Divorcing the GOP

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I was looking at the news this morning, and ran across an article by Kathleen Parker called "Giving Up on God."

She contends that the GOP is slowly dying, because it refuses to evolve with the culture. From the article:
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.
This really struck a chord with me. Like many career military people, I was a Republican for years. While I've always been pretty liberal on social issues, the GOP addressed concerns that mattered to me, including a strong military, fiduciary responsibility and a foreign policy I could live with (literally).

However, once I left active duty, I found my political leanings starting to drift toward the left, more and more each year. This is atypical for most people - usually conservatism increases as you get older, not the reverse. But as time went on, I found myself more and more disgusted with the GOP, more disconnected, more marginalized, because I was not a person of faith.

So I dropped them like a hot rock, and registered as an Independent.

I stayed an independent for a long while, but registered as a Democrat for this year's election so I could participate in the primaries.

That decision really brought home the issues that Ms. Parker talked about. During the Douglas County Caucus this year, I attended the Democratic caucus, and the Smart Man attended the Republican. At the Democratic caucus, the attendees were diverse, excited, and the issues of the day and the platform revolved around jobs, economic development and civil liberties. At the Republican caucus, the attendees were all white married couples, and the only thing they were excited about was making sure their religious issues such as abortion, gay marriage and Creationism in public schools were included in the platform.

If I hadn't already divorced the GOP, attending that caucus sure would of done the trick.

If this election taught us anything, it's that the majority of folks in this country are ready for something new. Not the politics of fear, not the evangelical intrusion into public life, not the continuing marginalization of the poor, but something new. After the caucus, I commented that moderate Republicans needed to take their party back - now I wonder if it's too late.

You hear that, GOP? Evolve or die.

In light of the typical evangelical's view on evolution, I find that choice exceedingly ironic.

9 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

I agree. The religious right is killing the gop. I think the McCain of 2000, when he rejected the "oogedy-boogedies" would have been a much more formidable candidate than the McCain of 2008 when he caved to the dark side.

Eric said...

I liked Parker's editorial a lot. She's actually impressed me this past season, not so much because she was one of the Republicans to disavow Palin early (around the time of the Couric interview, if I recall correctly), but because she's been good at giving insightful explanations.

And Jerry's right, too: the 2000 McCain would have done far better with independents.

Janiece Murphy said...

I agree, too.

McCain's decision to compromise who he was in order to get the nomination made me kind of sad.

vince said...

Dear GOP:

Embrace Lincoln. Embrace the constitution and smaller, less intrusive government. Reject Alley-Oop and the oogedy-boogedies.

Signed,

unsigned

KEG said...

The idea that the GOP policy creates a strong military also seems to have fallen, at least according to a number of military strategists.

Defense and the National Interest:

Support our troops

America's Defense Meltdown

Janiece Murphy said...

KEG, you are welcome here, but please don't plug your book on my blog.

It's bad form. Seriously.

Steve Buchheit said...

Came to the same conclusions back in 89 after voting for the Elder Bush. Was hoping to see the oogie expelled, instead they increased their grip and Bush seemed just as war hungry as Reagan was. That's when I made the switch. Since then I've been finding many more reasons to support my change from the former conservative party, not the least of which is the Democratic Party grabbing the mantle of Progressiveness.

KEG said...

Janiece,

Neither of the links I gave are to anything I've written or that I have any financial interest in. The website is run by a number of military strategists, some retired. A number are proteges of the late John Boyd, who had a strong influence of some Air Force jet design and a marked influence on Marine training manuals. There's an article on Boyd in FastCompany. The posts I linked to have links to reports written on the attrition effect of military policy and/or the lack of readiness from overemphasis on high technology. Both reports, and others are freely available as PDF file downloads. Some of the people involved have written books, but that wasn't the focus of the links I gave.

You had mentioned in your post traditionally associating the GOP with military readiness. The links were to reports that the military has been ill-served by the policies of the last administration.

I had run into your blog, BTW, while looking up a remembered Heinlein quote on "being human". You likely passed with a much higher score than you thought. Heinlein never said how multiple items were weighted.

Chris Buckley, the son of William Buckley, Jr., has been quoted as saying that he didn't leave the Republican party, they left him. Prior to the election, The Economist noted The Rise of the Obamacons.

Janiece Murphy said...

KEG, thank you for the explanation, and you have my apologies.

While I'm not as troubled by spam as other bloggers, you never can tell with first-time commenters.

A fan of Heinlein is always welcome here.