A Concerned Republican

I've always thought of myself as a Republican. Happily falling over the threshold into voting age, I am now registered as one.

We live in a nation founded on opposition to an overly-invasive government, and the notion of liberty is enshrined in our founding documents and history. Government action, however genuinely well-meaning, by its very nature impinges on individual liberty.

Meanwhile, all intelligent and reasonable people realize that *some* measure of government activity is of course absolutely necessary, even to protect our own liberty from infringement by others; government at a local or state or federal level should merely be ensured to be no larger, and to play no larger role in our lives, than is necessary to protect us in various ways - to provide for, in other words, the common defense and general welfare. By providing this, financed by unburdensome taxation, our nation can flourish. This philosophy, I have always understood, is what underlines the Republican political philosophy.

However.

I - and any sensible, well-measured and patriotic member of my party (to say nothing of independents, Democrats, and 3rd party supporters) - am f*cking APOPLECTIC at the direction that Republican legislatures, executives, and members of Congress, are taking their state, or our country.

Throughout our nation millions of people lack jobs, or housing, or food, or basic healthcare. What Republican governments have chosen to focus on, however, is restricting individual rights; flying in the face of our own philosophy.

I'm well aware that if particular people read this I'm going to be lambasted for days here on EP, but we all know anyway that I'm primarily referring to:

-obscene restrictions over a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body, and particularly where it's possible to execute those decisions. (My beautiful state of Mississippi, I'm looking at you, with our single abortion clinic);

-attacking the concept of a loving family as being the core of the best environment to raise children, by (in general) vehemently opposing gay marriage;

-actually destroying our very democracy, for short-term political gain, through gerrymandering districts (ok, democrats do this too), and worse by enacting utterly bogus voter ID laws, which in effect if not in intention are disgustingly racist.

The party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan (all of whom had their own faults, of course) needs to get a f*cking grip. Because we are destroying ourselves. Worse, we are destroying our great country.
DeclarableKitten DeclarableKitten
22-25, F
7 Responses Jul 24, 2013

I'd be a Republican if what you supported were what the republican candidates worked for. Instead I started my own party focusing on being as corrupt as possible. We call it the corruption party.

Unfortunately most of our congressional members have no clue what a conservative is. There are a lot of people who do realize that history has taught us that the US is more prosperous when the government gets out of the way. History has also taught us that when we increase taxes on the so-called rich, government revenues actually decrease. An income tax is a tax on “income” what you earn, not what you have. The wealthy generally derive income from investments and when we increase taxes on investments they simply stop investing. Therefore they have no income. They can put money into tax free municipal bonds or other lower performing but tax exempt investments but this deprives corporations of much needed capital which end results in reduced jobs. Any government plan that cost corporations money will end result in reduced employment.

One of the biggest areas of disagreements with conservative principles is in the area of social issues. Gay marriages for example, are one of the top debated issues in this country. First thing should be noted that this area is of primary interest to state rights advocates and rightly so. States have always set ground rules for marriages in each respective state as well as divorces or other legal matters within state borders and this is not an issue the federal government should address, because it is not within their constitutional power. States do recognize marriages and divorces performed in other states as a matter of principle. There are some states that have addressed the issue of gay marriages and I believe others will at some point. Marriage originated as a religious institution centuries ago and governments created a civil institution to mirror the religious one and to keep records of the event. I don’t have a major issue with civil governments performing some kind of civil services and even providing for benefits of same sex couples for insurance and pensions, etc. I do have a problem if we intend to force religious institutions to perform religious ceremonies pertaining to same sex couples because that is a direct violation of first amendment rights of religious freedom and not an area government should encroach on. Don’t look for governments to rush into adopting same sex couples and all the benefits included because it will cost money. Paying healthcare and pensions alone will cost states plenty and that is the biggest reason they are reluctant. Always follow the money trail.

Abortion is another sticking issue that has long been debated but we do have a Supreme Court ruling for Roe vs. Wade that is still the law of the land. Most states have taken measures to exercise control by establishing limits on when abortions can no longer be performed. In Texas recently they established 20 weeks. Let’s face it that is 5 whole months and after that the fetus is viable. Technically all fetuses are viable if left alone. If the girl had waited five months to decide whether to have sex the whole incident may have been avoided, because she could have found out what a loser her boyfriend actually was. The time table has become an issue, the far right would like to stop abortions completely and the far left think it is OK all the way up to when the child starts first grade. If a teenage girl gives birth to a baby but smothers it to death and throws it in a dumpster she is guilty of a crime and can be prosecuted for murder but if she had terminated the pregnancy just a few months earlier it would have been perfectly legal. We’ve even changed the terminology so it sounds better. We use terminate instead of kill and instead of saying baby we use fetus because it is more politically correct. The whole thing is labeled women’s rights but in effect it comes down to baby’s rights and evidently the baby doesn’t have any. No vote is taken because it is a dictatorship and the mother is the one in charge. The baby can be completely eliminated for no other reason than being inconvenient. Our Declaration of Independence says we have the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. That is of course if we aren’t inside our mother, whose body was intended to protect and nourish.

Presidential candidates come out for or against certain issues all the time and even make promises, none of which they can keep. The president’s job is administrative, not legislative. He can suggest but short of a veto can not do a whole lot about any of the issues in the news today. Most people think the Bill of Rights is a list of rights we have, but that isn’t entirely true. We have many more rights than those listed. The Bill of Rights are a list of rights congress is not supposed to be able to change that is why they are worded the way they are “Congress shall make no law, etc. etc.” I don’t think our founders even thought about the NSA or TSA when they created the 4th amendment, but who knows, maybe they could see into the future.

good analogy, I will have to remember it.

