Republican Values

Standard

An Open Letter to the Republican Party: Local, State, National

I have been a Republican for 40 years , ever since I voted for Gerald Ford in ’76, and witnessed, with dismay, the enthusiastic outburst within my Navy Boot Camp barracks when the Company Commander announced Jimmy Carter had won the election. (confession: I strayed once when I was stationed on the Left coast; there was something in the water!)

An American first, Conservative second, and then Republican, my loyalty lies with the United States Constitution and this great nation. I realize that the Republican Party needs to be a “wide tent” accepting many people with varied viewpoints, not just those that share my own conservative beliefs. Calling moderates “RINOs” and right-wingers “extremists” is not constructive or beneficial to the party, or America. I also don’t believe that if there was a conservative candidate that had a check mark next to every single conservative talking point, that that person should necessarily be the appropriate nominee, just as I do believe we NEED more than one party in our system; we NEED varied opinion and ideas. No one person or party is perfect and knows all at all times. A candidate with a staunch conservative record could also lack character and integrity, virtues I believe are crucial in a leader.

That being said, I have some deep concerns about the direction of the party, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and consider them. Please, do not take any of this personally.

America has taken an ideological turn to the left in recent years, and the Republican Party has been affected as well. As they say, the pendulum continues to swing. One thing that has been fairly steady in the past few decades, though, is republicans sticking with certain principles, such as those listed in the official Republican Party Platform: limited government, maximum freedoms and liberties, free enterprise, constitutional government, and restoring the American Dream. There is one candidate, if you look deeper and care about facts, that may be the polar opposite of these principles, and could tear the party, and the country apart more than has already been done. Here are some examples:

  • Giving fuel to Hillary Clinton’s claim that Republicans are waging a “War on Women” is not the way to win a general election. Donald Trump’s disgusting attacks on Carly Fiorina and Megyn Kelly and others does not exemplify the values I have always associated with the Republican Party. The despicable comments he made regarding Fiorina’s looks and Kelly’s “bleeding” lady parts (you know that is what he meant) should make every republican shun him. Both of those ladies possess the character and integrity that Trump seems to lack. But those comments actually helped drive his polls up. That deeply disturbs me, and it should you, as well.
  • Being captured on the battlefield and becoming a POW is not a dishonorable act. Unless your name is Bowe Bergdahl and you purposely left your post in search of comfort or alliance with the enemy, you are an American hero. John McCain was our nominee a few years back. As a conservative, I wasn’t overly-enthused about his candidacy, but I voted for him. More importantly, I recognize that his service in Vietnam as a warrior and a POW was honorable and heroic. Donald Trump only likes veterans who “weren’t captured.” Does that mean he also does not like veterans who had the audacity to be wounded? What does he think about our fallen heroes? The Republican Party that I knew valued every veteran who served honorably whether republican, democrat, or independent.
  • Republicans have always been the advocates of freedom, individual liberty, and limited government. Many in the party were outraged in 2005 when the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision proclaimed that the government could take an individual’s property and hand it over to commercial enterprises if it fosters economic development. Trump wholeheartedly agreed with that decision and has even used it in his business dealings. Stealing someone’s property for another’s business venture is not a Republican value.
  • For years Trump was pro-choice and even favored partial-birth abortions. Then, as he contemplated a run for president a few years ago, he suddenly had a change of heart and flipped to pro-life. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, was this sudden switch believable? His views on universal health care fit more in the Democratic Party instead of the GOP.
  • The bankruptcies Trump’s businesses have filed over the years harmed not just his lenders. Banks and other lending institutions don’t just eat those losses, they pass them on to consumers. Us! Additionally, the banks needed bailouts, in part because of these types of business practices, and Trump supported us taxpayers paying the bill. Paying his bills. He also stiffed contractors and other hard-working Americans. If Capitalism is the “Force,” then Trump represents the “Dark Side.”
  • The Donald has made the core of his campaigning a melting pot of insults, liberal solutions, personal and vicious attacks against fellow republicans, and dishonesty. Unprofessional. I wonder if he is also hiding ulterior motives and ambitions. Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger once remarked that presidential candidate Barack Obama was a charlatan, who was deceiving the nation, and would ultimately harm it. He was right. I fear the Republicans now have a charlatan in their midst in Donald Trump.
  • Trump’s widely recorded public tantrums remind me of a four-year-old than of a person that could be sitting in the Oval Office with the power to wage war and dramatically affect all of our lives.
  • The damage Barack Obama has done to this country in so many ways will still be coming to light well after he is out of office. When I raised my hand to “preserve and defend” the Constitution, I meant it. I will never vote for a candidate whom I believe will harm the Constitution and this country. That includes Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. If my preferred candidates are not nominated, I could vote for Bush, Christie, and even Kasich, but never Trump.

