Letter 2 America for March 16, 2021

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Dear America,

I don't know whether the Republican Party drives conservatism or conservatism drives the Republican Party.  Similarly, I don't know whether progressivism drives the Democrats or the other way around.  But the fact is that the two party names are misnomers.  They should be changed so as to make our political proclivities clear and obviate all this dissembling about bi-partisanship being desirable.  The reality is that if the majority is liberal we get liberal laws and policies.  If, on the other hand, the majority is conservative, we get conservative laws and policies.  The election process is what should, and actually does, control the political direction of our nation, America.  This talk about "crossing the aisle" and including the opposition in decision making when one party or the other is in control of the two houses of congress is nothing but obfuscation.  If we would rename the parties "Liberal" and "Conservative" we would be dealing in political realism when we go to the poles, not political fealty.  The latter is dangerous because it is deracinated from morality, ethos, ethics and practicality.  The former is a true reflection of the political climate of the nation; as a consequence of adopting such a party nomenclature, we could be honest about the nation's direction in our political discussions.  We could begin to talk about what is right and what is wrong rather than how to get members of our parties elected, and thus obviate much of the wrangling that now occurs in all of our capitals and get down to the real business of defining America instead of assigning political labels to excuse it.

This isn't a new idea for me.  I've thought it, and said it, for decades.  When we apply euphemisms to our politics--and that's all that the party names are--we allow ourselves to hide behind them and make false claims about...ourselves.  Over the past four years, we have reaped that whirlwind: Donald Trump.  Trump initiated a certain coded political colloquy when he descended that garish golden escalator in Trump Tower and pronounced people coming over our southern border criminals and rapists who bring drugs into the country.  Statistics show that they are actually less likely to commit such offenses against us than are our citizens and both illegal and legal aliens.  And the studies of those statistics have bourn out that fact since the Dillingham Commission of 1911 through the Barbara Jordan Commission of 1994 to the Cato Institute studies, some focused on Texas where immigration is not just a national issue but a local one, in 2019.  Trump's sub rosa message validated anti-immigrant sentiment and violence, not just against Mexicans and others from Latin America, Muslims and others from elsewhere, but specifically against people of Asian descent, for which he was particularly responsible by virtue of his denomination of the Corona virus as the "Asian virus."  Between immigration and xenophobia generally, and vilification of all Black-Lives-Matter protestors as vandals and criminals, he inspired a certain segment of our society unfortunately labeled "a basket of deplorables" by Hillary Clinton to manifest their false beliefs in action, including the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.  He unleashed that group, albeit probably a minority of Republicans, by making himself the icon of the Republican Party and converting the party platform, which was not modified in 2020 from what it was in 2016 when Trump was nominated, to the Trump platform.  If the party had been the Conservative Party instead of the Republican Party, the canard that the border wall was a political issue rather than a moral one would have been dispelled.  The illusion of political affiliation as a motive would have been debunked and all those looking to hide behind political taxonomy for shelter from the ignominy of spurning everyone who wasn't them would have been exposed for what it was, and thus to the potential for moral disrepute, and lip service to everything and everyone from Emma Lazarus to the drafters of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution would have been exposed for the fraud that it has become in some conservative circles. 

We have to begin calling things by their right names in this country...our country.  The country is us, and we are the country.  In order for us to live up to the creed that our founding documents prescribe, we must face ourselves and admit our flaws, not just boast about our virtues.  We are the nation, not the rabble who tried to halt democracy and vitiate our republic on January 6.  We should be honest about ourselves, and call not just things, but ourselves by our right names.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on March 16, 2021 10:29 AM.

Letter 2 America for March 1, 2021 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for March 22, 2021 is the next entry in this blog.

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