On this day, as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you should undoubtedly hear a lot of people talk about how heroic he was for the things he did to usher in a new era of civil rights in this country.
Which is to be expected. Dr. King was great man, and a true pioneer for civil rights.
However, I do get frustrated a bit when Republicans claim that if Dr. King were alive today he most assuredly would be a Republican. It’s an absolute joke to really believe that.
But it reminded me of a teacher from a couple of years ago who apparently felt the very same way about Republicans “honoring” Dr. King as I do.
During a presentation two years ago, Al Levie refused to accept an award of congressional recognition from Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan because of the policies that Mr. Ryan supports.
Here’s the video, via Wisconsin Jobs Now:
Instead of taking the award from Ryan, Mr. Levie said to the crowd, “I can’t in good conscience accept this award, as a humanitarian, Paul Ryan stands for everything I don’t believe in.”
Later, Levie explained his protests:
“I would not accept the award from Paul Ryan because Paul Ryan is a lackey for the 1 percent. Paul Ryan had no business at a Martin Luther King event, it’s totally hypocritical. On the one hand he votes to slash health care, while on the other hand, King dedicated his life and he died for it, for people to have adequate healthcare, to have adequate jobs. King made it very clear that he was on the side of working people. Ryan on the other hand, he has absolutely no affinity for the working class and for him to come to an event where somebody of King’s stature was honored is wrong.”
And he’s absolutely right.
Paul Ryan has made a career out of opposing almost every program that helps working Americans. His stances on social programs are the complete opposite of Dr. King’s and his push to privatize Medicare, which would ultimately end Medicare, is a slap in the face to the tens of millions of Americans who rely on it to maintain their health.
But Paul Ryan represents a lot of what Republicans represent as a whole. He’s a shill for the richest among us to the detriment of the other 99 percent of Americans.
So when these Republicans “honor” someone like Dr. King, while supporting policies that are in complete contradiction to what he believed in, it’s often hard to keep myself from laughing.
Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a thing, isn’t it?
I just hope more people start taking a stand like Mr. Levie did. Because I personally feel disgust every time I see these Republicans claim to honor the great Dr. King when so many of the policies they support are complete contradictions to what he lived and ultimately died for.
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