Monday, October 22, 2012

Shame amongst the ranks

This is how I feel. Some people I know and am related to have wondered why I share so many things critical of the GOP, with the implication (sometimes stated, sometimes only vaguely alluded to) that I'm not a Republican or a conservative because I criticize. 

I'm a Republican, but I'm not a sheep or a party line Republican. I am ashamed when I see my party trying to overrule the law of the land and the clear intention of the founders by pushing their particular beliefs on all of us. I'm ashamed when I see them attacking education and educators, trying to push laws that would kill women, suggesting that if you can't buy healthcare you don't have a right to life (unless you're a fetus, of course), suggesting that the poor and unfortunate are nothing but "moochers", opposing equal pay for equal work, giving voice to bigotry, etc., etc.

People have also asked why I haven't "jumped ship". I don't like the direction my party is going, but it doesn't mean I'm going to abandon it without giving it a chance to right itself. The Republican party is going through a transition; it's either going to end up the party of religious fanaticism, the party of the Rick Santorums of America, or it's going to find its place as a conservative counterbalance to the Democratic party. I think the country benefits from having conservative and liberal elements at play, to keep us from going to far in one direction or the other. The country will NOT benefit from having a viable party that wants to turn us into a Christian Iran. If the moderates leave, that is what the Republican party will become. 

But I am not blind to the situation. In the last ~ 4 years, the people rising to power in the party have been the fanatics, the bigots, and the extremists. It doesn't look like that's changing, any time soon. As I have said, I am not a "party line" Republican, and never have been. I vote for whoever I consider to be the best candidate, whatever party. I will always do that. And if the Republican party does not redeem itself, and soon, it will not be my party any more. It cannot be.

1 comment:

  1. I was actually quite surprised to read that you consider yourself Republican; the content of your facebook wall strongly suggests otherwise. Nonetheless, I leave it up to others to choose their own labels, because they know themselves better than I can... ;-)

    For what it's worth, I had a similar brief period in which I maintained my conservatism even after I jumped off the wagon of religion. I think a person holding religious views can use them to construct a reasonable defense of social conservatism. However, without religion behind them, the same positions seem cold and callous, in a social-Darwinism sort of way. I found myself faced with having to modify my religious views or my political views, and the conservatism is what eventually gave way. Now I hover somewhere comfortably in the center on most issues.