I was driving to work on September 11, 2001 when the radio said a plane had crashed into a World Trade Center building. My initial thought was of the plane which hit the Empire State Building during WWII and it was not until arriving at work that the enormity of the event finally registered. Two days later I was in Manhattan for my college and walked mainly deserted streets as fire engines roared back and forth. New Yorkers had placed hundreds of flowers around fire stations and people would enter them to hug firemen for their gallantry. There was a spirit of community, a bonding between strangers as we spoke with tears in our eyes about the death of our fellow New Yorkers. During the following days, weeks and months Americans rallied around the president and supported his leadership regardless of like or dislike of George Bush.
Fast forward to September 11, 2009 and America has changed. Instead of Democrats respecting President Bush regardless of whether or not they agreed with his views on anything, Republicans have climbed into the sewer of demagoguery and violated every principle of American politics. Joe Wilson’s childish outburst during a presidential speech is merely a symptom of what has happened to the Republican party. A party which was led by such great men like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, Robert Taft, Wendell Wilkie, or Dwight Eisenhower is now led by ranting lunatics of hatred who lack any grasp about the meaning of what constitutes dignified behavior.
One is lost for words when members of Congress who have sworn to uphold the Constitution lack any understanding of that document. Is there a single idea that distinguishes the Republican party in regards to any problems other than “no?” Perhaps, the best thing for America is to have any individuals who have common sense or respect for our nation to leave the Republican party to those who dwell in the realm of vicious hatred.
This nation needs two or more political parties which can unite around the Constitution’s principles of respect for the dignity of all Americans. Unfortunately, the Republican party has lost its way and turned itself over to former bug exterminators who regard Democrats as vermin to be extinguished. The country expects more from Republicans than hate and anger. It demands that Republicans uphold the essential ideas of our Constitution.