I haven't changed one whit. But the GOP has. It's morphed into the party of small minded hate, dedicated to the propositions that it can further enrich the tiny minority by impoverishing the rest of us, that no one will ever catch on, and that the ride will last forever.
Throwing in victim blaming comes out of narrow minded hate and selfishness is just more grist for their mill, which grinds very find, and is grinding pretty much every decent, open minded American to dust.
I'm old and cannot see this changing back in my lifetime, so I gave up and have vowed to never, EVER, vote for a Republican again. Not everyone has quit: the Log Cabin Republicans have stuck with it, for which I give them credit for stubbornness if not common sense. More power to them.
I was and remain a social progressive and a fiscal moderate. I don't even recognize the actual meaning of those terms when they are bandied about by the likes of Paul Ryan and, I suppose, that cultural lion of the right, Rush Limbaugh.
A long time ago, when the Democrats were prosecuting a dreadful, wrong headed and ultimately losing war in Vietnam, and the party was filled with religious and racists, bigots, and dominated by intellectual yahoos, I (briefly) became a Republican. I admit it: I voted for Richard Nixon, first term.
By then I was repelled by what passed for intellectual honesty among the Democrats, and the inbred hatred and discrimination. I was attracted to the GOP by a promise to end the war and in part because educated rational thought was applauded and celebrated there, even when it didn't line up 100 percent with the platform.
It really WAS a big tent. Big enough so that Nelson Rockefeller and I like both fit comfortably inside.
Lyndon Johnson, of whom at the time because of the disaster in Vietnam, I could not imagine anything positive, was responsible for Medicare, Medicaid, for the "voting rights act", and the equal rights act, Head Start. It was on the subject of rights for African Americans that all of the bigots in the Democratic Party fled en masse to the GOP, where they were not just welcomed but celebrated for their ignorance.
I choose to think that the Democrats offloaded all the loons, wackos, bigots, racists and yahoos on the right. They seemed to fit right in. Still do.
Every generation has some apparently fixed percentage of certifiable lunatics. Instead of finding a way to treat mental illness effectively, which I believe is within our ability, we chose, and continue to choose, exclusion, stigmatization, and jail. Some of them, and I believe the Aurora and Navy Yard shooters were among them, even recognize that there's something wrong, and TRY, but fail, to get help.
The way in which homicidal maniacs go off the rails--frequently in their late teens and early twenties--is depressingly recognizable: recruited by, nourished by, and enabled by the hateful bigots in our society, and enabled by the NRA to purchase virtually unlimited caches of lethal weapons, they pick out the targets so helpfully identified by the Sarah Palins , Wayne LaPierres, and hate speech radio talking heads, point their legally acquired weapons at them, and kill then.
At that point, the enablers of this violence wring their hands and say MORE guns are the answer.
It needs to stop.
What the professor did not tell us--because there is no model for it--is what we can do to prepare.
I'm an ordinary Jane, and because of a lifetime of fiscal prudence which ought to make me a Republican, I am appalled by the ignorance of the GOP in matters of money.
My husband and I are federal retirees. I assume if the country defaults, our pensions will be delayed. The Federal Employees Health Benefits program will default in paying its share to my health insurance company (I'd be in default as well because my premium is paid out of my pension, which won't be paid), so my health insurance will stop. Since so many businesses will fail, they'll do the same, and the insurance industry will fail
I can last a while, but with the market in chaos won't be able to access the money in my checking accounts, because the banks will fail, and no one from the government will be on the job to reopen them.
Nor will I be able to cash in my triple AAA rated State of Virginia and Virginia city municipality bonds, because they'll be on default as well. I bought them because they were safe, conservative and I wanted to invest in the infrastructure of the state where I lived. Instead of squirreling away my money in some Cayman's Island account.
The state of Virginia is already wobbling under the effects of the government shut down, which has thrown 175,000 federally employed Virginians out of work.
Dear 1-percenters : news flash. When the US government goes down we'll take the planet with us, and your money will be worth precisely zip.
The list of cascading consequences is endless and real.
