Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Open Letter to the Rational Conservative

Dear Rational Conservative,

I’ve given this some thought, and I think the Republican Party should find a white guy.

These new faces of the party that your strategists have been pushing as of late aren’t working. It’s embarrassing –for them and for me. At this point, a rational sounding white guy might be the change you can believe in. I know that the defeat in November to the Democratic Party, let along that the leader of the party as an African American, still burns but your strategists struggling to parade a 'minority' is cheapening the effort to demonstrate inclusion in your ranks. The Democrats didn't just find a black guy, they found someone who is intelligent, pragmatic and just plain gets it.

I feel for you. I really do. It seems to me that your party acts under the presumption that you are stupid. I'm insulted for you. I know that you’re smarter than that. And if some of you are persons of color or women, then it’s my belief that your party has been a disservice to you. You’re entitled to be intelligent, conservative and woman. Or African American. Or Mexican American. These voices that we’ve seen on the national stage cannot be representative of your whole constituency. I know that your constituency isn't all white, and Rush Limbaugh as a mouthpiece for your party may make you cringe, but your silence has been deafening. If you're a party that engages in ideas and solutions, then it's ok to disagree with Limbaugh. You have that freedom of speech. It's in the constitution. If you disagree with Rove, know that you live in a democracy that protects your right to do so publicly. Not all democrats agree with everything Obama says and does. And surprisingly, he respects a differing point of view. Go figure.

I think it’s my job as an American that skews liberal and progressive to cajole some you rational thinking conservatives from your hiding places. You can’t possibly continue as the silent majority of a party whose talking points come exclusively from blowhards like Limbaugh. If you disagree with the policies from the Obama administration, what would you propose as an alternative? I’d like to hear it. I’m not kidding, I really would like to hear them. I don’t mean this to sound combative at all; I want to hear what you have to say in terms of solutions that are rooted in the facts and reality of the situation we face.

I know you’re out there. You can engage in a debate that doesn’t infuriate everyone to the point where we stop talking. I know that there were some of you who didn’t believe in the policies of the previous administration that endangered the very tenets from which our democracy was based. I know that Shepard Smith’s comments are not just slips off "of the Fox News reservation." I know you’re out there, and you feel you got played because your party’s strategists put out Palin, Jindal and this guy Michael Steele, who thinks you need a “hip hop makeover”. That belittles your crisis of existence at the moment.

I can only speak for myself but I don’t have the time to sort through rhetoric and misinformation when the realities of the economy and the wars are staring me in my face. I don’t want a single party system. I like healthy debate. I don’t always skew far left in my views either. I want practical solutions. I want to fight for the safety of the world we live in. Our lives are now, not in the hereafter. I’m happy to meet you, rational conservative, in the middle. Because that’s the spirit of democracy, the place where compromise meets and solutions arise.

Please speak up, I'm listening.


Syreeta McFadden
Democrat and Pragmatist

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