The republican party has been schooling its voters with God, guns and country for decades. A calculated diversion that combines Christian hypocrisy with whitemale privilege. Unfortunately, when you’re used to privilege, equity begins to feel like oppression. Thus, too many middleclass republicans are compelled to search for a moral justification to their own selfishness by forfeiting their rights and protections, so long as those who are less fortunate and therefore underserving will also lose theirs.
Republicans have befallen a major political party that tutors its citizens with deceptions and fabrications. A practice that mistakes kindness for weakness, twist vice into virtue, slander into truth and vindictiveness into patriotism. The result is that we’ve become a nation of predators, who fight petty grievances while humiliating others. A place where teachers are perceived as extremist, protecting the environment is radicalism, affordable healthcare is a socialist plot, climate change is a hoax and a caravan of oppressed women and children seeking asylum are regarded as a military threat instead of a humanitarian crisis. This dead-end Calvinist thinking ignores the fact Jesus was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless refugee from the Middleast with socialist views. It conveniently forgets he never spoke English, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture and never advocated enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes. The challenges we confront today have nothing to do with social welfare, minorities, immigrants, gays, Muslims or liberals. The underlying problem is an empathy gap of fear and intolerance. The solution is not building a wall but building a longer table.