Monday, September 22, 2008
What Is a Republican ?
Has the meaning of the word "Republican" changed? I think so. Because the GOP has changed.
Eisenhower was a Republican. I voted for him twice. When I compare the GOP of Eisenhower, or Eisenhower himself -- to George W. Bush and the GOP of today --- they hardly seem related to each other. The two GOP's are GOP -- in name only.
It is not unusual for me to hear, "I'm a Republican. Always have been and always will be." I scratch my head. Hmm. "Sir, at 65 years of age, I understand what you are saying. You have not changed in your voting habits, but your party has disappeared and been taken over by an entirely different group of characters with different philosophies and ethics."
I have heard Republicans say things like this:
I am a Republican because the GOP stands for the freedom of the individual.
Today? Surely, you jest. Surveillance of Americans. Checking on the books we read. Using 9/11 to create a giant spy network operating in the U.S. on Americans. Hiding the scientific discoveries about climate change made by government scientists from the American people.
Conducting government in secrecy -- behind closed doors -- not because the terrorists may find out what is going on in the White House -- but because our citizens may learn how their interests are being ignored.
I am a Republican because the GOP avoids foreign entanglements as the founding fathers advised.
No, this doesn't apply to the ones in office. The neo conservatives describe in their Project for a New American Century --- a vision of extending American military and economic dominance over all the world -- beginning with the Middle East. Interference with and operating within other nations in their bread and butter.
I am a Republican because the GOP is the political party of fiscal responsibility.
Sorry, but wrong again. Beginning with Reagan -- the last three Republican Presidents have expanded the size of the federal government and "created" the largest deficits in recent times. Clinton, a Democrat ("big spender") eliminated the GOP deficits of the his GOP predecessors and left office with ---- a surplus.
I am a Republican because the GOP stands for civic virtue, morality in government, honesty and straightforwardness.
Sorry again --- the Reagan administration had more of its public "servants" indicted or forced out of office through corruption and malfeasance in office that any previous administration. However, although the figures aren't in, the past eight years very likely will top Reagan's eight.
Democrats seem to have a taste for sexual dalliances --- the Republicans a real hearty lust for money, influence and power.
I am a Republican because the GOP stand for the family and family values.
That's the mask they adopt when turning to certain possible voters. Take a look at the record.
Republicans seemed constitutionally opposed to help the American families survive and have some security. (Well, those families making under $150,000 year.) The are opposed to real universal health care on a single payer basis. Inability to pay their for their health needs is the number one factor in bankruptcies of ordinary American. They do not like to extend unemployment insurance when times are bad. They are opposed to programs that aid the poor and working poor --- like food stamps and access to legal aid. I could keep going for another paragraph --- but you get the picture.
The GOP likes to praise the American family, but they don't like to help it survive.
I am a Republican because the GOP stand up for the church.
I am not sure what "church" you have in mind, but some churches might feel like excommunicating the GOP. If you mean that the GOP uses support for Evangelical Christian fundamentalists including many who are "dominionists". (Dominionism is a tendency among some conservative politically-active Christians, especially in the United States of America, to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action — aiming either at a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.) (from the Wikipedia)
Most Americans do not believe the Founding Fathers (mostly Deists) were interested in establishing a state religion. In fact, that was the last thing they wanted to do --- because they saw the misery, servitude and public disorder caused by state religions in Europe.
I am a Repubican because the GOP is really the party of Patriotic Americans.
Well, that's a mouthful. Recently, I read that David Frum, former speech writer for President Bush, is worried about the diminishing life span of the GOP. As the top 10% -20% become richer and richer -- and the middle class slips into the lower middle class, and the lower middle class slips in to poverty, and the poor -- well, I don't know where they will go.
Well, you see the problem: Republicans will have all the money, but there won't be enough GOP voters to keep the Grand Old Party winning the races.
And, the rest of us will "soak the rich" by increasing their taxes.