Dad passed of emphysema in February of 2003. He literally suffocated because of the cigarettes he would smoke one-by-one by placing his oxygen nose pieces on the back of the chair whilst using precious breaths to inhale the addictive smoke. Speak to him of regulating the cancer sticks that were killing him and he’d growl, “no, I did this to myself.”
Part of me is grateful he does not have to watch the self-responsibility principles he loved and lived become a clown car of self-destruction party. He was a Massachusetts conservative, meaning he would be drummed out of this party today for not being pure enough.
We both admired Senator Edward Brooke, a moderate, pioneering African American conservative Republican who would not fit the party by any standard of today’s fire breathing conservatism.
My Dad and I debated for years but it was almost always heated and always respectful. Not just because he was my Dad, but because there were issues that were not worth the resulting enmity. We were adults who agreed to disagree.
There was a time where a middle ground existed that allowed men and women of conscience to come together in Washington, debate the issues of the day and move us forward. They would then retire to the cloakroom and share a collegial chat or drink. They were representatives of we, the people.
They knew that without leaders in both parties knocking heads together like Kennedy and Lugar, O’Neill and Reagan, and others who reached across the aisle, negotiated fiercely and ended up with a result that made neither side happy (which meant it was probably good for all), we would have what we now see daily. Gridlock and petulance, terrorist demands and childishness and complete gridlock.
The current incarnation of the Grand Old Party is run by 2-bit hacks. There was a period where a line existed and one did not cross it for fear of a reaction so abhorrent they would be drummed out of the Party. Now the line has been picked up off the ground and and filed down into a shiv for which to stab or beat the other guy to death. This lot are the heroes of the Tea Party. They did not come to Washington to get things done. They came to Washington to destroy it!
My Dad hated the Willie Horton adverts. He hated Governor Dukakis and never voted for him (even when he was governor) but his hate was focused on policy, not the man. Today one’s policy is used as gattling gun with which to drive a wedge and bludgeon your opponent to death.
Mitt Romney has no policy, no answers and lets his surrogates do what John McCain would not allow his team to do, say anything to destroy President Obama.
The Obama Team launch a lawsuit asking that the same extra time granted overseas military personnel to vote be given to ALL voters in OHio. That results in a patently false advert claiming Obama is attacking veteran voters. The lie then gets folded into the stump speech of Mitt Romney as normal and not a word is said by a culpable media to decry it because there are 89 days and 2,100 hours of time to fill. If they attack Mitt’s mendacity, the outcome (which we predicted on 19 December) becomes reality.
My Dad does not have to see this.. but we do.
Mitt Romney takes a bit of a speech from former President Clinton and bends it to falsely say President Obama wants to expand welfare for all. That gets folded into the stump speech and a major Presidential candidate stands there and utters bald-faced lie after lie as truth with great conviction.
My Dad does not have to see this… but we do.
Candidate Romney still refuses to release his tax returns despite the growing furore over whether or not he even paid taxes over the last 10 years.
Sadly, my Dad saw the first version of this story and still voted for him for Governor in 2002. I remember chatting with him about the choices then and his concern was (some even in the Democratic Party would echo) that Shannon O’Brien was not strong enough to lead the Commonwealth through its crisis. Romney was truly the lesser of two evils but was shown the door after one term.
Thankfully, Barack Obama is strong enough to lead the USA. The problem s what sort of lunatic Congress will he be dealt? Will it be four more years of gridlock? This ain’t my father’s Republican Party and we all, globally, should be very worried of what happens if they get control again.
Even Dad, who always voted for the man, would vote Democratic this time around. That should tell you something.
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
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