Bookmark and Share

Thursday, July 09, 2015

I have run in both GOP and DEM primaries - Came in LAST in Each - Which party is the FUTURE of America? This one...

I am probably one of the very few - less than those you can count on one hand - who has run in both Republican and Democratic primaries for Congress and can give a personal account of the differences. 

I came in dead last in both and yet I can tell you which party is the party that reflects America. I make that judgment even though I got zero endorsements in my 2014 U.S. Senate run in the Democratic party in Texas, save for one visionary young UT student in Austin, Noah Horwitz, who based it on experience instead of passion and youth.

 I have to say that Donald Trump has exposed an ugly secret in the GOP that I witnessed -- racism.

In 2000 I ran in the GOP primary against then Congress rep Tom DeLay in CD 22. I lost and ran again in the 2002 and 2206 GOP primaries. (In 2004 I ran as an independent for the same seat). In 2014 I ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Texas, so I got to see what kind of people make up the primary electorate in each party.

The first thing I noticed in the GOP was it was primarily a one color party in a multi-colored world. Mostly older, white voters. They called themselves "pro life" yet seemed to be against anything that improved life such as healthcare for the poor and food assistance. Being called a "moderate" was the worst possible sin; every candidate swore to be the most "conservative." 

It was rare to see anyone of color at a GOP event and it became evident why. Before 9/11 they were mostly vocal about blacks and hispanics in a negative way. After 9/11 Muslims were added to the list. I used to joke that they didn't even like people from different country clubs. Donald Trump has simply said out loud what most of the primary voters and candidates believe -- that minorities are "bad" people. I doubt they ever met any.

In the Democratic primary I saw America -- a multi-colored party that welcomed blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, women and even supported same sex marriage. it looked like the modern world, a mix of people that respect each other and work towards common goals such as advancing our education, cleaning our environment and creating jobs needed in a high tech global economy.  I saw them representing a path for America to once again lead the world.

In 2000, Tom DeLay was cutting off funding for Houston's rail system, putting it a decade behind its sister cities like Dallas and Atlanta. He was responsible for passing unpaid for tax cuts and two unpaid for wars that drove our deficits into the trillions while costing us our creditor national status.  No bid contracts of $39 billion were given to the Vice Presidents former company, Halliburton in Iraq.  Our education system went from No. 1 to being No. 36 - far behind China, Europe, etc.  Texas Republicans have cut education funding by billions, failing our children's future.

In 2015, I see the same GOP still fighting on the wrong side - fighting to keep a confederate flag waving, fighting education funding, fighting against infrastructure funding when we have tens of thousands of bridges about to collapse from old age. I see a party that has demonized minorities quietly, but openly support Mr. Trump who is a billionaire and not afraid to speak the way they think. That is why he leads in GOP polls.

I can't imagine a candidate in the Democratic party speaking so disrespectful of any group - be they Hispanics, blacks, gays, whatever. We aren't bigots. We are progressives who want to make our Constitution's promise of "equality" a real achievement as we educate our kids to the level needed for America to succeed in a space age economy.

My own experience in running for Congress is documented in "Better Times Ahead April Fool" and what i experienced in the GOP primaries (I was kicked off the GOP ballot in 2002 so Mr. DeLay would not have an opponent. I had to file suit to get back on).

In 2016, we need Presidential candidates who respect ALL races, women and religions - not just the ones of one race backed by primary voters who tend to be the most extreme. In this regard, I believe the Republican party has lost its way. Its fights against people having basic healthcare is so anti-life it is amazing they can claim to be 'pro life' with a straight face.  

The GOP obsession with Christianity is blind to the first Amendments guarantee that our government should not pick a favorite religion over another.  We have a freedom from religion and freedom of religion at the same time. Few of them realize that to pray "in Jesus name" is an affront to those of the Jewish faith.  Few of them realize that Muslims honor Jesus in their religion and that no one is demanding to live under Sharia Law in the U.S.  The reaction to the police shootings of unarmed black men has shown that the GOP doesn't honor innocent life as much as it claims. 

I am a personal witness to the workings of both parties primary system. In one, I see the clinging to the past - the GOP in Texas is rewriting history textbooks to eliminate any mention of Jim Crow laws or slavery as the root cause of the Civil War. 

In the other party, the Democrats, I see the future of America, a diverse group that works together and respects a rainbow of colors and people and their religious beliefs. I can say that even though, despite my being in favor of same sex marriage, i was not endorsed by any Democratic Stonewall group.  I lost in both parties but the experience was telling.

The only question I have is how long before the GOP either changes its focus on Grumpy Old (White) People making up the 1% or becomes extinct as it honors Mr. Trump's bigotry and bullying ways.  He is merely stating what their primary voters want to hear.  It's a party still stuck in the 50's and 60's when America was white, rural and isolationist. 

And that's the problem. America is now diverse, urban and increasingly progressive.Democrats welcome gay and straight, transgender or not, any religion or none, heck, I bet we would accept a Martian if we knew one. lol.  

I outlined a roadmap to America's future in Agenda for American Greatness at the book link. Please read and let's move America into a more just and equal society that treats people with respect instead of hate and arrogant bullying.

No comments: