Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why I am no longer a Republican

So it is said in psychology that a person is either closed or open and that they go through a process called moratorium in which they eventually achieve Identity. Ok so different words are used, but in essence it is a concept that argues that a person is raised with certain ideas. These ideas are not necessarily wrong, they are just somebody else's belief system and they have passed it on. The tendency is to be close minded and accept those beliefs simply on the word of somebody we trust and love. Then a time comes in that person's life when they are forced to face those beliefs and look at them hard and long. That stage is called moratorium. When they come out of it, one of two things will happen: that person will embrace those beliefs as their own or they will reject them. Now I say that to preface a little background information. I was raised in a very strict old-fashion Baptist home. If you right out the words "Radical Religious Right" I grew up somewhere about 3 miles RIGHT of the "t" lol...I love my parents and in no way should this be seen as an attack or a disrespect to them, because it is not. It is simply how it is. I was home schooled. My dad is a Pastor / Missionary. No TV at home growing up (it is the devil's box). No friends, no sleepovers, no shorts, no movies....and well the list goes on. You get the idea. We were also staunch Republicans, and the democrats represented the most vile and ungodly portions of our country. At age 15-16 I was in Ashville, NC marching against the gay movement. You get the idea? I was raised to honor men like Reagan and see men like Clinton as the signs of decay and the ultimate demise of My country. Now I am not going to say they are all wrong. I cannot bring myself to say that about my family and all they taught me and raised me to believe. I can, however, say that that is their beliefs, and for some time I held them as my own. Then life began to change me. I began to challenge these theories. I did not start ith politics. I started with faith. I began to question things and the results of those question are really unimportant and not relevant to this post. However, the next logical step was politics. After all, faith and politics are closely bound in the conservative's way of thinking.

I began to consider things about the Republican platform, and challenge them. And while I do not see myself as a Democrat, I can state without a doubt that I am NOT a republican. There are a couple of things I see about the Republican platform that I have broken away from.

(1) Economics-Republican economics is centered around a fairly simple and straightforward concept generally known as the "trickle down" affect. This theory states that if you cut taxes at the top, and give big business more money, then they in turn have more money to invest in the business and this produces more jobs and more income and thus the benefits 'trickle down". There is one little rub in this theory: it is based on a faith that big business will do the right thing and allow that wealth to "trickle down". It assumes that the executives won't lie on the books and take the wealth for themselves, like in ENRON. It assumes that they will not take that money for themselves and send jobs overseas for cheap labor. It assumes that they will practice sound business practice and not pay their executives 90 million dollars while they tear down the very fabric of our economy like Lehman, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In short it is based on naiveté. It is based on a baseless and foolish trust that big business will play their part in this charade. the truth is that the wealth does not "trickle down" it rather is 'dammed up" at the top while it "pools together" and makes the wealthy wealthier.

(2) The Conservative Base. Each person is entitled to their own beliefs and their own faith I believe that nobody's right to faith should be infringed upon....by anybody. The conservative base agrees with this as long as it is THEIR faith being protected. They try to tell us that our country was founded on faith. This is simply not true. Our country was founded on the liberty to believe what you choose, NOT on Christian faith. That many of our founding fathers were men of faith cannot be denied. Others were agnostics. They were not promoting any faith as the faith of our country, otherwise we would all be Methodists or Episcopalians, since that is what they were than anyways. They were promoting the simple belief that every man has a right to choose their faith and practice it.

Now, when I refer to the conservative base I am not referring to those that consider themselves conservative in economics. I am mostly referring to the "radical religious right" that chooses to press their idea of faith and the accompanying guideline of morality n everybody around them. It is not enough that they are against alcohol, they want to have it banned so others cannot drink. It is not enough they are against abortion they want it banned so others cannot exercise their right. It is not enough that they are against homosexuality; they want it banned as well. All of these are things that do not directly affect them. It affects and offends their sense of morality and the world as they see it should be and therefore they want it done away with. They defend their right to freedom of speech as long as it is their freedom of speech. They defend the freedom of press as long as they agree with the press. They act as though this system belongs to them alone, unwilling to even share it and when forced to they do so disdainfully, making it clear that the liberals are un-American and unworthy of being a part of their country.

Recently, the McCain campaign attempted to distance themselves from the people in their rallies yelling "traitor" "treason" and "off with his head". They attempted to distance themselves from the pastor that in his opening invocation said that if Obama wins then God has let himself be embarrassed by all the other religions in the world. But that is the conservative base they have catered to for generations. That is the monster they have protected and even to some point created. It is funny how they distance themselves from such comments yet somehow think Jesse Jackson's words reflect Obama's policy. Jackson who has not supported Obama and went so far as to say he would cut Obama's nuts off, somehow all of a sudden reflects the Obama campaign? But then, I digress...again.

The Republican Party has protected and catered to its religious base to such a point that they have made themselves irrelevant to the rest of, and the majority of the country. They need to repackage their message and realize where we stand in this day and time and realize there is more to America than JUST the radical right.



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