Thursday, November 8, 2012

A plea to my moderate Republican blogfriends.

If you are unhappy with the Presidential election results, then consider doing this: Take back your party. I'm serious. The old Republican party that was focused on fiscal conservatism, fair taxes and sharing the burden. Not the new Republican party of tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations-as-persons. The old Republican party of limited government, not the new Republican party of interference in adults' private lives. You want values of the Founding Fathers? Those include things like separation of church and state. Demand it from your leaders. Don't let the Teabaggers set your agenda. Don't vote for candidates like Aiken who said that in a "legitimate" rape a woman's body shuts down and she won't get pregnant. When you let people like that get the nomination, the whole party looks insane. Don't vote for candidates like Romney, who said that it's not his job to worry about 47% of the country, people he dismissed as entitled, dependent self-perceived victims. When you let people like that get the nomination, the whole party looks callous. How did the Republican party become obsessed with fighting civil rights for gays and fighting reproductive freedom for women? When those are the primary goals, none of the other issues (economy, military, foreign policy, education and so on) even get a place on the table.

I follow the blogs of several moderate Republicans and I am talking to all of you. I believe you to be good-hearted people who are every bit as concerned about this country as I am.  I believe you to be people who are not racist or homophobic or anti-woman.  I think it's time for you to change the discourse. Turn off the voices at Fox who use innuendo, distortions, half-truths, and bald-faced lies to stir up hate. I know you are frustrated with the economy (which, incidentally, is thanks to one George W. Bush) and so am I. So it's time for you to vote for Republicans who will work with Democrats to rebuild this country rather than obstructionists who hamstring the President. That's the only way we're going to get anywhere.

Please, moderate Republicans, take back your party. Wrest it from the grip of the lunatic fringe. I'm begging you. And if you do that, in return I will promise not to be bitter if your party wins the next election. It's time for compromise and reconciliation on all our parts. It's time for the work of rising above our differences.

49 comments:

  1. good thoughts...and i agree...i am an honest independant, in that i have voted both sides in previous elections...not this time as the mantra was rather scary...i agree it is time for us to come together and make something happen....

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  2. I'm not sure if its the people or the media who are obsessed with abortion and gay rights, but it seems that's what every election has turned into and we forget about the bigger picture. I think a few decades ago, the divisive factor was capital punishment. I wonder if political parties actually use these issues to avoid coming up with real game plans for the economy, education, etc.

    I've never supported the tea party movement and don't watch Fox. Neither does my spouse. Then again, I do support gun control, so I don't necessarily buy into party labels. My only issue with Obama is how he's turned everything into class warfare. It's ridiculous to me that we now have everyone angry at "rich" people.

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    1. I think it's an unfair (and divisive) characterization of Obama's message to say that when he champions the working class he is turning everything into class warfare. I think it is also an unfair and untrue statement to say everyone is angry at rich people. What people are angry about is the incredible inequities in our system that allow extremely wealthy people to get unfair advantages like tax breaks and loopholes to avoid paying their fair share and to allow the corporations owned by the extremely wealthy to ship our jobs overseas and evade environmental regulations. So when someone like Sam Walton (and now those who inherited his empire) lives in luxury while his employees are paid so poorly they have to receive foodstamps and Medicaid just to support their families - yes indeed, that makes me angry.

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  3. Well said. From my viewpoint in the UK, the Republican lunatic fringe seems to have the party well in its grip. But when they absorb the fact that Obama got massive support from women, especially single women, and from non-whites, they might actually realise they're committing electoral suicide.

    Bijoux: When 1% of the population own virtually everything, it's not surprising so many people are angry.

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    1. I hope you are right about that first part. Nick.

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  4. Thanks for stopping by my place Agent. Ya'll come back now, heah?

    You have to go farther back in history to find the real Republican party. The party that sent troops to Arkansas and Alabama to enforce integration. The party that realized the super-rich needed to do their share to pay off WWII debt and raised the top tax bracket to 75%. The party of Dwight Eisenhower, Everett Dirkson and Nelson Rockefeller. That was the party I joined before the bigoted southern Democrats joined Barry Goldwater, jumped ship and took it over. The party I abandoned when they did.

