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Alan Davis, Published September 15 2012

Letter: Don’t turn dream into nightmare

As a true conservative, I oppose turning the American dream into a nightmare simply because men who want domination over women and over the middle class have total control of the Republican Party. It’s always comic to hear a politician say that he’s for freedom and then, in the next breath, deny freedom to women, gays, minorities, immigrants and those of us who work for a living and play by the rules in expectations of a retirement that includes Medicare and Social Security.

Take it away

The GOP would like nothing better than to replace Medicare protection with a voucher system and take away our retirement by turning back the clock to 1934, the year before Social Security became law.

As Bill Clinton factually pointed out, the Democrats, when it comes to economic issues, have created twice as many jobs as the GOP. Instead of working with Democrats to strengthen health care and Medicare, the GOP wants to take our health care and Medicare and Social Security so that they can give more tax cuts to those among us who are doing great and don’t need additional tax cuts.

When it comes to social issues, Paul Ryan, the GOP candidate for vice president, has spent his career in Congress working 24/7 against women. Like Todd Akin, a GOP Senate candidate who makes a distinction between rape and “illegitimate” rape, Ryan, in a bill he co-sponsored with Akin, doesn’t allow abortions even in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. What about the health of the mother? “Just a loophole,” Ryan said contemptuously. I beg your pardon, Mr. Ryan; the health of my wife or daughter is not just a loophole.

Men in control

As true conservatives, we look at the GOP and see men in control who want to turn back the clock to 1919, a year when women in America couldn’t vote and men of color were often not allowed to vote. I grew up in the Deep South, where laws forced black people to sit in the back of the bus. The local politicians and clergy down there justified such racism. “It’s the law of the land, sanctified by doctrine,” they would say.

Recently, The Forum reported that here in Fargo-Moorhead, a local bishop preached against equality to grade-school children and told those impressionable kids – who couldn’t care less about who marries who – to bring his message home to their parents. When the children’s teacher rightfully and ethically opposed such a tawdry attempt to use kids to further ideology, she was forced to resign.

It’s one thing, perhaps, that such men, who have authority but are not fit guides for the young, have power in the Vatican. As a Catholic, I’m embarrassed, as I was down South by church-supported racism, but the absolute separation between church and state protects us. A bigoted cleric can’t force us to practice bigotry. Jim Crow laws, however, are a different story.

A near-cult

When the GOP – once a grand old party, now a near-cult – places on the Minnesota ballot a referendum that opposes marriage equality, I’m embarrassed for them. Why not make gay people eat in separate restaurants and sit in the back of the bus? I’m not gay, but if I was and fell in love, I would want the same freedom to marry my partner as any other American has. Anything else is exactly as immoral as the racism once practiced in the Deep South. If gay people marry, nothing bad will happen to anybody, even though bigots comically suggest otherwise.

Read what the pro-equality Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe has to say in Deadspin, an online magazine, to one such bigot; I would quote him, but his language is too graphic to print in a family-friendly newspaper. His rage at an obvious bigot, however, is righteous.

We have a choice this November. All real conservatives this year are voting Democrat. President Barack Obama has our backs and works 24/7 for us. The Romney/Ryan ticket works 24/7 against women, against anybody seen as “different” and against the middle class.

Davis, Moorhead, is an occasional contributor to The Forum’s opinion/commentary pages.