The legacy of Republican policies and obstruction of progress kills far more Americans every year than al Qaeda, but there is no political accountability because we treat the connection like an abstract principle rather than a real act of violence. But every person who dies as a result is a real person with real family, and while no one will dispute the level of stupidity among Republicans, the fact is they know the consequences of their actions and just don't give a shit. If there were a button they could press that would end a random life and put one more cent in their bank account, they wouldn't stop pressing it until the very moment it impacted the economic value of the money they receive. And the fault is ours, because we don't take it personally.
We each have friends, family members, or acquaintances who have died because of Republicans - sacrifices on the altar of their privilege. And that isn't even including the million petty ways they turn the knife in ordinary Americans' guts every day - the endless degradations, insults, and dehumanizing monetization of basic rights by the entitled, hereditary Republican and the corporate machinery owned by it. But somehow this understanding is lost in translation from experience to motivation: We treat their inhumanity like a legitimate difference of opinion to be debated with them while they enslave us, eradicate the middle-class that challenges their hereditary privilege, and kill the non-wealthy aged and ill whom they find economically inconvenient. Enough.
Take it personally. Why do we respond differently to the death of a family member due to lack of healthcare than we would if a Republican simply walked up and put a bullet in their head? They know what they're doing - they cheer when their leaders come right out and say that people who can't afford insurance should just die. They cheer the death and destruction of our families, our communities, our nation, and our world. They cheer war, and derive pleasure from burnt offerings in human form. Acts of violence and subjugation are acts of self-expression to them - the only form of art they don't think is the domain of faygits. These people are evil, and they know and are proud of it.
No foreign enemy assaults this country with more vigor and more effect; no microbial pathogen infects and destroys with the same constant determination; no other malignant parasite devours its own future with the same enthusiasm; no Mafia family engages in criminal conspiracies on the same level and with such impunity as the Republican "Party." But still we approach the matter like this is all some kind of PTA disagreement over whether to sell cookies or brownies. We ask "Can't we all just get along?" in the face of Death's Head smirks, and appeal to ethics and humanity where none are to be found.
Plague them with the consequences of their actions, eternally. Be the Telltale Heart beating beneath the floor of their mansions. Let the faces of the dead be always in front of them, and their names carved into the Republican memory alongside whatever neo-Nazi talk radio gibberish, warped Bible verses, and stock-ticker information usually occupies it. The most powerful soap devised by technology couldn't wipe the blood off their hands or the stench of death from everything they touch. Let no gated community have a gate high enough.
Does anyone remember the name Nataline Sarkisyan? I do.
I never knew her, but I knew of her because she was murdered by Republicans - murdered because her family couldn't afford to pay independently for an organ transplant and she was worth more to the insurance industry dead than alive. But although there was plenty of outcry at the time, I don't think her murderers remember her anymore - even if they were forced to briefly learn her name just to file legal documents to avoid accountability. It was nothing personal to them - in fact, the very idea of "personal" doesn't exist to those hollow shadow-people: We are all just objects to them, dancing on strings - means toward satisfying their reptilian impulses. But I'm sure it was personal to her before she died, feeling her life slipping away because some Republican piece of shit considered her an economic liability, and also personal to her family. All I can say is that her killers are very, very lucky it was never more than vicariously personal to me.
Does anyone remember the names Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger? I do.
I never knew them, but I knew of them because they were murdered by Republicans. They were just two of the victims killed in just one of the massacres inspired by Republican hate radio - in particular, the Knoxville Unitarian Church shootings. A self-avowed "patriot," the shooter - whose name I will never speak - decided, based on the steady diet of hate and deranged, projected conspiracy theories fed him to by the Republican script, that it would be an act of heroism to walk into a Unitarian church and massacre the tolerant, unassuming innocent people who had showed up there to watch their children and grandchildren perform a play. McKendry, in particular, died trying to defend the lives of others.
