I’ll never turn into a Republican | VailDaily.com

I’ll never turn into a Republican

Matt Zalaznick

With my first child on the way, some elders in the community have warned me that, once I have a child to raise, my views may swing to the right as I worry more about crime, drugs, morality, schools and national security.

But won’t I still also be worried about war, the environment, the rights of women, minorities, homosexuals, and religious dissidents, and the freedoms of speech, thought and expression?

Like the aging members of The Who may have come to regret shouting the line “Hope I die before I get old” in the hardest-partying stretch of their youths, I may come to regret the title of this column. But I doubt it.

I doubt I’ll want my child to live in a country that goes bumbling off to war without any provocation from the targeted people. I certainly won’t want him or her to serve in our military if it’s run by a commander-in-chief who, like W, uses the troops as his personal goon squad.

I won’t want him or her dying to defend an administration that talks about the sanctity of life at home but doesn’t care about life abroad. I won’t want my child’s patriotism sullied by presidential lies about the tremendous costs of war.

I’ll doubt I’ll want my child to live in a country whose leaders demonize drugs and sex and curse words to get votes from the simple-minded while letting their buddies in big business poison our air, water and wilderness.

These cowardly or unimaginative leaders tell us the greatest threat to our nation is the degradation of our morals. But who’s doing the degrading ” while even moderates fight for civil rights and personal freedom, W.’s henchmen are spying on the American people, making homosexuals second-class citizens and whittling away at a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body.

I doubt I’ll want to send my child to schools that, taking their cues from a Bushian mis-educator in chief, throw out decades of proven evolutionary science only to fill his or her head with fairy tales about some divine wizard from another dimension designing every last hagfish, bristleworm and brine shrimp down to the most minute detail.

I’ll want my child to know homosexuals exist, that using contraception is a virtue and that chimpanzees are our cousins. Whitewashing our origins because some find it distasteful that our relatives like to throw their own feces at each other can only lead to continued bad behavior by our already frequently foolish species.

I doubt I’ll want my child to live in a culture that allows fringe religious groups to censor what the rest of us can read in books and magazines, see in museums and art galleries, or watch on TV and in movie theaters.

I won’t want my child to live in a nation where our leaders continue to blur the line between church and state. I don’t want my child to live in a country where there’s pressure from the highest levels to worship in a certain way ” or worship at all. I want my child to live in a country that offers him or her a range of spiritual and cultural experiences.

And of course I want my child protected from terrorists ” but real terrorists, not inflated bogeymen like Saddam Hussein, who was only doing a little local chest-thumping while churning out romance novels.

While Bush loses the hearts of minds of the Iraqis, while Rumsfeld’s policies fuel the insurgent factory, experts in droves insist we’re not much safer than we were on Sept. 11.

With all this Republican success, I’m not much worried I’ll join the GOP, but I wonder if my child will grow up not only liberal, but Canadian.

City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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