When an automotive company trots out the slogan, "Not your parents'..." whatever, it usually refers to an sleek new car that's practically futuristic in features, zooms past all previous experiences of vehicular excellence.
That isn't the case with my claim that the present-day Republican party isn't my parents' GOP. I like to think that Mom, who was the political master of the two, would be horrified at what's happening in her beloved party.
Especially horrified by Ted Cruz.
Her daughter, once a heart & soul conservative, certainly is.
I find the junior senator from Texas one particularly scary guy. He uses his outstanding pre- & post-graduate Ivy League studies to pander to the lowest level of human intelligence. That's frightening.
How else to explain his literally rable-rousing statement this past week, "“Cops across this country are feeling the assault. They’re feeling the assault from the president. From the top on down, as we see—whether it’s in Ferguson or Baltimore—the response of senior officials of the president, of the attorney general, is to vilify law enforcement. That is fundamentally wrong, and it is endangering the safety and security of us all The president has a powerful bully pulpit, and that bully pulpit is not used to stand with the men and women of law enforcement.”
Ted Cruz is considered perhaps the greatest debators of his generation. He knows how to make a point, to reach out to & draw in his targeted audience, which he knows cares zip for the truth & gives their all to what they feel.
A core problem of conservatives & their ideology - from the birth of the movement to today - is their absolute belief in absolutes, in keeps things black & white without a hint of shadings. To Ted Cruz, the president is either 100% with law enforcement or he is against them. To the junior senator from Texas, Freddie Grey & Walter Scott & Eric Garner & Tamir Rice & Akai Gurley & Kajieme Powell & Dante Parker & John Crawford & Yvette Smith & Jordan Baker & Jonathan Ferrell & too many to list were all responsible for their own deaths.
President Obama, contrary to Sen. Cruz' flagrantly inflammatory rhetoric, has praised law enforcement, time & time & time again. And he recognizes what only someone in fierce denial could miss - there is a problem within our now militarized police forces that shoots first & shoots to kill, that relies more on force & less on talk. That there are some officers who seem to act as if the citizenry they are supposed to protect & serve are the enemy they have to take excessive action against, however slight the provocation.
The president has not tarred all law enforcement with the same brush, but acknowledges what courts & even more frequently negotiation mediators (who keep cases out of the public eye) have shown through multi-million dollar payments to victims' families - the officers might not have been indicted, but they have been held accountable. Most have remained on their police force, with both their salaries & the cost of their judgements covered by tax payers.
Two of my students are law enforcement officers & I couldn't be prouder of their service. But we have a problem in this country with black Americans wildly more likely to be shot while unarmed than any other race. That's just a fact. Two things have changed, neither of which are likely to be acknowledged by Ted Cruz - police training & the availability of citizen videos that time & time again had disputed reports filed after shooting incidents.
But today's GOP - definitely NOT my parents' party - is unlikely to be able to process any of that. To many, perhaps most, of them & certainly to Ted Cruz, you either stand with law enforcement 100% or you vilify & endanger them. They think from their gut, which they believe is the only thing left they can trust, rather than from their head. That, more than anything else, would chill my mother's blood, because it leads to God knows what consequences.
I considered showing pictures of each of these victim's funerals - I chose instead to celebrate their lives.