A Better Republic(an)

I have a crush on Meghan McCain.   Can’t help it; she’s a smokin’ lil thing.  I read some of her blogs, but not for that reason.  Mostly I ended up on McCainBlogette.com because I was a supporter of John McCain.  And I’m not ashamed to say that I have been since the election in 2000.  I don’t agree with everything the Senator McCain stands for, but I feel he represents me much more than anyone the Democratic Party will ever come up with.  So I followed his daughter’s coverage of the campaign.  

Since then I have followed her here and there at the Daily Beast including articles such as this.  To some degree or another the article is about the viability of the Republican Party, but more specifically about the Republican views on sex.  Here I would like to take a look at both, because I think she makes a lot of good points, but her opinion needs a little age and wisdom on it.

There is a segment of the Conservative movement that is somewhat afraid of Meghan McCain.  Because for some reason she has been singled out as the face of the next generation of Republicans.  And that is a little scary because she’s somewhat moderate in her Party views.  She is of the opinion that the Republican Party needs changing, and she’s not wrong, but the changes that the party are going through aren’t necessarily positive.

And my only real concern with Ms McCain is that she sort of unconsciously validates the ideas of people like James Carville who claim that hardline conservatives are dying old white men.    And it just isn’t true.  Conservatives are formed of every age, gender and ethnicity.  And while the political party may need to … I don’t want to say change exactly… but perhaps re-focus itself, it does not need to move further to the center.  And understand that there is a difference between Republicans and Conservatives.  The Republicans are the political party that supposedly represents the Conservatives.   A political party can compromise.  A political party can be moderate.  A Conservative cannot, by definition be moderate or compromising.  A Conservative is a person who believes in the conservation of the Constitution as it stands and that the document does not need to be interpreted or revised.  There is no compromise on that.  You can’t say “well, I like Freedom of Speech, but I don’t like guns, so you can lose that.”   You can’t say that you deserve free speech but talk radio hosts don’t. Once you erase that line in the sand, it’s gone.

Which is the real torture of being Conservative.  The Liberal/ Progressive movement can pretty much say or do whatever they want.  Barack Obama can throw out every promise under the sun.  Free health care and housing and schooling and a magic carpet ride.  It doesn’t matter because their voters aren’t concerned with statistical or historical facts.  A Republican candidate can’t do that.   Because all of those things expand government and concentrate power in the political sector.  And if you tell the voters you are paying for nationalized Health Care, you need to be able to prove that you can do it without raising taxes or borrowing more money.  You can’t tell a true Conservative you’re going to over-tax the rich and the businesses.  Because a true Conservative knows that Barack Obama is NOT the modern day Robin Hood his supporters believe him to be.  When you take from the rich, you are affecting the poor.  You punish the one and you hurt the other, because economic classes naturally form a symbiotic relationship.  So in essence the Republicans are hand-cuffed in every fight.

And the sad truth is that the problem stems from the merging of Christian views with Conservatism.  This will make me unpopular but it needs to be said.  A lot of Republicans believe that the beliefs they were taught as Christians and the political beliefs they were taught are intertwined.  And they’re not.   In some ways, Christian policies work against Conservatism.   Gay Marriage is considered a big issue.  Why?  What does that matter to the health of the nation?  People fight over it. It’s as if some believe that if Gay marriage is allowed cats and dogs will rain from the sky and Oprah Winfrey will rise up and eat Canada.  The aversion to and prejudice against homosexuality is a belief  pervaded by the Church.  And thats fine if thats what you believe, but when you push that belief onto your political views, you lose the argument.  They want to call it Civil Unions.  Well thats just semantics.  We’re not talking about marriages in churches.  That is off the table.  A government cannot interfere in the regular policies of any church so long as those policies do not constitute abuse.  So forget it.  But renaming it is irrelevant.  It doesn’t help or change the situation.

 Conservatives believe in the Bill of Rights.  The Bill of Rights says that all men are created equal, not all men are created equal except homo’s and cross-dressers.  Whether you believe it or not isn’t the issue.  What matters more to you, holding onto your God-given rights or denying someone else theirs?   And there are loads of issues like this that conflict.

Ms McCain makes a point about the pushing of abstinence on kids.  She’s absolutely right.  The Church says that there will be no sex before marriage.  Well guess what? It isn’t going to happen.  IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.  People were having pre-marital sex during Jesus’ time and certainly after.  It is a genetic imperative that God must have put there, if you believe that God created us.  And it’s fine for the Church to push that agenda, but for a political party it is irresponsible.  Kids are having sex.  They’re getting pregnant.  They’re spreading disease.  They’re having abortions.  They are not being properly  educated on sex and their bodies and they are not being safe.  Saying that they need to just suck it up and abstain is dangerous naive.  And it’s probably hypocritical.  I’d bet money that most of the people pushing these ideas have themselves had Pre-marital sex.

And saying these things doesn’t make me a moderate Conservative, because it has nothing to do with Conservatism.  It is a social issue that is not addressed by the Constitution or the foundation of the United States, and it a social problem that needs to be addressed, particularly by the Republican Party.

And none of this is to say that I am politically similar to Meghan McCain.   I’m not.   I think that many of her stances are hurtful to the cause of Conservatism.  It’s not necessarily hurtful to the Republican Party, though.  The party can go in that direction. It can pander to the Left Wing and merge with moderation.  The GOP can become successful by improving its image.  Because thats what politics is really about: marketing.  Barack Obama is the American Idol president. He won a popularity contest.  His ideas weren’t better.  His ideas are ridiculous, and spouted from a less-photogenic candidate, he would have been booed off the stage.  But it’s about to image, not substance.  And the GOP is not an attractive alternative to people who don’t understand many of the issues being discussed.   

The Republican Party can ABSOLUTELY become more successful by shifting to a more moderate, politically correct stance.  But in the process, they would lose the fight.  And it wouldn’t be long before Conservatism would no longer have a place in the party.  And without that component, it is no longer a viable entity; it is no longer relvant.  It’s a wishy-washy group of people more concerned with being liked than upholding the Constitution.

The GOP does need a change.  It needs to examine what it wants to accomplish.  Do they want to be popular?  Do they want to attract people from the Left?  Or is it about being the echo of our Country’s waining glory?  Is it about reminding the world of what made us the Greatest Nation on Earth once?   And when they figure out what they want, they need to start ousting the chaff from the wheat.  I’m not saying we should be exclusionary.  I’m saying we should hold our ground.  Educate the people.  Remind them that being a Republican means.  And if they disagree with that, why would they want to be there?

And if you get there, when you get there… we’ll have a more balanced choice in future elections.  And we’ll have a better Republic.

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