I uphold the former Republican values, not the ones that appear to be taking shape today. Trump talks tough on illegal immigration (something many of us are in agreement) and “promises” to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it; this “talk” does not qualify him as our nominee. We should look, instead, at his long history of comments and acts on a wide assortment of issues, and make a decision on them and not on his sudden flip flops on issues that make it appear he is more aligned with the Republican Party. Do not succumb to populism. His fellow candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, brought up Trump’s New York values. I go further and question today’s republican values. If they continue to align more with the other party I will be saddened that after forty years I must seek a divorce. I will have no part in harming this country or ignoring the Constitution. I fear Trump will not make America great again. Instead he will push it over the edge of the cliff where Barack Obama has placed it.

If you support Donald Trump my hope is that you will take a closer look at his record through the years. Please do not pick him for his rhetoric of the past few months. Thank you for reading this letter.

P.S. It interesting that former President Jimmy Carter’s favorite “republican” candidate is Donald Trump, because Trump is “malleable!”

 

Why So Hateful?

Standard

People should be able to be philosophically opposed on just about any issue without having to resort to hateful exchanges. I have witnessed people from all spectrums of political leanings engage in this conduct. I hope I have not been part of this nonsense. Perhaps it is my conservative bias that causes me to remember the more hateful and despicable attacks come from the left, but like I said, I’m probably biased. Maybe it’s easier to forget or give a pass to those that share your philosophy.
Hateful and pointless attacks do not accomplish anything to win someone to your way of thinking. All it does is reflect on what kind of person you are and causes others to lose respect for you, if they ever had any from the start. Of course, people’s definition of what is hateful, mean, or despicable can be remarkably and creatively different from your own. Some people take offence at the most benign commentary.
The folks making the disparaging comments know if they are being hateful. If the intent is to insult, berate, emotionally destroy, or perform character assassination, then that is obvious to most. However, honest, civil debate or certain elements of comedy, for example, are not usually meant to be hateful. How many comedians throughout history have made jokes that contain funny insults or get a laugh off of a stereotyped target group? Yes, some cross the line and their joke goes flat. If political correctness rules out ALL of that material, there will be quite a few open slots on late night tv and at standup comedy joints.

The hate is everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Radio & TV News and Talk Shows, on-line newspaper readers’ commentary sections, bars and restaurants, everyday conversation. Not all the time of course. But enough to be a distraction to the important things of the day.

I am for passionate, honest debate, free speech, and varied opinion. But lies and insults are not opinion. They are lies and insults. Profane, personal attacks are just mean, not thoughtful speech.

Impeach Obama Bandwagon

Standard

Many of my fellow conservatives have jumped on the Impeach Obama Bandwagon, some from the very beginning of his presidency. I disagree with that effort.

Democrats, apparently most Independents, and even some republicans voted for Obama—twice. He won his elections with his campaign promises of “fundamentally changing America.” That is exactly what he is doing, especially in these last 2 years of his administration.

If some of his supporters did not know what fundamental means, then they should have looked it up. Obama has not hidden his agenda. He just doesn’t talk about it much. Yes, he and his administration have lied about key components in order to get them passed by Congress or the courts. ScotusCare, for instance. His overall world view and path he has set America on is not buried in a deep cave, though. He is succeeding in changing America from its foundation roots, and also away from the free enterprise/capitalistic form of economy that we have been used to for most of our history. I heard one political pundit remark that in recent history Ronald Reagan was the last president to change America in a substantive way. Obama is undoing Reagan’s legacy, and then some. And Americans VOTED for this change!

It sickens me that Obama is, in my opinion, damaging this nation perhaps beyond repair, but democracy can be messy, and we are witnessing it at its messiest. Granted, there are elements of the Obama “regime” that are not acting like a democratic government and more closely resemble despotism. He has been aided in unbelievable fashion by the mainstream media in getting away with these undemocratic actions. When you have a propaganda machine at your command, you can get away with an awful lot of misdeeds. Many regimes throughout the 20th century stayed in power in this manner. There is only one news network where you can hear both sides of issues and actually view news about the federal government and Obama administration that other networks suppress. But this network is unmercifully vilified by the president, his supporters and propaganda machine. That reason alone is cause to watch it!

Republicans messed up when they impeached President Bill Clinton in the 90s. Yes, he got caught breaking the law with perjury. Although I believe both Clintons are guilty of more serious corruption and other crimes, Ken Starr and others could never pin them down with solid evidence. Hillary is, so far, getting away with similar behavior now. But impeaching a president on a perjury charge was a huge mistake. Most Americans assume all politicians lie constantly, especially if confronted about their sex life.

Similarly, governors and congress members of both parties have been subject to recalls or impeachments following their democratic election. What is it about democracy that so many do not like or respect? These governors, congressmen, and the president have more elections coming up and can be voted out of office if the Silent Majority got vocal for once and started taking their country back from the socialists, communists, and radicals. We don’t need impeachments, or a coup, or any other effort. Just speak out, and VOTE!

