Friday, December 18, 2015

OPINION: Gruesome Outdated Party

I understand the appeal of Donald Trump. I understand the “badass” attitude of not giving a f*ck and just “going for it” when it comes to national security. I understand the concept of not taking crap from anyone and being bold and brash and hardcore. I understand the mentality that this is “our country” and the need to do whatever it takes to protect it. I understand the heroic aspect of going after the bad guys and kicking their asses.

The problems with this are numerous. For one thing, we’re no longer a fledgling of a country who’s rebelling against the oppressive “mother” country, insisting we can do it on our own. We’ve proven that. We are a full-fledged world power. We should act like it.

The things Donald Trump and many of the Republicans are saying, they sound like little kids talking about what they would do if they could. It’s not realistic. It’s not mature. All this “tough talk” is for someone who is trying to convince others of their power. We don’t need to convince anyone. We need to wield it with responsibility. The more we flaunt it, the more enemies we make worldwide. We have achieved our goal of becoming one of the most powerful nations on Earth. We should act like it. Not with bullying and exclusion, but with grace and civility, which includes helping others who need it.

Building a big wall between us and the next country is a remarkably immature schoolyard type of behavior. “This is my stuff! You can’t cross this line!” We’re supposed to grow out of that attitude by the time we get out of middle school. It’s not like we don’t have enough to go around. With all the excess and gluttony and obesity we have in this country, it’s plain to see that we could stand to share a bit more. Isn’t sharing one of the first things we learn as kindergartners?

This is why I feel we as a nation have outgrown the Grand Old Party. It was Grand. In a time when we needed it, when we still used words like “Grand,” it was necessary and significant. Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president, was against the war with Mexico (which current GOP seems to be in favor of), and he promoted the modernization of our economy. Times have changed, our economy is thriving, and we still shouldn’t be at war with Mexico. Now the Grand Old Party is just “Old.” We’re past that. We need a political party and a political outlook - an ideal - that has evolved along with our nation.

The “Republic” aspect of our government is well-established. We are not under the rule of a monarch. It is an outdated assertion. What we need to assert now is the Democracy aspect of our government - that the people and their voices matter and should shape the future of our nation. The Republican party is trying to cram our entire population into a pair of pants that no longer fits. The Democrats recognize that we’ve grown and continue to grow, and it’s time to get a new wardrobe. Our needs have changed, and our behavior and policies should change and evolve along with them.

I think it’s a bit far-reaching to say that the time for a new party has arrived. I realize we need to take baby steps. You can’t drastically shift something as large and complex as our country without much of it falling down. What I would like to see is for a Democratic leadership to win several terms in a row, showing that the Republicans are obsolete, and let another party rise from the ashes - a new party who takes an evolved stance against the Democrats. Let them improve on the ideas and continue to make us better.

In the fashion of Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican party, which later split off into the parties we know today, perhaps the Democratic party, in the interest of fine-tuning to get us closer to perfection, should split into more specific aspects of the current party. The Democratic-Liberals vs. the Democratic-Conservatives.

Leading a mature country like ours requires a mature leader, and I don’t think Donald Trump is that person. His childish insults and boasting are not the way I want to be represented on the world stage.

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