Where have the good guys gone?
Where have the good guys gone?
I can’t find them. In my adult life, I have always tried to belong to the party that made me feel like a good guy. At 18, I liked Reagan and I was pro-life so I registered as a Republican.
It felt good.
Then when I was 21, a good friend and former teacher ran for state senate. She was a Democrat and, since I was going to be running her campaign, I switched my affiliation as well.
It felt right.
I remained a Democrat because in Oklahoma in 1992, it was the best way to get to vote in local primary elections. By the time I left Oklahoma in 2007, Republicans had taken over local politics in the Sooner State. Since I was going to Kansas where that statement was even more accurate, I considered returning to the GOP. However, Sarah Palin was coming onto the scene and then Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach emerged on the Kansas political scene and I gladly remained a Democrat to avoid being grouped in with them.
Before long, a good friend was running for a seat in the Kansas State Legislature and I switched my registration back to the GOP so I could vote for her.
When I got a chance to return to Oklahoma, I stayed with the GOP in order to be able to vote in local primaries again. It was a purely pragmatic move because I really don’t identify well with the extremist ideology of many Oklahoma Republicans. Everyone talks about government waste and how tax cuts will be easy to pay for by cutting that waste.
However, the only waste they can ever seem to find is in higher and common education and programs that help people who truly need and deserve assistance.
None of the so called conservatives can ever see the sweetheart deals for big industry and campaign donors that are draining the state’s coffers and forcing revenue failures.
Couple that with Religious Right anti-LGBTQ legislators getting caught smoking pot and having sex with underage boys in hotel rooms and other good conservatives sexually assaulting their state employees or Uber drivers and it’s hard to claim a party identity.
On the national level, President Donald Trump is forcing apologists to work overtime. Collusion with Russia, sexual assault allegations – one of which came from a tape of the candidate in his own words – and now allegations that he had an affair with a porn actress weeks after his third wife gave birth to his fifth child and paid a six-figure sum with campaign funds to keep the woman quiet during his race with Hillary Clinton.
Somehow, the party of law and justice is able to make excuses and accept these behaviors because it benefits them in the short term.
Many see a great blue wave forming for the 2018 mid-term elections. Many Presidents see the electorate push back against their first two years. Several analysts expect that push back to be deeper and broader than in past mid-terms. The “me too” and “time’s up” movements are bringing women out in record numbers to protest the Trump Administration and many are running for office themselves.
But recent revelations make me doubt the big blue wave. I get that people don’t like Donald Trump. I like Donald Trump less than anyone. But the Democrats didn’t even offer a candidate worth voting for in 2016. Clinton’s history was bad before, but when you find out that Clinton’s stance on forgiving sexual assault didn’t just stop at her politically motivated saved marriage, it makes you wonder if the Democrats can find a better alternative.
Clinton had a spiritual advisor who sent her Bible verses every day. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, her spiritual advisor was also apparently a serial sexual harasser. In 2008, he was accused of sexual harassment and Clinton decided to keep him around. In 2016, she still had him around and, again, he was accused of inappropriate contact with young females.
Two years later, the “me too” movement has given a voice to these accusers that the female Democratic candidate wouldn’t even give them when she had the authority and responsibility to.
Trump becoming the President has been horrible for this country. But I can’t fashion a great argument against those who argue Clinton’s administration would have been equally bad in different ways. Given the chance to choose between right and wrong, she rarely jumped on the right side.
No matter what your partisanship tells you, right and wrong don’t change based on who is accused.
The GOP rallied against the Democrats after Harvey Weinstein was accused of horrible sexual assault and other allegations of impropriety. They loved it that the Democrats fell on the wrong side of the cultural movement intended to free women from workplace sexual assault.
But when the Republican National Committee finance chairman and Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn was discovered to have paid a $7.5 million settlement to a woman who claims he forced her to have sex with him, the GOP suddenly fell silent.
Mitt Romney’s daughter, Ronna McDaniel is the chair of the RNC. After the Weinstein scandal, McDaniel’s twitter thumbs wildly tweeted, “During the three-decades worth of sexual harassment allegations, Weinstein lined Democrat pockets with millions of dollars.” She went on to say, “If the DNC truly stands up for women like they say they do, then returning Weinstein’s dirty money should be a no-brainer.”
I don’t disagree.
But when her own finance chairman is found out hours after hosting a fundraiser for her group at Trump’s Mar a Lago, her twitter feed has been completely silent and there has been no mention of her returning dirty money.
I feel sorry for the 18-year olds registering to vote and having to choose a party. There are no good guys anymore. Everyone in the fight is wearing a black hat.
I want to say there is an opening for a third party that can be based on morals and ethics and welcome those of us who want to be proud of our party.
But even if that party were formed, it wouldn’t be long until money poisoned it as well. It is hard to remain hopeful in a world that makes cynicism so easy.
I would love to be inspired again. I’m not sure if that candidate exists in 2018.