"States do recognize marriages and divorces performed in other states as a matter of principle." Interestingly, there's currently a case in Texas about two men who were married in MA where gay marriage has been legal for years, and now want a divorce. The problem of course being that as far as the TX courts are concerned, they're not married (so much for the Full Faith and Credit Clause)... I think it's fine (for now) for states to not allow for gay marriage, because as you point out it's an issue that hitherto as always been managed at a state level. That's not to say we shouldn't press for the more intransigent legislatures to come to the right decision on this issue...

Abortion is a whole different ball game (and has it's own set of groups on here). But in short, I'm fine with a 20 or 18 week limit, or viability being a test of when to allow or not allow an abortion to be performed. I do have a problem with states limiting access to abortions by passing ridiculously bogus laws forcing clinics to close by making them adhere to impossible (and entirely unnecessary) medical standards. For example. There is currently one heroic, beleaguered, clinic for the whole of my state. That's hardly in the spirit of Roe.

The Bill of Rights is of course a list of rights which includes all those we have, and specifically mentions particular ones because Congress shouldn't meddle with those in particular. I doubt Madison had the NSA in mind when he penned the 4th Amendment (nor some of the threats our country, today, faces). Problem with that argument is that it can also be weilded against the 2nd, because in 1789 we didn't have street lights or police forces, so allowing firearms was thenn a fundamentally good idea (never mind that the British might have come back). I don't buy it, just saying it's an argument...

Thanks for your comment :) xo

Thanks for your reply. I don't disagree with most of your points even though I think if two people agree on everything one person becomes unnecessary. I think lively debate is good for the country although some disagreements have gone too far. Jefferson and Hamilton come to mind and led to Jefferson's resigning. Hamilton and Burr went a bit farther and maybe we need that in Washington, let's give a gun to a representative from each side and let them have at it. The only problem I have with the gay marriage thing is the federal government's potential involvement. Let's get them out of our lives as much as possible. I think we really don't have a two party system, neither party adheres that much to their doctrine, they are mostly in it for themselves. Follow the money trail and you can see clearly the reason they are for or against anything. Keep in mind it is easier for the government to start a program than to stop one.

I agree. Though, I tend to the view that while the federal govt should keep its hands off everything it possibly can, ensuring a basic equality (since that is, on a national level, what most polls tend to show Americans favor), is something I'd be happy to see Congress/SCOTUS doing...

1 More Response

From a former Republican, who became a Democrat, and now lives in Canada,
more people like you need to speak out about this. Well said.
From what I understand, it was the political pundits who suggested Reagan start catering to the religious right to get votes that sent the party down a path they can't seem to get out of.
I am socially very liberal, but economically more conservative.
This is well thought out, and although we probably disagree on quite a bit, we are in agreement that change has to be made - on both sides - because people right now, don't actually have much of a choice.

The RWNJ element is slowly shrinking over time, happily, so I\'m less worried about that sort of thing.
I\'m particularly incensed about the redistricting process though. (Which both parties do, just Republicans more than Democrats). It\'s fundamentally abhorrent to anyone who things genuine democracy is a Good Thing.

I heard something interesting, that with the dawn (relatively speaking) of the internet, and the ability to distribute information not from just mass media outlets (primarily TV) that things will begin to change and corporations worth billions that support both parties will loose some of their strongholds because although they can control (with money) the information disseminated from TV they can\'t control FB/Twitter/Etc and it will put the power back in the hands of the people. Much like (but less dramatic) the Arab Spring. I\'m cautiously skeptical and optimistic.

Hope springs eternal!

As I seem unable to reply to SpiceZ -
There are problems with the GOP and the attitude of its base/leadership (not sure which, might be both) towards women. But it would be absurd to suggest that I think entirely with my ovaries, which is sort of what you're suggesting. Even if it wasn't patronizing in the extreme, it remains a stupid idea.

Hell any woman is a dam fool for being a republican!

Again with the apoplectic. Boy ... I thought I was disillusioned with the DNC.

" Republican legislatures, executives, and members of Congress" ... are taking their constituents precisely where ALEC directs they be taken. I'm afraid the 2-party system didn't prove much match for corporationism. Easy pickins almost.

I hope you can change your party's stance regarding your concerns. That would more or less make all of you Democrats. =)

(Didn't want you sufferin under-lambastment)

On the whole, I basically support much the same things Democrats to, in terms of end-goals. Just not so much how to get there.

I am going to agree with you on most (but not all) of the issues you raise. But, even where I may disagree, what counts is focussing on the important issues, not the sideshows. And nobody has done a better job of ignoring the important issues, (jobs, the economy, the deterioating international situation, loss of personal freedoms, our abominable tax laws, etc. etc.) and focussing on the sideshows than the Republican party. They probably would have won control of the Senate in 2011, and certainly in 2013, had they not gotten sidetracked by the stuff you mention.

The most depressing part is that who is going to run in 2016? Hopefully not another idiot. We'll see.

I\'m sure our politics don\'t necessarily line up perfectly, but I cannot agree with you more. They basically only keep control of the House because of an aggressive (and, alarmingly, largely unchallenged) systematic campaign of gerrymandering.

We have a whole LOAD of idiots we could try. But, as fun as it would be for me to watch yet another little campaign dingy crash into the side of the USS Nimitz, I\'d rather see a substantive campaign where actual, you know, issues, get addressed and debated: where I wouldn\'t be horrified by the performance of my own party and where I can feel sure that a decent and upright person won either way. I.e. I want the last campaign from the final two seasons of the West Wing.

What I suspect we\'ll get is a meltdown over Christie-Paul, maybe Jeb Bush. Or Condie Rice, but I think that\'s more of an outside thing (at least, even if she\'s made some pretty terrible decisions in the past, she has a little bit of substance...and it\'s time the Oval Office had a grand piano in it :P )