I suspect the Glen Becks and Goldmines of and their low information adherents of the right wing are chortling because they own gold. Well, grab a clue: you paid twice what it was worth when you bought it. In a world wide catastrophe the value will drop like a rock, because no one will have the cash to buy it from you. Last time I checked, you can't burn it to keep your family warm. Or eat it.
When should we expect an undetected, widely disseminated and learhal outbreak of bubonic plagued?
My reading of the latest used tea leaves is that they've lost control of what they bought and paid for, and are now officially afraid.
They should be.
If the baggers manage to tank the economy completely, all the coal and gas industries are going to stop making money. All of the their investments in stocks and bonds are going to lose significant value. The value of their mega plex homes will drop like a rock. When United States goes under, we will take the world with us: all of their money that they've squirreled away in the Caymen's Islands will be worth what they are to the human race.
"Nobody's life feels from the inside the way it looks from the outside. But at least as far as career goes, I'm wonderfully relaxed: no more steps to climb, no more boxes to check. I just do what I feel I should, and try to have some fun along the way."--Paul Krugman
The rest of us should be so lucky. Almost no one is.
It's pretty hard to do ANY of this when the next decision is "food" or "rent." Or "medicine" or "electricity."
Not content with that, if a person needs help--like unemployment or food stamps--they want to make really sure the PERSON feels the humiliation, preferably in public.
"Pee in the cup. The charge which you must pay for the privilege will eventually be refunded if you qualify for help."
And particularly when some closed minded, Bible thumping bigot, points at your sick child, or dying spouse and proclaims that "you deserved it" because you committed the sin of (fill in the blank.). Or someone in your family, or your community, or your county, or your state, did. For all I know the "associated blame" extends to everyone on the planet, save the fellow Bible thumping bigoted.
Westboro Church, I'm talking about you.
Oh, and that having health insurance is a sin. And that we should get rid of Social Security and Medicare.
Or when you're keeping body together by working a couple of jobs, supervised by a terrified manager who is so afraid of losing his or position (and dropping to your level) that he or she acts out in a corporately approved, and only way possible, by kicking you in the ass.
Your soul simply withers under the strain.
Sadly, we now exist (I cannot bring myself to call it living) in race to the bottom, less than minimum wage, part time, no benefits economy world.
In this corporate utopia, corporations, banksters, Wall Street gamblers and the "leadership" of some major American corporations, first trashed the country, got a bailout using ordinary people's taxes (because taxes are only for little people) and then have the temerity to turn around and further enrich themselves, not by making a better product, not by providing a better service, but by cheating their employes.
Not content to already be rich beyond the dreams of avarice the 1-per centers--the rich and powerful--are still looking for creative ways to welsh on contracts and "deals" to increase their profits by one mill on the dollar.
And the rest of us? Every penny we've saved is threatened by the looming government default (most ordinary people haven't recovered from the LAST fiscal crisis).
Common decency has disappeared. They aren't even ashamed to let the rest of us see what they think about us. They have no empathy for ordinary people. And they're proud if it.
So was Marie Antoinette, right up to the minute when the crowd lipped off her head.
They think shutting down the federal government, throwing 175,000 Virginian federal employees out of work, and God alone knows how many others for whom those Virginians would be paying customers out of work, is funny.
Head Start? Shut it down: those children (not theirs) had no business being born to ordinary people.
Death gratuities to newly made widows, widowers and children fighting in a war (yes, we're still at war)? Screw you. Your family member was stupid enough to enlist to serve me, not his country. He got paid, remember? What else do you want?
Shame now pervades our society, but it is directed at all the wrong people.
This latter is presumably in accord of purging what remains of female support for the party by reducing us to the status of broodmares.
Not one part of that bill has anything to do with rebuilding the infrastructure, increasing jobs, or even reducing the deficit
All but two members of House Republican Party, plus two Democrats, voted for this thing, stating that they were doing what the vast majority of Americans wanted.
On what planet do these people spend most of their time? They might want to review the Fox News election night coverage scene in which Karl Rove famously refused to believe what FOX told him: Romney lost. Rove threw a temper tantrum too, when confronted with incontrovertible fact.