There are those, especially on the right where I hang out often, that promise they will refuse to vote if THEIR candidate is not nominated. That attitude only helps the other side win the day and continue to turn America into a socialist or communist nation. I admit, there are one or two republican candidates whom I believe would do more harm to our country than a couple of the Democrat candidates. If they were the nominations, I would not give up my right and duty to vote. I would vote for the candidate (repub or dem) whom I believe would damage America the least, then wait for the next election. It is not sacrificing principles to remain in the political arena and exercise your voting rights if your primary candidate does not win.

Our biggest effort, which we can start working on immediately, is to try and change minds about the direction America is heading. There is even much work just within the republican party on that end. A politician puts a lot of emphasis on constituents’ demands. We need to change those demands. That is the only peaceful revolution that can restore freedoms and liberties and the American Dream.

Impeachments should be reserved for more serious crimes than lying about sex or being too blunt in rhetoric or voting for a particular bill. This is America. Keep your faith in our Republic as long as it still has a chance of surviving.

Can Commonsense Save America?

Standard

Americans are focused more on their disagreements than what they might have in common, what they could potentially agree upon. That is clear. After all, there are stark differences between the various parties, and it is these differences that make them stand out, or more precisely – apart. This national debate on the negatives that exist between factions is what ticks off many folks and it also contributes to political gridlock and deteriorating national unity.

Perhaps it is time to change strategy and revert to a tried and true method of achieving change and sound solutions. The great patriot Patrick Henry famously said,

“Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”

These words apply today as they did in 1799, perhaps more so. Indeed, I believe we are at a dangerous point in our country’s timeline and unless we plug this rupture of division, hatred, and paralysis, America could be at the first stages of a Balkanization process, one that will rip apart the union and lead to even more hatred, misery, and atrocity. If this horrendous scene plays out, all of the sacrifices and hard work previous generations have made will have been for naught. All of those brave souls that gave their lives in the name of freedom will have died in vain. Is that what you want? I doubt it.

So what CAN Americans agree upon? What important issues can be dealt with once we find common ground? I’ll bet there are many urgent social issues where the opposing sides have more in common than difference. Let us find a couple areas in which we can reach a national consensus and begin there. I believe with the proper leadership and education we can ultimately solve a multitude of big issues, but there is a time when you need to narrow your focus and be willing to find consensus, if just to get people used to working together again as a team. Here are two possibilities:

Can the majority of republicans, democrats, independents, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and tea party folks agree that the U.S. Constitution is still a valid blueprint for America, capable of preserving freedoms and yet amendable to a modern era?

Presidents have always pushed the limits of their constitutional powers. The founders included a separation of powers infrastructure in the constitution to prevent any one of the three branches to gain too much power. It is part of the crucial checks and balances necessary to prevent abuse of power or tyranny and to maintain our republic. Barack Obama is not the first president to wrestle with the legislative and judiciary branches in seeking advantages for his administration. However, he certainly appears to have gone further than his predecessors in these over-reaches, to the point where many believe he has crossed the line and broken the law, repeatedly. Few will dispute Obama selectively enforces laws that he likes and that he ignores laws that do not support his world view. Immigration and health care are examples. Yes, probably Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush did this on occasion as well.

But President Obama, himself, has repeatedly noted that America is a nation of laws. He is correct. We are a nation of laws and they all should be respected and enforced. If a law is no longer appropriate for society, then initiate its repeal. But a president, legislature, or judiciary should not ignore the laws on the books and should never-ever break them! Is this not commonsense or am I just too naive or idealistic?

Do you agree that no modern nation should leave the poorest or disabled of their society to fend for themselves? People should be expected to work if they are able to better their lives and to become independent of government, but surely there cannot be many Americans, conservative or liberal, that think we should let disabled folks, poverty-stricken families with or without children, starve, or even to totally abandon those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. We can and should help these citizens that are unable to help themselves, and to aid those addicted to climb out of that abyss. But we should also discourage a habit of dependency upon the government by those who could provide for themselves, otherwise the percentage of those receiving government assistance will continue to grow, and we are already near the bursting point of that over-inflated balloon.

Those that have put any serious thought to the matter would agree that in the 21st century America should be able to assist the impoverished and disabled without creating a whole new class of those forever dependent on the taxpayers generosity.

Most people, regardless of their political leanings, will probably agree that our elected leaders should follow the law. If the law is unjust or no longer needed, there is a legal means to repeal or amend the law.

Folks – we have put men on the moon and returned them safely to earth. We can solve these problems. President John F. Kennedy said we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. The issues noted above are difficult ones, but let me tell you, they are a lot easier tasks than what it took to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon!

Our leaders in the capital are not going to wake up and start working together until we do. Join me in this attempt to find common ground on just a couple of issues. Get involved! Do something! That would be a great start to solving many other more complex issues. Once we start, it could get addictive. We need to save this union and the principles it was founded upon, while embracing many new ideas that are abundant in this huge melting pot of a country. We have 50 great states in this country. Let’s take a break for awhile from dividing them all into red or blue. Instead color them all red, white, and blue!