“Left wing interventionist” Roland Dodds, who blogs at But I am a Liberal, writes about how the recent behavior of US Republicans, culminating in the latest debates among the party’s presidential candidates, has helped him rediscover his socialist roots.
Regular readers of Harry’s Place may have noticed that I’ve gone through a similar process, although I managed to bypass the Republican-voting phase.
At different points in my life, I have voted for (and even stumped for) Republican candidates and politicians. This won’t be surprising to anyone who has read this blog in the last 5 years, and I still believe (and personally know) a slew of Republicans that I consider allies and comrades on a number of fronts. There are aspects of the larger conservative outlook I have sympathizes for, and have found some of the criticisms made by conservatives against our current welfare state and culture compelling on a few points. But the Republican Party’s direction since the election of Obama has exposed a preposterous core of the conservative movement that makes me question whether I can ever cast a vote for the party again.
Call it a re-discovery of my socialist roots if you will, but a class analysis on action and perception has been an approach that has been lacking from my political analysis in the last few years. Like many on what is sometimes referred to as the “decent” left, the political climate surrounding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the revolutions that have occurred in the Arab and Muslim world since 9/11, resulted in a large portion of my political efforts spent confronting reactionaries that have worked to undermine or distort the efforts made by those involved in those states that have worked tirelessly to build a more just society. The liberals, socialists, and students in those states still deserve (and require) our support and solidarity.
The local economic politics of my home state and country ended up as a second thought. I hadn’t lived in the United States for years, and economic hardships faced by individuals in my own town felt, ironically, quite distant. Additionally, ex-comrades of mine seemed preposterously ridiculous in their activities following 9/11. Pointing out the elements of my old political current that were dead-ends was necessary, or at least felt as if it was upon leaving those movements.
I won’t be rejoining any of these old cadres, but watching the Republican Party and conservative voices make the same tired case for… tax cuts for the rich in the last decade makes me regret not addressing this point more vociferously…
…The vision the Republican Party has for the future of this nation is not one I share, as it sees no problem with wealth inequality and a withered state that is incapable of redistributing a dime of their money. The left acted dreadfully during the Iraq War and the foreign policy events that surrounded it, but the Republicans have acted equally as crass in their vapid opposition to everything and anything the Obama administration does. The Conservative insistence that the rich are “over taxed” is silly, seeing that they pay less now to the community till than they have in decades.
The Republicans helped create the financial crises we have before us, and they further exasperate it by not doing the adult thing, and raise taxes to pay for the wars and programs they once so passionately defended. Better yet, they must recognize that a society and an economy is only free and fair when all of your citizens can take part in it, and the way America is trending does not assure such a civilization.