This Time, It’s Personal
by Rob Schultheis
Aug 30, 2012 | 1866 views | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I don’t know how anyone reading this feels, but to me, this election has become personal.

Let me explain.  My late mother’s family is from the deep South; I have ancestors who owned plantations in Mississippi and Virginia, and one who served as a general with the Confederacy in the Civil War.  

But in time, they somehow transcended their past. Almost all of my relatives on my mother’s side were leaders in the civil rights movement back when the movement was considered an un-American, aberration. My great uncle Frank Smith was the judge in Rabun County, Ga., back in the 1930s; he stopped what would have been the last lynching in northern Georgia, singlehandedly backing down a mob at the business end of a 12 gauge-shotgun. His sister Lillian Smith wrote Strange Fruit, the 1944 best-selling novel about an interracial love affair, and Killersof the Dream, a fiery attack on the brutality and inhumanity of segregation.  She was a close personal friend of Martin Luther King, Jr., and cofounded the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee with Stokely Carmichael. 

So what am I supposed to think when the Republicans in 17 different states are attempting to pass laws making it difficult for African-Americans to vote? The media doesn’t seem overly concerned about it – surprise! – and there’s been no great outcry from the general public.

But I’m sorry, I find this cynical revival of racism utterly repulsive.  I though the days of Jim Crow were long gone, a vestige of the distant past, but now the Republicans have revived the whole obscenely ugly institution in order to…what? Keep a tax system in place that makes the wealthy even wealthier? Cut government spending on education, health, the environment and the infrastructure, so we can fall even farther behind the rest of the industrialized world? Continue to lay waste to the environment by banking on fossil fuels and refusing to develop alternate energy sources? 

Drill, baby, drill?   Well, drill this, you freaking idiots: America has 2 per cent of the world’s gas and oil reserves; we currently consume close to thirty per cent, and Romney campaigns with a sign that baldly lies, “ENERGY INDEPENDENCE BY 2020.

The leaders of the Republican Party, the Roves, Giulianis, Kochs, Bushes and the rest don’t believe a word of it, of course.

If we do allow more offshore drilling, ravage Canada for its oil sands and lay waste the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, most of the increased gas and oil will be sold off to China, and if there’s any left over it will go to fuel those grotesque “recreational” sarcophagi on wheels we see on the highways these days, driven by scowling old monsters who don’t care that they’re ruining the planet for their children and grandchildren. It’s all about money, money and power.

The Republican Party of today isn’t composed of conservatives, with a coherent vision of our nation and society as it was in the past; it’s a Kleptomaniacal Klan, willing to murder democracy in America in order to keep looting the world, and damn the consequences.  What a sick and sorry spectacle.

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September 12, 2012