a moderate.

In one sense, I'll always be a moderate, because it's just my personality. But that stupid post went up the day before the Senate's bizarre, last minute, shoved-through approval of their version of the tax bill-- hundreds of pages, some with handwritten annotations, sent to the Senate floor mere hours before they forced a vote. (In one of my proudest moments as a Montanan, our Democratic senator Jon Tester posted a fabulous rant about the flagrant arrogance of the move.)

So, lord knows what's going to happen, but I have no more patience with elected Republicans. I still have many Republican friends and family that I respect--many of whom are similarly disgusted, and a few of whom read here--but that was such a weird, incomprehensible series of events that I find myself no longer willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The thing that makes it most ironic to me is that I naively thought-- months ago, back in the early days of the current administration-- that genuine tax reform was the one thing they'd be able to do. I'm not a Republican, so I knew wouldn't approve of everything they put in their tax bill, but they're Republicans. Tax reform is their thing, and Trump had ridden to victory as the champion of the middle class. Surely, I thought, somewhat desperately looking for a silver lining, surely they will come up with a streamlined, middle-class friendly tax bill.

But they didn't. Oceans of ink are being spilled about this, and I'm no expert so I'm not going to try to talk economics. Suffice it to say that my hope the Republicans might have something decent to offer the American public is now gone. Would the Dems do any better? Impossible to say. But my feeble efforts to build bridges instead of continuing to widen the divide seem hopelessly jejune (I looked that up to make sure it meant what I thought it did: naive, simplistic, superficial).

I'd like to add that I consider issues of social justice to be nonpartisan, which is why I hadn't given up hope before. I don't think you have to be a democrat or a liberal to be supportive of the LGBTQI community, or people of color, or women's rights. Certainly there are Republicans who are horrified by white supremacists. Sexual harassment knows no party lines. I didn't think that having the Republicans in charge necessarily meant huge setbacks in civil rights (after all, no one is talking about de-legalizing same sex marriage). However, maybe I'm wrong about that, too. I don't have much of a track record going here since my one political post flailed. In spite of that, I have two more to post sometime soon. Maybe.

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