Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Has Happened To My Republican Party?

Though I've never voted for a Democrat for president and am a registered Republican, I've been called a "liberal" and an "Obama supporter" from time by a few people who know damn well I'm not and I'd really like to address something as a matter of curiosity. This isn't in anyway supportive of the Democrats and/or liberals, it's about the GOP....the party I had voted with for a long time.

I've never been a Democrat, and if a Republican (or former one now) can't stand up and call out the party, who can?

Why are regular Joe Republicans still so clingy to the party? This really isn't meant for the radical right. Those people have a worldview that believes an authoritarian or theocratic government would be best. Even though I don't subscribe to that in any way, I can understand that they hold this view and may do so for a variety of reasons including how they were brought up, social philosophy, and religious beliefs. I'm talking to you guys who don't have that world view, but still can't seem to get out of the grasp of the Republican party.

I am a registered Republican who feels like the party just doesn't want my kind any longer, and that being the way it is, I don't care to give them my vote in certain cases anymore. Voting is an important right and candidates should earn a vote, not be given it by default. I will vote for the best candidate from now on, and if there is not a suitable candidate, I wont' vote at all. No more giving my vote up based on a false idea or an outdated notion of what it means to be a Republican or a conservative. No more voting on the "lesser of two evils" as if that is an acceptable way of electing the people who should be serving our interests and not the other way around.

Just look at the past year alone. All of this stuff coming out about Republicans (and really does it matter if its at the state level or not? it is still a reflection of the party) who advocate/support/believe in trying to rewrite history in regards to slavery being a blessing for black Americans, marginalizing a portion of rape victims, advocating a return to Biblical "morality" by killing gays or unruly children, and basically a strong desire to create a theocratic government based on fear, hate, and a "us vs. them" mentality that has no use for anyone that isn't a "true believer". Basically, the hard right wants what the Muslim theocracies have. They can distance themselves from that, but what do you think a government that was based strictly on Biblical teachings would look like? It would see people thrown in jail for all sorts of reasons that had nothing to do with harming others, but simply harming others sensibility (or lack thereof).

We have seen George W. Bush go from "compassionate conservative" to a non-vetoing, big spending,torture enabling, war mongering, corporate slave,lying puppet. Then we had the audacity to hammer away on Obama for being un-American and a socialist. Obama has been a continuation, in many ways, but that shouldn't let Republicans off the hook for slamming him when they didn't mind it under Bush and don't seem to mind the same types of beliefs and behavior from Mitt Romney. 

Think about the people who ran for the GOP nomination; Santorum, Bachman, Perry, Cain, Gingrich. All of them with the exception of Gingrich (perhaps Cain) are supporters of theocracy and Gingrich is right with them, despite being the only one that god didn't call to run. Look at what these people have said and what they ran on and try to explain why they were popular at different times. Their words and beliefs are firmly anti-woman, anti-gay, and basically anti-anyone who isn't making over $75,000 a year. Why were social moderates and libertarians (who are the true conservatives in many ways) like Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, and John Huntsman dismissed very early on in the process? They were marginalized by the radical right. 

Regardless if you are a social moderate or a fiscal conservative, this party doesn't fit you anymore. It's not YOUR party. It belongs to those with a radical right wing worldview. Again, that's OK for them, but how on earth can anyone who cares about human beings, fiscal responsibillity, and liberty over corporations, status, and religious dogma continue to support a party that doesn't hold their values any longer.

What has happened to the party of Lincoln? A man who thought all human beings had merit and were important. What happened to Roosevelts GOP military policy of a strong defense; "walk softly, but carry a big stick"? What has happened to the smaller, less intrusive government that Goldwater touted? What happened to the optimism and big tent philosophy of Ronald Reagan? What happened to "helping a person to help themselves" by giving them the tools they need to succeed?

All that has seemingly been replaced by loyalty to party over country, preemptive and aggressive military policy, big spending, the want to legislate morality, litmus tests for Republican candidates, and throwing people to the wolves without a safety net and calling it empowerment and freedom.The Republican Party through all of the above is beginning to limit itself on who is acceptable to them. The demographics of the country is changing towards a more diverse population, where the white male is no longer the majority. The country is becoming more secular. People are beginning to value liberty and freedom again, after having had it taken away piece by piece over the past 12 years. The base of the GOP is becoming marginalized as we move into the future. What will we have then? Just the Democrats? What's that going to look like? Having just one real alternative to vote for and even that isn't very appealing. Will we move towards a rise in libertarianism? If the Republican Party is dying and being overrun with radicals, I certainly hope an alternative that is acceptable arises in the name of freedom and a government for, of, and by the people!

And for those who are not Republicans; when the hell did we stop being creative in our problem solving? Why only two ways? Why keep going back and forth between failed ideologies and ideas? Why the demonizing of anyone who dares talk about a different way of doing things? Why the fear? Go back and read the words of Jefferson, Franklin and many others who dared to think differently when drawing up our style of government and governing documents. Neither party is very close to living up to the ideal of America. Why are we as Americans, not Republicans and Democrats, allowing career politicians, charlatans, and opportunists to rule us when they are supposed be doing the work of the people? Instead of us telling them what we want, they tell us how it's going to be and sell it all on safety, security, and the demonizing of free thought and expression.

Why are we not outraged? Why are we not passionate? Why are we not giving a damn about the country and the people (US!) who live here?