Monday, July 07, 2014

Who Speaks for Me?


It's venting time, so this post is going to be a bit longer than usual, and more of a political rant. If you'd rather come back another time, I'll understand.

As you, Dear Readers, know as much as anyone, I’m pretty well disgusted with the current state of political affairs in the US of A. I’ve written about it often enough in this space, and I’ve gotten involved in a lot of political discussions in the office and on Facebook that usually end up with agreements to disagree. And a lot of people accuse me of beating up on the Republican right and giving the Democratic left a free pass.

To a certain extent, I'm guilty as charged. As I have explained ad nauseum, I am, in fact, harder on the GOP than I am on the Democrats, because I think I have a right to expect more from them. While it’s true that both parties share the blame for the current miserable state of affairs, I honestly believe it’s the GOP that bears the lion’s share of the responsibility. And it’s not just my opinion, either. Consider this excerpt from this 2012 article by Thomas E. Mann of the centrist-liberal Brookings Institution and Norman J. Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

That’s a pretty serious smackdown, especially coming from a representative of the conservative AEI.

I was a proud, registered Republican voter for many years. I cast my first vote for president for Richard Nixon in 1972 and voted Republican all the way through the Reagan years. But then, by the time of the second Bush administration, I started to see things a little differently. The party that stood for the conservative values I supported – individual responsibility, prudent economic policy, strong defense, justice, and respect for traditional American values – was leaving me behind. The party leaned more and more to the extreme right, embracing ideas that were blatantly contrary to the intent of the Founders (such as the bald assertion that the nation was founded on the basis of the Christian religion) and openly scorning not only competing visions of America’s future, but the motivations of anyone who dared to propose other than hard-core conservative ideas. As Mann and Ornstein pointed out in their essay, ignorance of science … and, indeed, of facts and evidence … became the norm. Worship of individual rights became paramount, with no equivalent regard for the responsibilities that go along with them. The GOP became the party that deified Ronald Reagan, but would have scorned him as a RINO ("Republican in Name Only") for his willingness to be realistic and to embrace principled compromise if he were running for office today.

So, what’s left for someone like me – a conservative at heart who doesn't much care for the Democrats, but has been driven away from the GOP by its ludicrous antics? I need a new party ... one that combines the common sense of the traditional American conservative with the social conscience of the liberal. Here are some of the ideas and programs my ideal party would support:

- Legal immigrants absolutely welcome. America is a nation of immigrants, as were my grandparents. If you break the law to come here, you should not expect to be coddled - you should expect to be deported. Period. And a responsible Congress interested in what's best for America would get off it's dead rear end and deliver a comprehensive and realistic reform of our immigration laws that addresses every aspect of the problem ... not just the one that meets the demands of one side.

- Government at every level should be as small as possible consistent with the demands we place on it. This means that the Federal Government ought to deal only with those things that must be done on a national level (defense, international relations, trade, etc), while state and local governments should deal with the programs and services that touch individual citizens.

- Law and order.

- A strong defense.

- A foreign policy based on a realistic appraisal of America's true national interests.

- Absolutely no intrusion of religion - any religion - into the policies of the government.


- Protection of the environment and preservation of our natural wonders. We need air to breathe, water to drink, and natural beauty for the refreshment of our minds.

Who speaks for me and for the people who truly love this country?

No Republican.

No Democrat.

No Libertarian.

Nobody.


Sorry for the rant, but completely and totally fed up with brainless louts who are unwilling to work together in the interest of the greater good, and who believe completely and totally in their own holier-than-thou bullcrap. Screw you all.


Have a good day. More ... and, hopefully, more pleasant ... thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

7 comments:

John Hill said...

Bilbo for President 2016!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

We live in troubled, messed up times politically. Were things different or will be in the sweet bye and bye?

Straight Up No Chaser said...

AMEN!

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

But if you don't vote, you are helping a Republican win?

Mike said...

John beat me to it.

Dave Peterson said...

I have followed a similar trajectory, Bilbo! It looks like you might have 5 or 6 people with you on this; maybe we could form a new party ourselves! It couldn't be any worse than the others....

Duckbutt said...

Politics as conducted nowadays is pretty disgusting. The act of voting requires holding my nose with the choices.