Yes, many families wisely ban talking politics during holidays... or at the dinner table. By all means, keep peace in the clan.
Yet, there’s another side to all this. The election of 2008 is crucial. It must not be a squeaker - which only guarantees more “culture war.” Only a landslide will do. And, for that to happen, we need millions of basically decent “ostrich” conservatives.
We need them to wake up and get mad at the crooks who’ve hijacked their party. Decent conservatives like that sweet uncle of yours, who stays glued to Fox, desperately keeping head-in sand to ignore what’s happened to the GOP. To America.
The holidays are your chance to say to that uncle or aunt:
”This country that we both love is in trouble. If I’m right, then a lot more trouble than you realize. For America’s sake... and out of respect for me... would you come with me on a long walk? Away from the house? (We’ll drop all political talk, after we get back.)
“There are some facts I want to show you. About how our nation has been betrayed.”
What can you say, to convince an ostrich who is in frantic denial? Well, for starters, not all “nice conservatives” are ostriches. Many will cling fanatically to party and cult loyalties, countering with catechisms from Rush Limbaugh. But others might be roused. And if you rouse just one, to get angry at the gang of thieves who hijacked the GOP, then he or she may spread that anger to others.
It seems worth a try. Firmly, though also with tact and love. Difficult, but still...
For more on this, see my “The Ostrich Papers: How it will take ALL Decent Americans to Restore Decency to America”(A suggestion. These are more effective read aloud! Asking an ostrich to read such a list inevitably lets them skim and dismiss.) Make him or her see that the list is composed entirely of conservative issues! Thus, by their very own standards, decent conservatives should help rid us of these awful people. And the, rebuild their movement into one they can again be proud of.
And if you decide to proceed, here’s a whole tsunami of challenges you might print out to confront him or her with.
And a smaller-capsule “A Cheat Sheet for Ostrich Hunters.”
Here is the super-condensed version.
Which president would be the logical choice for a patriotic and logical "decent conservative?"
* One balanced budgets...
...and the other bankrupted us.
* One enhanced government efficiency (according to neutral auditing companies) by increasing competitive bidding for contracts...
...while the other gave $300+ billions in no-bid contracts directly to friends, while losing more than ten billions in raw cash, then appointed known crooks to be the inspectors and auditors.
* One oversaw the nation’s greatest boom in small business creation...
...and the other a surge of monopolies, while small businesses floundered.
* One cut government secrecy way down, even while being investigated...
...while the other sent secrecy rocketing to levels never seen even in the Cold War.
* One worked with governors to enhance experimentation at the state level...
...and the other asserted federal authority more than any other president in history, bringing states’ rights to a new low.
* One helped all society to prosper spectacularly...
...and the other helped only aristocrats.
Which president would be a "strong" commander in chief, in the eyes of any "decent conservative"?
* One earned respect from the U.S. Officer Corps...
...and the other one betrayed the military at every turn, driving officers to flee the service at a rate never before seen.
* One maintained military readiness, including thirty fully ready combat brigades...
...and the other stripped us bare, exhausting our brave troops and leaving us with at most two ready brigades.
* One handled his war with fierce, surgical precision and blazing speed, costing no American lives and transforming an entire continent for the better, while boosting our popularity and alliances...
...and the other president drove away nearly all of our allies, made us more hated than ever, left our states defenseless, and devastated our state of readiness, while accomplishing almost nothing at all.
* One doubles the Border Patrol ...
...and the other shatters it.
Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was a core hero of conservatism for thirty years. So --
* Which president does Greenspan praise as the smartest, most openminded, most focused on long term economic health and best for the economy?
...vs the next one, who scores the “very worst” on every count, including basic honesty?
Which president was the "sleaze" subjected to a $2 billion witch hunt?
* The one who left office without a single administration appointee indicted for official duties? (Not one. Not even one.) ...
...or the next president, who (despite bullying the FBI) loses comrades to jail or ignominy almost every week.
Oh, I give up. There is no way to summarize in such a small space. Because ostriches will squirm and struggle to keep their heads in the sand. Brevity is no virtue when isolated points can be deflected with glib Fox-sophomorisms.
No, it must be relentless and overwhelming, like an intervention with an alcoholic.
The only way to do this is to go to those pages I cite above and go through the whole thing (or at least this page) with your chosen victim... er, I mean ostrich.
Over and over again, aloud, until the hypnotic neocon spell shatters and the slumbering ones -- our beloved cousins and neighbors and fellow citizens -- finally wake up.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and God bless -- America, civilization, us all.
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PS...Some others are also on this trail! For example, William Frey, M.D. has a website titled Repentant Republicans. Here's one of his first essays, reprinted at Consortium News.