I recently got a letter from the Republican National Committee asking for money. (Me, an outed commie, being solicited by the GOP! What’s next? An appeal from Jerry Falwell? Oh, wait, I forgot . . . )
Anyway, to say the letter was an insult to human intelligence is a gross understatement, because it would be an insult to the intelligence of an amoeba if only such a beastie had a mailing address and a modest command of English.
Instead of putting the touch on me up front, the mass-mailed missive pretended to be a survey – entitled “Republican Party Census Document” — that allegedly was going to help the committee formulate GOP policy positions for the next decade.
“You are among a select group of Republicans who have been chosen,” I was informed. “Your answers will be used to develop a NEW BLUEPRINT . . . to rebuild our Party from the grassroots up.”
My chest swelled, not with pride, but with the air I then used to guffaw as I read on.
The next paragraph was underlined, which meant it was very important.
“. . . because it is cost prohibitive for the Republican Party to print and mail an official Republican Party Census to each and every one of the 62 million Republicans nationwide,” explained Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, “your answers will represent the views and opinions of ALL Republican voters living in your voting district.”
So, I chuckled to myself, I get to speak for the Montezuma County commissioners, our state representative, a U.S. senator, and maybe even Boy George himself depending on just what district “Mike” was talking about. The buttons on my shirt were about to pop.
“Mike” then went on to lambaste the “big labor union bosses, the radical environmentalists, the gun grabbers and the trial lawyers” as the evil allies of the soulless Democrats. In fact, he went on for four pages telling me what I ought to think about this and that before I finally got to the all-important census, which pretended to seek my opinion in six categories ranging from Homeland Security to Social Issues.
It asked, for instance, if Republican legislators should “fight back” when Democrats “try to gut the USA Patriot Act.” I was to use a black or blue pen to indicate “Yes,” “No,” or “Undecided.”
Being no fan of this unconstitutional and ineffectual assault on our civil liberties, I fielded that one easy enough. Don’t fight back, you gutless, craven solons of the right.
“Should we do everything we can to stop the Democrats from repealing critical border and port security legislation?”
Let’s see . . . you mean like selling our ports to Dubai? Wait, that was Bush’s idea. But how about the comprehensive immigration reform el presidente wanted? Darn, the GOP itself put the boot to that so that now Osama’s henchmen can just hike north through the Cabeza de Prieta and commit unholy terrorist acts. Unfortunately, there was no place to mark, “Stop the Republicans,” so I left that one blank.
“Should Republicans in Congress oppose the new wasteful government spending programs proposed by the Democrats and their leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?” As opposed to the wasteful government spending programs already put in place by the former GOP leaders, like tax breaks for big oil, enhanced profits for big pharmaceuticals, no-bid contracts for Dick Cheney’s benefactor Halliburton and all the other types of corporate welfare for friends of the administra tion and their right-wing stooges? Where was the spot to indicate “spend more on the working poor (me, for instance) and less on the already rich?” You know, for such frivolities as decent, affordable health care dished out by doctors who care more about their patients than their Porsches.
On to Social Issues – “Do you think Congress should pass the Federal Marriage Amendment?” Since the bogus survey doesn’t explain just what this is, I was nearly tricked into reacting with a hasty “yes!”, meaning I think everyone should be required to get married before having sex, since this would cut our birth rate at least in half. But then I realized it was only the GOP’s homophobic appeal to the religious right, which believes gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry OR have sex, so that one was easily answered with a swift “no” dot.
“Do you support President Bush’s initiative to allow private religious and charitable groups to do more to help those in need?” What this really asks is if I support religious groups using my tax money to promote their agendas in direct violation of the First Amendment, like needy Satanists buying snacks for their full-moon orgy on the village green with my hard-earned dollars. I say, keep it truly private and let them spend their own money on the hors d’oeuvres! Charity begins by sticking your hand in your own pocket, not other people’s. A thousand times no!
“Defense Issues” included, “Do you agree that our top military priority should be fighting terrorists?”
Indeed I do, which is one reason I believe the Iraq war has been so damaging and dangerous to this country. Instead of capturing Osama bin Laden and the other terrorists who destroyed the Word Trade Center, Bush and his cronies decided to pre-emptorily invade a country that presented no threat to the U.S., thereby cultivating a whole new generation of terrorist groups, who are now growing stronger and, as recent government reports have documented, are gaining many new recruits as a result of our presence there.
Then, after asking if I voted in the last few elections, came the whole point of this otherwise meaningless exercise, which was to ask me to join the Republican Committee by giving it as much as $500, or a lesser amount if my budget wouldn’t stand that strain.
And even if I didn’t want to cough up any big dough, I was given one last chance to advance the cause.
“Yes,” I could check, “I support the RNC but am unable to participate at this time. However, I have enclosed $11 to cover the cost of tabulating my survey.”
But instead, I chose to make my mark on the final option:
“No, I favor electing liberal Democrats over the next 10 years.”
Yes, it’s come to that.
David Grant Long writes from Cortez, Colo.