Monday, February 07, 2005

Why I Am Not A Republican

In my very first post I tried to capture the essence of my political beliefs. My brother's response can stand for most of the feedback that I got. I'll quote from it here:

"Still attempting to get drummed out of the Democratic Party I see, excellant remember we have lots of room" -- Pat McGaha, 11/15/04

Actually, you don't. It may look that way, but it won't last. Here's why.

The Republican Convention showcased a number of moderate figures within the party, to show that their "tent" was big enough to encompass a diversity of opinion. Popular politicians like Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger were given coveted spots in prime time, which irked some of the more conservative blocs in the party. The desired effect was achieved, though, and middle America does not see the Republicans as a radical party. They feel comfortable with most of their agenda. They feel comfortable that some disagreement can be tolerated on small issues, so long as there is agreement on the big ones.

That's all well and good, and that's even the way things are supposed to work in a large national party, but there's a backlash brewing. Here's a new word, for those of you who may not have been paying close attention: RINO. Senator Arlen Spector is in hot water with some conservatives for being, shall we say, of insufficient ideological purity.

The majority that the Republicans have cobbled together is already showing some strain. What will happen when it calves apart? Will there still be a place in the Republican Party for someone who does not walk in lock-step with every pronouncement of the radical Right?

I don't really care to walk in that door just right now, if I'm liable to have to turn right back around and walk out again.

Mind you, the Warriors for Truth have a few points, as regards the positions taken by the Democratic leadership lately. As I've said before, the Democrats have grown into the habit of running like scalded dogs from virtually anything in a uniform. And the Democratic Party didn't have much of a platform this last time around. All we ended up with was a weird sort of reactionary spasm. Watching the Presidential Debates was rather like watching the old Monty Python Argument Sketch. Mindlessly gainsaying everything your opponent is in favor of does not a debate make.

Here's the really big problem: the marketplace of ideas in this country is in serious danger of becoming a monopoly shop. This is most glaringly true when it comes to foreign policy. One side seems to have beome ideologically fixated on the abnegation of American power in the world, and as a direct result of that, the American public is extremely reluctant to trust that lot with the Sword of the State.

Why is that a problem? Because the Republican majority cannot last forever. These things are never permanent. They are almost always cyclical. Look at the years between 1930 and 1970: the Democrats held the White House for most of those years, except for the last half of Hoover's term, the first half of Nixon's first term, and both of Eisenhower's. Now, if you look at an equivalent length of time from 1970 on, the Republicans held the White House for all of those years except for the Carter and Clinton administrations. The time may not be ripe in 2008 for another spin of the wheel, but it could easily happen in 2012. What then?

Somehow, by hook, by crook, sanity has to be returned to the Democratic Party, before that happens. Somehow, an administration that is both able and willing to take up the Sword of the State in defense of the Republic needs to be in place, regardless of their party affiliation.

Someone has to be willing to face down the anti-military wing of the Democratic Party, and start talking sense again.

Me, I'm a centrist by nature. I could go either way. But this is a discussion that has to take place, here and now, for the long-term health of the nation.

Fortunately, I'm not completely alone. Just mostly alone. For now.

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