An Open Letter to my Republican Friends

Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey by DonkeyHotey

I grew up in that swing state.

I went to University in a red state (North Carolina).
I have lived in five states across our union and have laughed at the dinner tables of atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus alike. We debated whether a black man was electable; sent each other holiday cards in distance locations, and most of all, we listened. To each other. To others. We may have disagreed with the other side but we didn’t hate or ridicule or humiliate them.
I’ve been an expat now for ten years. So maybe this is why I find what I’m seeing online and hearing on TV incomprehensible.
Maybe it isn’t the Republican or Democratic parties that need changing. Maybe it’s me.
I want to know, especially from my Republican friends (if they’re still talking to me, a liberal independent): do you think it’s okay for everyone – particularly an aspiring leader – to spout racist epithets on international media? And please help me understand how “speaking your mind” without a filter is a qualification for leadership. In that case, as we know, due to my signature bluntness, I’m candidate number one!
Remind me when we decided it was okay to fabricate videos and rumors about non profit agencies that give vital medical services to women because we don’t agree with some of the procedures?
And while we’re at it, don’t our elected leaders have an obligation to fill an opening in one of the highest courts in the land? Or will we let them shirk their duties because they think it can wait?
What, in short, is going on with our country?
Please explain to me how any of this counts as democracy. Because from where I stand, fear mongering and a desire for power are making would be leaders out of people rapidly becoming experts at how to issue farcical sound bites.
In the America I remember, the one I made my second home, the one my immigrant parents eagerly sought out as a place of intelligence and opportunity, someone like that would have disappeared years ago, long before “Super Tuesday.”
But maybe, as they say, my memory is faulty. And were I to come home now, there would be no trace of the place or people I remember.
PS: Please let’s not blame the media. After all, don’t they show what their audience wants to see?