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    1. I don't think I specified where in history I was going. I didn't mean Reagan-era Republicanism. I meant exactly what you are talking about.

      And welcome!

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  5. Nick, I couldn't disagree more. Why should that make me angry? Unless someone is getting their money illegally, why should I be mad about that they have more money than me? Comparatively, everyone in the US is rich if you are looking at the worldwide picture. Should that mean other countries should hate us? Oh wait, they do! Maybe if people focused less on what other people have and more on what they can personally do to make the world a better place, we'd all be happier.

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    1. Oh we'd better agree to disagree on this one, Bijoux! But you're right that people should focus on how they can personally improve the world.

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  6. good thoughts expressed here; I would imagine everyone will be stopping and evaluating and wondering what needs to be done for future elections. What I do hope is that everyone presently finds a way to work together, cross party lines, and get things going again in this country.

    betty

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    1. I surely hope so, we need to be united again.

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  7. A good post and idea, SAW. Will it happen? Not right away. As somewhat evidenced by the comments, both parties constituents still raise their hackles when confronted with the ideas of the other. Before anything resembling compromise and conciliation can happen civil discourse will have to return. Actual listening has to happen, and labeling like 'angry about the rich' has to be abandoned.
    The selection process of electing someone has to change. The candidates who have actually tried to put forth a specific platform, to honestly say what they would do, have every time failed. See Jon Huntsman as an example.
    What we end up with are candidates who try to inspire fear, fear of what the other party will do, using slogans, half-truths, and outright lies. It works, apparently, because that's what we've gotten in almost every election.
    I make no attempt to hide my bias; I'm an old-style democrat, a liberal. I miss the days of Everett Dirkson also, and when Tip O'Neill would work with the opposition to work out something that would help the US people.
    Maybe it can come back, I'm not clear how. I do know neither party is going to suddenly say "Ok, let's work together."

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    1. I know. I'm an idealist but not psychotic. :-)

      It's just that I want so badly for this election to have an impact on people and start the process of change happening.

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  8. I didn't believe that the Repulicans were the better choice but I believed in not letting my country suffer for 4 more years. I don't watch any news except when there is a major event like Sandy going on. I usually go to CNN but lets be honest here, if it were not for FOX news we would never hear about the other side. I vote both parties and there are a lot of things I dislike on both of them. This is not the country I was born into anymore. In California you don't even have to show an ID to vote....how wrong is that!

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    1. The best way for our country not to suffer for four more years would be to have the obstructionists in congress stop fighting every bloody change Obama has tried to implement. And Fox does NOT present the other side. Fox presents a manufactured vision of an artificial other side. There is nothing either fair or balanced about them.

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  9. First off, the system of selecting candidates should change. In Europe being wealthy works against you rather than for you in many cases....How could you work for them, or empathize with the poor, or even the middle class, if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, as Mr. R. was? I was glad Obama won, but had to keep the smile off my face at work yesterday so as not to further annoy some people who came to work with sour faces and a very grumpy attitude!

    Great post! Let's hope they listen.,

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    1. I so agree. Our two party system is broken and needs a radical overhaul.

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  10. Very well-expressed post!

    Like Brian, I am independent, therefore have voted both sides in previous elections.

    This was perhaps one of the most challenging elections for me because I could see both STRONG positive and negatives in both candidates.

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    1. My oldest sister is an independent and religiously conservative, but she voted for Obama. I often see positives and negatives on both sides, but I think the radical side of the Republican party which has taken over is just frightening.

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  11. I think if the Republican Party continues on its current far right course, it may be time for some to leave the sinking ship and form a new political party. A three party system may be a good thing.

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  12. I really appreciate this SAW. Very insightful and being a moderate republican, agree with it all. I posted something along the same lines and happily referred to your post.

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  13. Good post.

    What concerns me most, as I truly believe it is just about the ONLY issue of our time is climate change and not one politician has mentioned it, or maybe I missed it?

    XO
    WWW

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    1. I think it's because they got so wrapped up in the social issues, with the Republican side attacking women and gays and the Democrat side scrambling to deal with that.

