Monday, May 4, 2009

Will Republicans Recover

My Father was a Republican in a Democratic county. He used to jokingly say that Alger County should be in Georgia. Republican's did not have much of a say in Michigan at the time. However, raised in a Republican home I eventually did adopt the ideals of the party, I thought.

I used to think that the GOP stood for individual rights, minimal government interference in our private business, lower taxes, and individual accountability. Somewhere the party got hijacked. Somewhere we picked up this so called religious right or moral majority (after the last election a misnomer if I ever heard one.) All of a sudden we want to pass laws that violate what I believe to be a fundamental constitutional philosophy of the separation of church and state. Now we want to pass laws that forbid freedom of choice, we want to Christianize our country which I believe flies in the face of religious freedom.

I am working my way through the Federalist Papers. The "papers" provide insight into the arguments and intentions of the framers of our constitution. They do not refer to the growth of a federal government as being a goal of the constitution. In fact other than regulating commerce, limited taxation making treaties, and providing for the common defense most other issues are left to the states.

Yet here we are with the Republicans on the run. A group of party leaders are going around the country participating in town meetings to hear what the people have to say. My concern is that so much rhetoric has been blasted at us by the bombastic conservative talk show hosts that all that will show up at the town hall meetings will be persons who want to further the aims of that small but vocal part of the party.

I tend to be a fiscal conservative. I believe in individual rights and accountability. I believe that people should stand on their own and that public support programs should only be used in times of need and are not entitlements. I believe that government interference in our lives should be limited. I further believe that government should be transparent, I reject the hawkish designs of the former administration. It is people like Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, with their secrets and designs that will result in catastrophe for our society.

The world is changing, more rapidly than many are capable of dealing with. We should have dialogue with all countries. We should remove the sanctions against many countries, particularly Cuba. Hell, we've supported dictators and tyrants in the past. The fear of communism as a viable means of providing economic equality to all is an unworkable dream in the fashion of the cold war. It is time to get on with establishing a true new world relationship. We are in danger of making our country irrelevant.

I hope the GOP is able to refashion itself, however I don't think it will.

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