Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Liberalism in the GOP?

I must confess that sitting down first thing in the morning to review the emails that have come in overnight is more a ritual than anything else. It is something I do while having the first cup of coffee, after the near logistical nightmare that accompanies making sure my children are ready for school.

This morning was a bit different because a friend forwarded me an email from an organization called the American Conservative Union. It seems the ACU is worried about the forthcoming Republican National Convention being taken over by, dare I say it, liberals! Yes, indeed, the bulwark of conservatism that is the ACU is worried about that insidious, creeping, stealthy political malaise known as liberalism. That would be catastophic in the eyes of the ACU, and I can understand why: If liberalism gains a foothold in the Republican Party they might have to change their name to the American Conservative and Liberals Union, but the ACLU acronym has already been taken. And for conservatives to be confused with the ACLU, well, we just cannot have that, can we?

I realize it probably isn't good form for me to poke fun at the ACU at this moment of ideological crisis for them, but I simply cannot resist some good natured barbs in their direction, especially since their email has convinced me they probably have some of the tightest sphincters ever to appear on earth.

So, before the gastric acid scorches its way through their collective visceras, let me rush to assure them that I don't believe for a moment that the GOP is in any danger of being taken over by liberals. I do think its sad that an organization is in need of enemas....ummm....enemies as justification for their own existence. The American Conservative Union and its agenda came into being long before the second Bush administration, and they're going to be here afterwards, too. And as a long-time activist, I can appreciate and support their opposition to the Republican Party and expect they'll go all out for their victory, pyrrhic though it could be.

And I write this because the ACU believes, according to their email, that Americans deserve a "conservative future." Never mind that this would "conserve" corporations who get bailed out and "serve" at the altar of high profits. Until I saw their email, I wasn't worried at all about liberals insinuating themselves into the GOP.

No, I and so many other people in the US have been worried about phantom issues, like having money for gas so I could fill the tank and drive to work, paying the tolls on the expressway to women and men workers who may soon lose their jobs so the state can privatize and save money. And of course I need to do this, like so many others, so that we can pay our rents and mortgages and put food on the table, serving up that bowl of cereal to our kids in the morning at prices that are almost as high as they are for gas.

How could we be so misguided? So shortsighted? We should have been worried about the invasion of liberalism in the GOP!

The ACU's email asks me to make my voice heard. Now I do realize that they didn't mean "my" voice precisely, since the email wasn't sent to me. But I wanted to let them know how I felt in any case. We've had 8 years of a conservative-neoconservative administration. When I think of a "conservative future," I think of the United States of America having a "going out of business" sale, and the first 500 people to call will get free shipping and a complimentary set of flatware. That's right...ummm...far right. We could be the only nation ever in the history of the planet to declare bankruptcy under Chapter 11. It would make for an interesting Trustee's meeting.

But as I've said, I'm not worried. Even if a few liberals do go in the GOP's direction, and the platform is a touch more liberal than those of past years (which wouldn't be at all difficult), when the ballots are cast in November they will discover they do not have the heart, soul and vitality of the mass movement that has grown and emerged around the Obama campaign.