Sunday, February 3, 2008

Feeling Disenfranchised

I will not pretend to be able to read into the future and tell you which of the presidential candidates will be left standing to proceed toward the nomination of their parties or if there will be brokered conventions. I am only expressing my personal opinion in this article.

People talk a lot about Reagan's "three legged stool" and how they represent the different sectors of conservative voters - the fiscal conservatives, the security conservatives and the social conservatives. They rave about how Reagan brought those three groups together, and he did well at that because he was able to effectively communicate with all conservatives and with those called the "Reagan Democrats". It was what the Republican Party needed at the time.

The Republican party is again fractured and somehow needs to be brought together. George W. Bush has not left us with an 'heir-apparent", and the fractured sections of the conservative base have again become evident. This makes for an exciting, if frustrating, selection process as we try to determine the Republican nominee. Our current choices are a very socially liberal candidate who is strong on national security, a one-term governor and business man who seems to be buying the election and is only recently 'conservative', a successful multi-term conservative governor who communicates well, but is branded as a liberal because of his compassion for the poor and because he had to raise some taxes to benefit the people of his state, and an anti-war Libertarian who should have run as a Libertarian, but decided he had a better chance running as a Republican.

Additionally, those in the media whom we deemed trustworthy are fully supporting Republican candidates who either hold firmly to liberal positions or who are recent converts to conservatism with no evidence to back up their new positions. One candidate, whose companies own part of a popular "fair and balanced" television station, is being foisted on us by that station. The one candidate who is most conservative is sidelined and ignored in the mainstream media. The most liberal of the Republican candidates, the one who has done the most to denigrate his Republican credentials, is seen as the 'front runner."

The irony in our current scenario is that the current 'front runner' does not adhere to the Republican party platform, led a revolt of Senators against the President, collaborated with the Democrats to limit our free speech and give amnesty to illegal immigrants, and was even courted by Democrats to be a vice presidential candidate. The one pushed by the 'fair and balanced' media outlet promised to be even more liberal than his democratic opponent when he ran as governor, and made gay marriage and legalized abortion (only $50) available during his term as governor.

All of these candidates need the large block of social conservatives to successfully gain the Republican nomination. This block, branded as the "evangelicals" consist of social conservatives who believe in traditional values. Republican candidates try to court this large group of voters and are often successful because of promises made to them - promises that usually do not come to fruition.

This leads me to the point of this rambling article. As a social conservative, I feel disenfranchised by my own political party. The party has certain political platforms that are supposed to define and unify those who agree with them, but the majority of candidates being foisted upon us do not adhere to the platform (probably out of fear of losing elections). This causes the Republican party to appear as if it does not have significant differences from the opposing party, and demonstrates a lack of integrity. As mentioned before, these candidates aggressively court the 'evangelical' vote, only to disappoint those very voters by supporting issues that they consider socially liberal. Could it be that evangelicals are being used by the Republican Party the same way Blacks and Hispanics are used by the Democratic Party? It's something to think about! And maybe it's time to determinedly pursue an alternative to the current two party system, and organize a third party.

Feb. 3, 2008
Quick update: To those on the Ron Paul Information site - I am not LouDobbs!!!
Radiant Times is a humble music teacher in New Mexico.

1 comment:

Quiverdaddy said...

I've often thought of going down to the county courthouse and creating a new political party composed primarily of social conservatives, African-American Evangelicals and mainline Christians, and people who value a strong national defense.

My imaginary party would not see positive populism of the Mike Huckabee variety as a scary thing because they would recognize that people of wealth depend on the middle class to work in their factories, stores and places of business -- and to buy their goods and services. Likewise, the middle class would recgnize that creating an incentive for business to invest and for their CEOs to operate efficiently help us all in the long run.

Finally, my imaginary party would seek to be inclusive of people from all walks of life regardless of race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), and would be an institution that encourages people to pursue the best this country has to offer.

When African-Americans were first beginning to emerge as a free people, some of them entered the world of Masonry as "Free-Masons" (also called "Free and Accepted"). I wouldn't encourage anyone to get invlved in Masonry -- that's not the point of this comment. However, since the things the GOP said at the beginning of the Reagan Revolution sound a lot like this, we could call it Republican.... but the Republicans might get mad.

As a compromise, I suggest we take this party out of the realm of my imagination and make it real... We'll call ourselves "Free Republicans" and let the Old Guard keep their name. They in turn will let us keep the elephant logo and then adopt for themselves the more appropriate RhINO as their mascot.