Friday, September 05, 2008

Have You No Shame

The Republican convention is now over and I'm sure the polls will return to their pre-convention state and show basically a dead even race. I did not spend a lot of time watching the convention, so I won't offer a critique of the speeches (because there's been enough of that already). What I will offer though is a condemnation of the Republican party for trying to use the tragedy that took place here in New York on September 11, 2001.

I happened to be downtown when the World Trade Centers fell and and to this day I don't have the words to explain exactly how that felt. To realize that thousands of people had lost their lives and that tens of thousands would be personally affected by loss of family members or loved ones was overwhelming. Our entire city along with the rest of the nation was in shock. At the time, it didn't matter what political party you belonged to, the only thing that mattered was the incredible pain and sadness that so many were experiencing. We grieved as a city and as a nation at the senseless loss of life and we grieved for the loss of our sense of invulnerability. America was no longer untouchable and our lives would never be the same again.

Last night the Republican party decided to use that horrific event as a tool to try and win an election. I don't understand the mentality of a group of people who would try and capitalize on the pain and suffering of an entire nation for political gain. The events of that day in September should be sacrosanct. They should not be used to try and scare the American people or to try and demonize a political opponent. The Republican party also seems to have conveniently forgotten a couple of important facts. First of all, there was a Republican in the White House at the time and that White House occupant (who spent 40% of his first 8 months in office on vacation), chose to ignore the warnings that a terrorist attack might be imminent. How on earth you turn those facts into a positive is beyond me. And why you would use one the most tragic days in the history of our nation to make a partisan appeal is equally puzzling.

The Republican party crossed a line that anyone with a conscience would have decided against crossing. The complete lack of human compassion and human decency that went into making this decision makes me wonder if this party, that claims to be the voice for all right thinking Christians in this country, have any understanding of what being "Christian" means. The Republicans have shown that this isn't a battle for the hearts and minds of America, this is a battle for our souls. And in that battle, they have demonstrated that they are willing to take this country to a very dark place.

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