July 07, 2004
Why I'm Not a Republican (Part Two): My unsuccessful quest to become politically mainstream

[ Click to Read Part One ]

Bush. That one word conjures up so much emotion these days. It's the central theme of the average joke and the main topic on public transportation systems everywhere. At any given time, one can enter into a very heated debate at the very mention of the name "Bush". Ever since it was determined that he won the presidency, his opponents have sought his demise. The last four years have been riddled with more presidential hatred than I've ever seen in my short stint on Earth. The night following the election was interesting to say the least. It was clear Bush had his haters early on. We all remember the scandalous "voting fiasco". Universities everywhere were abuzz. For me, being at a politically charged university made the Bush backlash even worse. People were staying up into the wee hours of the night tuning into CNN, C-SPAN, and every other news station we got on our "free cable", a secret luxury about which none of us ever bothered to tell the cable company. A luxury that was taken away when one of the guys in the dorm "accidentally" called the company to complain that "everyone in his dorm has free cable except him". What a buster. I was probably the lone Bush voter in my entire dorm (which was by the way, all-black). I would guess that a mere 3% of our 2700 student population voted Republican that year. I never found the rest of the 3%.

If by some fluke Alan Keyes had won the Republican nomination, surely I would have voted for him. That would have made me a full-fledged "sellout" with him being black and all. However in this case, I believe George W. Bush was the man for this hour. Casting my very first vote for Bush is a decision I remain proud of to this day. In fact, since then, my voting record has closely aligned itself with Republicans. My Democrat-loyal and laden family and I remain in a cordial disagreement on most key issues. Once my parents got over the shock that I was a wretched, money-loving, scumbag, college-dropout, and outspoken conservative, they still invited me over for dinner every now and then. They even let me live with them for a few months until I found work. Remaining in a constant state of "agreeing to disagree" during that time was my saving grace. These days, arguing doesn't interest me much. They know I'm their crazy, outcast daughter who'll go to great lengths to embarrass them on the world wide web. It's a role I quite like as of late.

My immediate reason for voting Republican is default. Although I believe there are a few areas in which the Democrats have the Republicans beat (I will discuss in Part 3), I will forever remain diametrically opposed to most everything for which Democrats stand. This leaves a person few options--especially when Libertarian ideals are bit too removed and idealistic for my taste. This concept I just explained is familiar to John Kerry as he too will reap the benefits of an entire group of people who love to hate Bush. Votes by default are his only hope. Voting according to party lines involves far less thinking in my opinion and since I'm a thinker, I never let any candidate or issue get off that easily. I weigh everything against the backdrop of my foundational beliefs.

My reasons for voting Republican thereafter have to do with the issues dearest to my heart. When it comes to politics, there are four main areas that get my affection: Family, Finances, Health and Education. I generally weigh my political opinions in light of these four things, however in my mind, family reigns supreme and faith is intermixed into all four. Faith should never be compartmentalized. I don't consider other issues of lesser importance, however, thinking about foreign policy for more than five minutes is like self-invoking a migraine headache.

As far as I can see, the Republican party has proved they are committed to preserving family values. I will always be pro-family above any other issue. I believe the family is the primary mechanism by which God transmits blessing on the Earth. The state of the family is the pulse of this nation. When families are in disarray, our nation goes to chaos (as proven by every current statistic in America). The family condition is the indicator of the future success of this country. Protecting the rights and privileges of the family unit will always be a priority in my mind. I will always be against legislation that usurps parents' rights, seeks to impose an inheritance tax, legalizes all forms of abortion, attempts to play "daddy" and supports any other type of marriage other than the institution God created. I write often on the family because I'm passionate about restoring it to God's original intent and order. I believe the key to reducing violence, crime, gang activity, and substance abuse among other things lies in the restoration of the family. This is not the government's job, however our wisdom or lack thereof concerning who we allow and don't allow in office on both the state and federal levels will determine how successful outside "agencies" can be at focusing their energies on resolving family decay.

