Suppose you are someone who regards him/herself as a "good person," maybe also as a religious person. Suppose, at the same time, that you plan to support Republican candidates in the coming election. Consider what you would be endorsing if you do that:
1. A party led by a pathological liar who cares for no one;
2. A party leader who rallied a mob to take over the Capitol, so that he could remain in power;
3. A party whose members support, actively or passively, the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, rather than the police who protected the government (at the cost of their own lives in several cases);
4. A party which promotes and enacts laws across the country to restrict voting rights;
5. A party whose national and state leaders routinely bow to the wishes of the disgraced ex-president, especially his instructions to continue to try to find (non-existent) evidence that the election held 10 months ago was invalid ("rigged");
6. A party which promotes, actively or passively, violence against election workers who are doing their jobs;
7. A party whose leaders and followers actively resist getting vaccines and wearing masks, putting everyone else at risk and hurting the recovery of the economy;
8. A party in which most of its members still refuse to believe the reality of climate change and who, actively or passively, support actions which degrade the natural environment;
9. A party which continues to push for the denial of a woman's right to choose under any and all circumstances;
10. A party which drums out any members who significantly disagree with any of the above trends;
11. A party whose leaders support (or refuse to challenge) statements from fellow office-holders or from public commentators which are clearly false (or even made up) — or which are cruel or racist or demeaning towards others.
Do we call the above "American values?" No. Are they values which reflect Christian precepts? Absolutely not. This Party, which once reliably stood for certain principles, does not recognizably stand for them any longer. It is so dominated by those above matters that it has no time or energy for its once traditional values.
And yet, there will probably be readers who, against all the evidence, will deny that the above points are valid. It can be breathtaking to read some of the profoundly hateful, distorted things that some people write about Democrats in the paper.
Democrats are not the enemies of the country. Democrats stand for things — things such as health care, environment, racial justice, working people, the rule of law, and more. They are not perfect, but, at this time, they are the only party that tries to work for the common good and that is trying to bring the country back together.
These days it is not safe to vote for anyone with an "R" by their name — unless, perhaps, he/she publicly repudiates Trump and all that he stands for. He is the driving force behind the degradation of the Republican party. Are any of the current candidates free of his control?
Kevin Kennedy is a resident of Frederick County.