A former Republican senator took a significant swipe at his party yesterday, labeling them “so far off to the right that it can’t even come to grips with reality in America today.”
Former senator Lowell Weicker told Salon that he was in favor of a progressive tax system, and also believes that given the impact income inequality can have on education levels, local funding of education should be replaced with state funding to equalize educational opportunities for children, regardless of their background.
He also suggested that his former comrades re-think their positions on social issues, particularly the rights of females and homosexuals in America. He said that when it came to the public and the Republican Party, there was a serious disconnect between the two.
Lowell also refused to pull his punches when it came to the prevalence of sexism and racism in the GOP. Asked about whether he thought these were problems within the Party, he replied:
“Oh, I think it clearly shows — it seems to me when I hear Republicans talking, I hear a lot of sexism, I hear a lot of racism.”
The Senator also suggested the US may need to follow Australia’s example and introduce compulsory voting to combat what he sees as increasing voter apathy, saying that disenchanted and disengaged voters were partly to blame for the ongoing dysfunction at the heart of the American government.
While it may sound like a drastic step, it is no doubt born out of a deep sense of frustration. Politicians are only as accountable as their constituents want them to be. In the late 1960s, the free world looked to the US and its simultaneous struggle in the name of feminism, the ending of segregation, and an end to the unjust war of aggression against Vietnam. American liberals and radicals should never forget those days, and should be summoning up that courage once again to combat an increasingly reactionary and extremist Republican Party.
America: Be outraged!
Weicker is well know for his embrace of controversial issues. Watch the video below of him speaking out against the Israeli wall of separation: