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Preface & Reader Response




by Jerry Murley

I voted today. It was a joyous and optimistic experience, not a hateful and spiteful one.

One would hope that it takes many words to describe the experience of America in the past eight years. Regrettably, it does not. Reigning members of the gop have cast a negativity and joylessness on the land that has threatened to upturn nearly every value that I was taught to hold dear and have tried to propagate in my family over several decades. I have been heart sickened by the crude words, phrases, and ideas that I have heard uttered by elected and organizational leaders and their spokesmen. The reckless social, environmental, fiscal, and international policies associated with the administration and its affiliates over the past eight years have threatened the basic well-being of not only our citizens and visitors but countless others around the world as well.

In 2000, the tenor was distinctly anti-intellectual (education and mental capacity doesn't matter); in 2004, it was anti-duty (attack the ones who served abroad in battle) and against the creation of responsible households between a minority of consenting and loving adults. In the current financial debacle, it has been anti-savings and prudence (the high fliers are rewarded while average workers foot the bill). Lies are now told repeatedly without shame, and few but maybe the middle-class taxpayer, the poor, and military families are asked to sacrifice. The gop has systematically undermined the most basic values of this country. And even when there have been highly intellectual defenders of the administration's activities, they have been so coldly surgical and acidic as to severely cut the web of living reality and corrode the essence of civil interaction and spiritual inquiry.

There are many citizens who have leaned Republican who are very decent, intelligent, responsible, fun-loving people. I work with them and they are a treasured part of my community and family. I regret to inform our Republican friends and neighbors that the sulfuric, unilateral political tactics and policies of the past eight years have largely discredited the fiscal, service, and social values which were, at least in part, ethically sound and practically sensible. (As Halloween 2008 approaches, I won't say that gross international and domestic error is anywhere close to terror, but I would advise our Republican friends to start associating with some more clearheaded, good-hearted folks who have a sense of humor and honor that is respectful of common humanity and that doesn't rely on the hurt of others.)

I can almost bet that some Democrats will be only too human and descend quickly into internal bickering and over-reach in counterbalance to eight years of gop rule. (To those newly elected to Congress who are Democrats: make no mistake about it, I for one have chosen the tone and aspirations of Barack Obama and you all had better try very hard to be honest, fiscally and socially responsible, and decent to your political opponents.) We will not stand for the gutted, odorous partisanship of the past decade. This is no country for old venom.

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