CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I am a white, male, straight nonagenarian. I have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since I voted the first time in Tunisia in a bombed building in the dark with a flashlight in October 1944, for FDR. I plan to vote for Barack Obama on Nov. 6.
My faculties and facilities are attenuated owing to time. So, I look to others to help me about. Thus, to state my view of the condition of the GOP, I call upon Hal Crowther, who writes in The Progressive Populist of Oct. 15:
"A Big Tent the GOP may not be. It's nearly 90 percent white and weighted heavily toward older males -- but a wild and colorful tent -- full it is, more of a carnival sideshow than a circus big top. The gluttons share the stage with racists, nativists, misogynists, homophobes, gun freaks, religious fundamentalists and fanatics of all denominations, and gonzo Libertarians who hope to restore the gold standard. Along, of course, with a healthy harvests of dimwits and the extremely stupid -- and a fair sprinkling of apparent mental patients. In the last group, I am obliged to include birthers, deniers of climate change, EPA-eliminators and everyone else who thinks a private citizen should be able to acquire 6,000 rounds of ammunition for an automatic weapon."
There, take that, all who see themselves in the mixture! Of course, many who are thereby depicted would never in time or space recognize themselves. But it is a cross-section of the GOP whether it recognizes itself or not.
That the GOP is a white, older males group is easy to validate. This group is having the last election in which it will have a chance in electing a candidate of its choice. And it is acting as if it senses its demise by advocating fundamentalist and asinine policies. To wit: legitimate rape.
That Obama is black is a thorn in the sides of many older whites. They do not reveal that it is a thorn, as such, but one can sense that it is by what they say and the fervor with which they denounce him. Further, one knows that racism is an emotion ken to that of a dog's reaction to strangers. It's genetic. Curbed only by reason.
That whites are nativists is detected in history and in everyday news. The influx of Latinos from Mexico and Central America has produced a rabid reaction. Arizonians have done everything but declare war on Mexico over immigration. They consider the land of their immigrant forefathers to be sacrosanct and theirs alone forever. It's not to be sullied by riffraff from another nation.
That whites are misogynists is apparent, widespread and passionate. They wish fervently to make abortion a crime and to criminalize those who assist in abortions. They would prevent women from using contraceptives. They would force teenage girls to carry pregnancies to term. They would ban the use of all kinds of methods to prevent abortions and to abort pregnancies. This in the face of a world inundated with people, billions of whom live no better than neglected animals.