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  14. Wait. You mean the Republican party wasn't always about tax breaks for the rich? Oh.

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  15. I agree 100% and wish that more could read your words! Gah. It's maddening that people, friends who I know are intelligent, actually watch AND BELIEVE Fox News. Just saddens me. This current Republican Party is so frightening and out of touch and backward. Shame on them for their mean-spirited, narrow-minded judgementalism. PLEASE, rational Republicans, take back your party!

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    1. I read an interesting study that showed that watching Fox actually lowers your intelligence score!

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  16. pretty much sums up one of the reasons i won't declare as a republican. then again i won't declare as a democrat either.

    i do agree the polarization is just out of control though. it has to stop and there has to be some level of cooperation before the whole thing goes down the tubes.

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  17. For reasons that probably have more to do with the snow piling up outside than anything else, I feel compelled to comment again, regarding the GOP of old, and today. I won't hearken back to Lincoln, because that was clearly a time different, and he was a man apart.
    Let's look at the Republicans of only a few decades ago: Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Cabot Lodge, and even Ronald Reagan. Today, they would be disenfranchised from the party. They were moderates, socially. This alone would be enough to have them drummed out of the party. Until the GOP can truly start to have a 'big tent', they are irrelevant in the national scene, and reduced to being a fringe group. It's up to them.

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    1. I'm not very knowledgeable about political history, I only know that the Republican party has changed dramatically. I am way too much of a liberal to ever vote Republican, but I could stomach truly moderate Republican leaders.

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  18. I agree with all my heart! I'm actually "Independent" but my views have become much less liberal than they once were and there really is no party that represents me fully. If the changes you suggest were made, I would be very happy with that party.

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    1. My views have become, if anything, more liberal over time. I believe in all my heart that it is wrong to force a particular set of religious values on others.

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  19. I think I'm gonna write in YOUR name on the next ballot!!
    (You don't have any skeletons in your closet do ya Doc?)

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    1. Ummm... maybe a few small ones. Yeah, I definitely wouldn't want my private life made public!

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  20. Were I Republican, I would definitely be hoping my party could recoup its best bits and communicate them to the voting public; this does seem to be a time of identity crisis for the Republican Party. If it can turn off the voices of the extremes, resolving the crisis seems possible.

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    1. And I hope they can do that, but I really don't feel confidant. The extremists, with the Fox mouthpiece, have them in a headlock.

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  21. the times are a changin'

    we are probably going to have a serious revolution by angry white men. i don't mean to be glib. I mean it. power is shifting. i worry about so many people on welfare and the absence of work and empowerment through generations, and i would like that addressed. how? jobs.

    i am discouraged by both parties. i hope the president hangs tough on the debt cliff or whatever it's called. at the end of the day i could not vote republican: too much for the few and too little for the many. plus i don't do well with zealots

    love
    kj

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    1. I read that Boehner plans to continue (with his pack of obstructionists) to block Obama non-stop. Talk about angry white men!

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  22. This is a very good commentary. Unfortunately the Republican party of my grandfather no longer exists. The few "moderate" Republicans left are outshouted by the haters who are egged on by the Limbaughs and O'Reillys. It's interesting to consider that Richard Nixon today would be considered a liberal. Nothing will change in Washington with a John Boehner in charge of the house. Good governing is about compromise. He should read a book on Tip O'Neil and figure out how to leave a legacy rather than a bad taste in everyone's mouth. And, yes, let's talk about climate change. Maybe the president will, now that the election is over.

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    1. Thank you, and welcome. Don't even get me started on Limbaugh and O'Reilly! Or Boehner. Gah. I'm hoping now that re-election is no longer an issue, Obama will focus on things like climate change and health care.

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  23. The sanest response to the election I've read yet.

    Standing, applauding, and loving this.

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  24. our election is coming up and we can see the sentiments flaring up on every social network here. we've been having a two party system since the last general election so it's been game on ever since. good for us in many ways and we can also see how dirty these people are prepared to get to be in politics. i still doubt their people policies.

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    1. I guess politics is just a dirty business wherever you go. It's a shame.

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