These occasional murders are, in the Republican mind, a small price to pay for the money and power they derive from their propaganda machine. It's nothing personal to Republicans, but I'm sure it was personal to McKendry and Kraeger while they stared down the barrel of Republican guns and heard the children screaming around them. These aren't the kind of names a Republican would bother to recall - just two fewer libruls for them to worry about taxing their precious wealth. Once again, they're very lucky no one I care about directly was in that church even to witness it, because I would have taken it personally if even the shadow of such an event had fallen on someone I love.
I'm sure even Republicans vaguely remember the name Gabrielle Giffords, especially considering she's still alive despite the bullet in her brain.
Although I doubt they remember the names John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, Christina Taylor Green, Dorwin Stoddard, Dorthy Morris, and Phyllis Scheck - the others murdered as "freebies" in the attempted murder of Giffords. Green was a 9-year-old girl, which means she was 9 years past the point where Republicans consider someone a child worthy of protection, and the rest were old people likely drawing Social Security or other "collaborators" with libruls, so surely they had only themselves to blame. These were the very first words out of the Tea Party when hearing of the shooting:
Congressman Giffords was a liberalNot only was this past-tense comment a statement about someone who was still alive (perhaps wishful thinking on their part), but they considered the fact that she's not a right-wing nutjob like they are the most pertinent fact to note right off the bat. Their sympathy for a woman who had just been shot in the head had to be qualified by noting that she isn't one of them, basically saying she had it coming but they must now go about the unpleasant business of pretending not to be happy about it. Just a few more slight, externalized costs of doing business for the Republican Party.
But these are just anecdotes lost in a sea of suffering created by the economic interest and politics of the Republican Party. How many people - men, women, and children - die every single year because decisions about their healthcare are at the mercy of for-profit companies who often find it more convenient to kill than save: An intolerable state of affairs that only persists because of Republicans? How many people - men, women, and children - die every single year because of unsafe and polluted environments, no services, lack of education, lack of jobs that pay a living so the hereditary entitled Republican can avoid paying taxes in exchange for their unearned privileges?
How many people die because the ambulance can't get to the hospital in time because Republicans won't build or repair roads?
How many people die because the nearest hospital closed, forcing people to travel longer distances for emergency care?
How many people die because hospital funding is cut, forcing fewer staff to work longer hours and make more mistakes?
How many innocent bystanders die in gang shootouts and idiots blasting junk in their yards because the NRA doesn't care that being armed doesn't protect people from stray bullets and cross-fire?
How many people die because of crime caused by lack of economic opportunities, jobs that don't pay anything and dehumanize the people who work them, torture-chamber prisons that merely breed more advanced criminals, and no hope?
The bus driver, train conductor, or air traffic controller asleep on the job because budget cuts force him to work overtime just to feed his kids.
The collapsed bridge or tunnel.
The absence of police and fire rescue.
Violent, corrupt cops who run amuck because internal affairs budgets are cut.
The deliberate execution of innocent people just to prove how tough a state is and how powerless humanity is.
Drug wars fueling the profits of both murderous cartels and private prisons.
Contaminated food outbreaks because health inspectors don't have the resources to do their jobs, or are paid so little the enticement to corruption is strong.
The list of ways great and small that Republicans make life miserable and dangerous for the vast majority of people is endless. Every day, a new set of murders so that Mitt Romney can keep paying lower taxes than the janitor who cleans up after him. Every day, a new onslaught of horror and tragedy so they can ever more thoroughly make life itself their exclusive domain - something you need their permission to have. And they reap the benefit inside their perfect, consquence-free bubble of self-loving solipsism, protected by vast political machines, corrupt law enforcement, and unchecked peremptory power over the livelihoods of millions - all fueled with the money they steal from you every day and from the corpses of their victims.
Forget the games of interest these plague rats play and take it personally when they go after your family; when their greed takes your loved ones from you, or robs your children of a future, or turns your communities into third-world cesspools while they crouch smirking on the parapets of their modern-day castles. De-insulate them from the consequences of their actions so that they understand in no uncertain terms that either misery or prosperity will be shared with interest, and they cannot build a gate high enough or spend enough ill-gotten money to stop the world from turning.