Confessions of a lifelong Republican

When I turned 18 in 1977, I read both the Republican and Democratic platforms before registering to vote. The Democratic platform made me feel as though I had the weight of our whole society on my shoulders. I much preferred the Republican pull yourself up by your bootstraps philosophy, as well as the desire to keep government fiscally responsible and out of people’s business. But things have changed drastically.

The next year the anti-abortion plank was added which felt strangely invasive, but I chose to fight that battle from within the party by becoming a Republican for Choice. Sonograms soon made it clear that women would never be able to use abortions as a form of birth control, but after suffering all night through a miscarriage, I arrived at the doctor’s office and was treated by being given an abortion. I was grateful to my doctor and cannot imagine that there should be laws passed to prevent such care.

Time wore on and Republicans seemed to align themselves with so many nonsensical positions that I began to seriously question my choice of party. The hidden costs of pollution on the environment, other species, and our own health seemed excessive compared with those of responsible stewardship. As a classroom teacher I was faced with the possibility of being forced to report students to the authorities. Fortunately, due to the eventual defeat of Proposition 187 in the courts I never faced that dilemma. Immigration reform makes sense and has been needed for a long time, but some compromise will be required and I have not heard enough of that on the right side of the political spectrum.

Today Republicans have mixed politics with religion as if they had never heard of the separation of church and state. Our overdependence on moneyed interests makes me wish for a separation of business and state as well. One would think that fiscal prudence would occasionally override neoconservative tendencies, but no, we started two wars without any plan to pay for either of them, only one of which might have been justified. Both parties spend too much money; Republicans just want to spend it on supporting the industrial military complex. Another concern is the continued dismissal of empirical data that is deemed inconvenient, say, regarding global warming or evolution. This “dumbing down” of the Republican Party, as is witnessed daily on talk radio, is outright offensive at times.

So, what is a lifelong Republican to do? It is tempting to throw in the towel and register as an Independent, but I’ve come this far. Maybe California Republicans, who now claim fewer than 30% of the registered voters in the state, should consider leading a campaign to recapture the party from the extremists who have taken it over. Those radicals are a minority after all, and we would receive much more support from the moderates, women, and minorities that were so important in the recent election. I would love to see the Republican Party return to its roots and stand for true fiscal responsibility and keeping government out of our bedrooms as well as our boardrooms.

Comments

  1. says

    Diana, Good points, especially in pointing out some Repubs’ inconsistencies & straying from principles.

    Even though I’m very pro-abortion & an atheist, there are way too many problems with the Dems’ ideology & policies that I could never support them. It seems there’s an overall agreement on ~80% of the issues between libertarianism & conservatism.

    Unless an individual is a lazy freeloader (~30% of electorate?), how can one support the Dems? Partial answer: There are many ignorant voters (even among the degree holders), and many 1-issue voters (ie enviro, homosexuality, unionism) whom are tricked &/or just disregard the rest.

    Fairness, freedom & rights? Dems/lefties/statists are incredibly immoral in supporting theft via gov coercive redistribution & their favoritism for many groups.

    It is a shame that many Repubs don’t follow through in practice with their basic ideology of conservatism, as happened during the Bush Admin. Moreover, the push on social conservatism is counter-productive & contrary to the overall concept of limited gov & support of liberty.

  2. Pete says

    Our Founding Fathers unabashedly mixed religion with politics, the separation clause only prohibits the establishment of an official church (e.g. The Church of England).

    Both parties pander to business, it just depends on which one is a major employeer in a specific district or state. The Dems pander to unions, especially the public employee unions.

    The climate has and will always change. (There is quite a bit of evidence that it was much warmer before man even invented the wheel.) Even if CA goes to zero emissions it wouldn’t make a difference with the output of China and India continuing to grow. (AB 32 is just going to cost CA jobs.)

    We should welcome all legal immigrants, instead we pander to illegal immigrants and turn away engineers, doctors, and Ph.D.’s, especially if they are of European origin.

    As long as the MSM acts as a de facto arm of the Democrat party, we will not be able to have a reasoned debate and reach sensible compromise.

    Our population is ignorant, especially when it comes to economics, and is easily goaded into acting without understanding the issues or giving thought to the consequences. (Just use words and phrases like big corporation, corporate tax loophole, etc.)

    Did they stop to think about handing the Dems a super majority in CA? Did they stop to think about the appointment of two or three ultra liberal SCOTUS justices before re-electing O and leaving the Dems in control of the Senate? Did they think about executive orders and recess appointments?

    No, most of them just voted to tax others and for the freebies that they were promised. (You could tax the rich at a marginal rate of 99%, like England once did, and it wouldn’t make a dent in either the CA or US deficit and borrowing.)

    Who is John Galt?

    • says

      It is a myth of the Enlightenment that religion can be separated from politics, daily life, or the public square. It is pagan thinking. See analysis on this bright line by N. T. Wright

    • John Galt says

      I am John Galt. I am leaving this state as soon as I can. Good luck and good riddance. I will come back after you have destroyed yourselves. You are not worthy of my support.

    • says

      Invoking Rand’s fictional put upon John Galt is infantile and presumptive that you’re really that important; which you’re not.

  3. Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette says

    Good story Diana. I used to be a Democrat, until they became the party of tax & spend, without regard for the future. This election, I voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson. He used to be a Republican. His liberal social & conservative spending ideas are like mine. It’s obvious why the corrupt mainstream media ignored him. The mainstream media ignores me too.