Thursday, November 18, 2004

Political: Republicans Need to Own It

Show of hands: how many of us have had conversations with people who voted for Bush, who say that they are Republicans, and who get offended when the party is characterized as intolerant, divisive and negative. Hellooooooooooooo??!! Read your party platform! You belong to a party that is anti-gay, religiously fundamentalist and committed to the following:

We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related
services for contraception and abortion. We oppose school-based mental health programs that include recommendations for the use of psychotropic drugs.

We strongly support President Bush’s call for a Constitutional amendment that
fully protects marriage, and we believe that neither federal nor state judges nor
bureaucrats should force states to recognize other living arrangements as equivalent to marriage. We believe, and the social science confirms, that the well-being of children is best accomplished in the environment of the home, nurtured by their mother and father anchored by the bonds of marriage. We further believe that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage.

That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to
life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution
and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children...And we applaud President Bush for allowing states to extend health care coverage to unborn children.

It's okay if you agree with all of this stuff, but at least be honest about it. If you vote Republican, you support measures to ensure kids don't hear about contraception, which might--duh--prevent abortions. You support measures to ensure that your friends and neighbors and family members who happen to be gay cannot have the security and joy of the same marriage you enjoy...and that proud heteros like Britney, JLo, Donald Trump, and let's face it--a good number of people you know and love--have not upheld in the Republican tradition. You support measures that seem to subvert the conservative value of "getting government off your back" by intruding upon my conversations with my doctor. You don't like the government in your business--but you don't mind when it is in MINE. You don't want to offer health coverage to every American--unless they are a fetus. Please! Vote Republican, but at least acknowledge the logical inconsistency in these positions! And don't get all wiggy when someone calls you on it.

Short Story Long: It's okay to be Republican. But at least own what that means in today's political climate. If you don't like the platform, stop voting for it.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you've been listening to too many Bush campaign and mandate-acceptance speeches--you seem to have bought his theory that the world is black and white, good and evil. For many people, picking the candidate or even party for that matter, that is closest to their overall worldview signifies much less than complete acceptance of every plank nailed into the platform. Honestly, we all know these things are written by the party extremists on both sides, and there are probably just as many inconsistencies on the Dem's deed (admit it, you know at least some of the ones I'm referring to), but sadly we're forced to pick one and shouldn't feel obligated in doing so to defend every bizarre nook of every crooked cranny. Just ask McCain, who, though sadly he will never be a presidential nominee, is a model of a normal person who has the courage to stand up for what he believes without buying into the Election Barn "you-vote-for-it-you-bought-it" Rule.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense cop out if ever I have heard one.

That is like saying you belong to a country club that excludes blacks and jews, you like and support the club manager and board, you enjoy the time you spend there, but you don't personally have a problem with blacks or jews. It is inconsistent. Unless you take it upon yourself to actively work to change the culture and the belief system from within, then you are simply allowing it to happen. Why not start a third party? Why not send a message to Bush by writing in McCain or Forbes or whomever? Why just go along to get along, all the while the people you have voted for are making policy that negatively affects people you claim to have nothing against. I think the post was simply saying that those people should be honest about what they are doing.

Miko said...

Hear, hear, commenter #2.

there are probably just as many inconsistencies on the Dem's deed (admit it, you know at least some of the ones I'm referring to)Actually, I don't. I support the Democratic platform. If you'd like to point out anything you might call an 'inconsistency', please go right ahead. We're all ears.

The truth is, the Republican party's strength rests on this strategy of piggybacking reactionary social policy on the central agenda of business deregulation and corporate welfare. If these two unrelated ideas weren't yoked together in a single party, Republicans could never garner a plurality of votes; each bloc could hope for 25% support at best. Without the votes of the socially conservative, there wouldn't be enough big-business supporters to push a candidate over the top; there just aren't that many of us that are rich and self-interested enough to go for this fiscal strategy. And without business interests, who are complicit in tolerating the anti-woman, anti-child, anti-gay platform with a nudge and a wink and a 'we don't really mean it, the socially conservative would have to recognize themselves for the minority they are. What we see in this platform is a strategic alliance of two distinct interest groups who need one another desperately in order to wield power. Republicans love to sweep that fact under the carpet. But when you talk to them in person, almost invariably you hear "Oh, I don't agree with the social agenda, BUT..." OR, "I'm a working person, so I don't agree with their economic policies, BUT.."

This is why I'm not overly concerned about the long-term success of progressivism. The right is operating with a much more tenuous alliance of agendas than the left is.

Vigilante said...

You got my vote, Miko!