A Forum

I would like this to be a forum for political and social thought. I would like to try to keep it civil. That can be difficult as people, myself included, usually feel strongly about these issues. I will try not to be insulting though insult is often in the eye of the beholder.

Maybe no one will ever read this but me, maybe it will just turn out to be my private journal. We'll see.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Independents, Take Back the Republican Party!

There was a time when the Republican Party was a party of true conservatives. They believed in fiscal responsibility and personal freedom. It was a party that attracted people who thought clearly and spoke rationally. It is now a party that has lost its way.

It has narrowed its appeal to the radical fringe. It markets itself to people who believe urban myths and strange tales, people who wish to tell others how to behave but don't want anyone to tell them what to do. These are people who believe in black helicopters coming to take over the country but refuse to believe in global warming, people who believe war and capital punishment are good and doctors who perform abortions should be shot, people who love their medicare but don't believe in government health care. These are people who are so fearful that they listen to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh and think that overthrowing our democratically elected president would further democracy. These are people who make no sense!

I have a solution. Instead of being independent or belonging to a third party, true conservatives should rejoin the Republican Party. There are enough of you to take it back. Take it back and nominate rational politicians. Then maybe people will have a true choice on election day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tea Party--Patriots or Traitors?

These are loaded words, patriot and traitor. They instantly conjure up images in the reader's mind, one positive and one negative. Why am I using them? Because my local paper used the first in a headline about the actions of a group of Tea Party advocates.

I realize that on their website the group refers to themselves as "Tea Party Patriots" and I guess that they have a right to call themselves whatever they like, no matter how inaccurate. To identify members of this group solely by this word in a head can be interpreted as advocacy and is not appropriate in a newspaper.

Many of these people may feel that they are indeed "patriots"; I feel that they are misguided and have little understanding of what constitutes a patriot. A patriot does not try to undermine a government that is legally constituted. In the case of the United States it is a government chosen by the majority.

These "patriots" feel that they are being true to the spirit of the constitution, that the Congress and the President should do their bidding. This is certainly not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. It may come as a surprise that the constitution did not even call for popular election of Senators. The Senators were to be picked by state legislatures. The founding fathers believed that the riff-raff did not have the intelligence to know what was best for the country and devised this system of electing Senators to serve as a check on the popularly elected House of Representatives. They established the Electoral College to elect the president for a similar reason. I think that they are being proven right in their judgment.

So, what to call these folks, the ones that do not believe in Democracy and seek to undermine our government. The certainly aren't patriots but it would be equally prejudicial to call them "traitors" for I truly believe that though they may be misguided and misinformed most of them are not ready to take up arms or explosives to force their will on the majority.

There is a term, commonly bandied about to refer to members of the group. I will not use it for it is vulgar and I chose not to lower myself to that level. No, I think I will use the term "adversary". I think it appropriate for they are adversaries of our democratically elected government. This is not a totally benign word for I have seen it used in some translations of the book of "Job" in a way that many of these people would find equally offensive but I find it to be appropriate and we do have do find something to call them.