eNewsChannels Column: The know-nothings really need to have a few facts presented to them, as you’ll find if you try to have a reasonable discussion with a Republican.

I have overheard several discussions recently between conservatives and liberals, between corporatists and populists, between regressives and progressives, between troglodytes and modernists, and between Republicans and normal people (some independent, some Democratic, some Green, etc.) and I have participated in a few such conversations as well.

The following is an attempt to put everything in place without resorting to emotional outbursts or having our heads explode too often. For our discussion, please allow me to introduce you to Rhonda and Denise, who are standing in for several different participants in several different conversations. . .

Denise: I love the Andy Borowitz column where he wrote about the GOP announcing that their entire primary campaign was just a prank, a big April Fool joke.

Rhonda: Well, I don’t know about calling it funny. My husband and I are Republicans.

Denise: Rhonda, you don’t have to lie. We can discuss things or not, but if we talk, at least tell me the truth.

Rhonda: What are you talking about?

Denise: You can’t be a Republican. I know you’re not a bad person.

Rhonda: Wait, you think Republicans are bad people?

Denise: Of course. So does everyone who takes a moment to think about it.

Rhonda: That’s ridiculous!

Denise: Not really. Just look at the current situation. For example, the Republican party is supporting the suppression of voter rights, which is unconstitutional.

Rhonda: Well, there are some states that feel that they have to watch out for voter fraud.

Denise: Every state has to watch out for voter fraud. That’s why there are designated voting places with lists of registered voters. Voter fraud isn’t the reason for the latest laws. Meanwhile, the Republican party is also supporting vigilantism, which is illegal.

Rhonda: Okay, but rushing to judgment of George Zimmerman is not going to help the situation.

Denise: The Iraq war was a rush to judgment. Mr. Zimmerman needs to be under arrest.

Rhonda: We don’t know that yet.

Denise: Rhonda, darling, if a guy shoots someone point-blank in the chest, they get blood on their own shirt, especially if they’re lying underneath their victim. Mr. Zimmerman had no blood on his shirt, either from the supposed broken nose or from the gunshot. Clearly, his story is a fabrication. Until the killing is investigated, the shooter has to be in jail. And I know you’d agree if it was your son who was shot. Or if your son was living anywhere near where George Zimmerman is still roaming around free.

Rhonda: Well, Ronny isn’t, uh, isn’t, you know . . .

Denise: Isn’t black?

Rhonda: Now you know I didn’t mean that!

Denise: Sure. But isn’t that how a lot of Republicans think?

Rhonda: Well . . .

Denise: Meanwhile, the Republican party is supporting misogyny, which is medieval, not to mention just plain evil.

Rhonda: Wait, not all of us . . .

Denise: A bunch of those horrific laws attacking women were introduced by Republican women. Meanwhile, the Republican party is supporting theocracy, which has more in common with Mideast governments than ours.

Rhonda: But that’s only some Republicans . . .

Denise: The Republican party is supporting plutocracy, which is counter to the goals and aims of democracy.

Rhonda: Um, plutocracy . . . ?

Denise: Government by the wealthy.

Rhonda: Okay, so the guy is rich, so what?

Denise: Darling girl, he’s rich off the backs of good people who got crushed. Go online and you can talk to some of them. It’s very sad, and the Republicans don’t want you to look into it.

Rhonda: Uh, well, I don’t know . . .

Denise: Not to mention the Citizens United decision, which allows foreign governments to contribute to our political campaigns. That is just insane. But you don’t hear Republicans complaining about it. Have you ever spoken up about it?

Rhonda: Uh, Citizens United? That sounds like a good thing.

Denise: Yes it does. But if I wrote a bill outlawing your party and called it the Preserving Puppies and Kittens Act, you’d still want to read what it was about, wouldn’t you?

Rhonda: Yes, of course.

Denise: But you’ve never bothered to look at the effects of the Citizens United decision.

Rhonda: Well. . .

Denise: Just by the way, you do know who Karl Rove is, right?

Rhonda: Of course.

Denise: And his main money man, Carl Forti?

Rhonda: Uh, no. . .

Denise: And Roger Ailes?

Rhonda: Um . . .

Denise: He runs the Fox propaganda network. Okay, then. . . Meanwhile, the Republican party is supporting racism, which is illegal and distasteful. You and your husband don’t support racism, do you?

Rhonda: Of course not!

Denise: Yet you say you are part of the Republican party. Which means you are giving your approval to all of those things.

Rhonda: Well, no, we. . . Let me explain. There are very real and very important fiscal policy positions that we think should be put forth.

Denise: So you’re saying that you’re a Republican because of certain economic policy goals?

Rhonda: Yes. Of course we don’t support any of those other terrible things.

Denise: But you do support them. By remaining in the Republican party. You back those things every moment you remain a Republican because that’s what that party represents.

Rhonda: We can’t go on spending money we don’t have!

Denise: Like in wars that are undeclared and not listed in the budget?

Rhonda: Right. Wait. . .

Denise: Which is the Republican way of financing wars. You were saying something about fiscal policies?

Rhonda: No, but wait, the same thing is still happening!

Denise: Which is why many of us are working to prevent it, just like we’re working to overturn the Citizens United decision, and to get healthcare coverage for everyone, and to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, and to –

Rhonda: Okay, okay, but you Democrats are big spenders!

Denise: First, I’m not a Democrat. I wouldn’t join either party, but when given a choice between a Democrat and someone whose party supports suppression of voter rights, vigilantism, misogyny, theocracy, oligarchy, plutocracy, and racism, then I’ll remain an independent and I’ll vote Democratic. And then I watch who was elected to nail ’em if they spend unwisely.

Rhonda: Well, I don’t know. . .

Denise: Look, Rhonda, if you have economic policies you believe in, you can argue them from the fiscally conservative side of the Democratic party or from inside the Green party, or the Peace and Freedom party, or wherever. Or you can do what I do and make your arguments as an independent.

Rhonda: Um, I just don’t know sometimes. . .

Denise: With all of the ugliness and hatred and ignorance going on in the Republican party, why would you think that has something in common with you?

Rhonda: Look, my parents were always Republicans.

Denise: So were mine.

Rhonda: Really?

Denise: Yup. But the people making up the bulk of today’s GOP wouldn’t recognize our parents’ Republicans. Dwight Eisenhower wouldn’t be allowed in the Republican party now. Do you ever hear his name mentioned by today’s GOP?

Rhonda: Uh, no.

Denise: Right. Because he actually did some progressive things. Things that were good for the entire nation. The interstate highway system. Infrastructure. Scientific advancements.

Rhonda: I guess that’s true . . .

Denise: Plus, Eisenhower also warned about the military-industrial complex. Although he chickened out there, a little. In the draft of his speech, it warned about the military-industrial-congressional complex. He just couldn’t bring himself to go all the way. But he went part of the way. Which I hope you will do.

Rhonda: I’ll have to talk to Brad.

Denise: Spoken like a true Mrs. Santorum.

Rhonda: Hey, now you’re hitting below the belt!

Denise: Girlfriend, when you’ve got your belt buckled around your eyes, almost every legal shot is below the belt.

Article is Copr. © 2012 by John Scott G – all commercial and reprint rights reserved. Originally published on