I would imagine the Republican Party of "yore" is one I'd admire greatly. The early platforms of the party are far from the stereotypical view most have of Republicans today. Abolition of slavery, equal rights, freedom of speech, women's suffrage, and freedom from the tight reigns of government control are of the utmost importance in my mind. People consistently open the issue of returning to the fundamental nature of the Republican party. Sometimes I'm not so sure it will ever happen. I do realize the roots of the Republican party are rich in upstanding history, however my fundamental issue goes beyond what's in the basic tenets of a political party. My issue is in the general nature of political parties themselves.

The last line of the Republican Oath reads,

"FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government."
Despite the tired efforts of Ralph Nader and his shady NGO's, we essentially operate under a dominating, two-party system. Under the premise that Congress must be controlled by a single party, I suppose "yes" the Republican party would be the best vehicle to translate my conservative ideals. I've stated before that a democracy would not be my first choice of order of government and domination based on a party system is the reason why. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of having loyalty to anything/anyone but God.

Republicans are not monolithic. Within the Republican party, you will find people across the gamut of thought and logical reason. There are pro-choice and affirmative-action Republicans. Rather conflicted I'd say, but they exist. At some point, there has got to be non-negotiables. What is the standard to which we hold our values? It is certainly not the Republican Oath, the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence as those are all documents penned and inspired by men, fallible in their own right, yet brilliant nonetheless. The way I see it, the Republican party lacks central accountability and while espousing conservative ideals, the origination of those ideals is somewhat muddled. This presents a bigger problem than just pro-life vs. pro-choice. This is a matter of who has the final say on any given issue. In this country, we say it's the "people". I say the people are no less fickle than the Israelites who thought they wanted a king.

As a Christian, I've made the decision that my allegiance will never be to an institution, people group, race of people, alliance, party, or society as I believe false allegiances are the very thing that have brought our country to its current state of affairs. As a black conservative, I am certain of this more than ever as I see what unfounded loyalty to the Democratic party has done to our collective political power. Allegiences and party-loyalty are fine for some people, but when it comes to politics, there's too much at stake, and I have my issues with Republicans too.

[ Part 3 ]

Posted by Ambra at July 7, 2004 01:40 PM

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You must realize that we Dems hear the very same overzealous stereotypes from Republicans. I grew up in Orange County, CA and lived 8 years in the South and I can tell you that I saw stupid, white bigots every day. I went to church with Christians who only observed the Good Book on Sundays. In fact, many of the most loyal churchgoers I've met in my life were the most corrupt individuals as well. Just saying you follow Christ doesn't make it so.

I'm white, well-educated and affluent. I dispise Mr. Bush, because, unlike your characterization, he was selected for his current role by a very partisan Supreme Court decision. How did he respond? He has pushed the most conservative agenda in my lifetime despite the small fact that he didn't have a mandate. In fact, as we know more people voted for the other guy and his agenda. Bush chose to rub our noses in it.

I sympathize with Rossi. I hope Christine doesn't play politics with the sentiment of this extrememely close vote. I hope she works with Republicans during her term. I want her to show those who voted for the other guy, she's above this childishness.


Posted by: Hal at January 12, 2005 06:52 PM

Ambra: nice voice.

Hal: I don't believe you're a Christian.
Christians don't call the Bible the "Good Book."
Christians don't presume to know what other people do the 6 days of the week they're not in church.
Christians don't character-assassinate an entire REGION.

If you're a "Christian" at all, I don't believe you're the type of Christian who calls Jesus "Lord," unless it's in the sense of Mat 7.

I'm from Chicago, have lived in the South for the past 10 years, and people down here have more individual integrity than people up North. They don't boast and they don't talk about other people. It's not Southern, it's not polite, and it sure isn't Christian.

Say, is your last name Klaaren?

Posted by: mk at January 13, 2005 05:05 PM

"I'm white, well-educated and affluent. I dispise Mr. Bush.."

Oh, the irony.

Anyway, I'm responding, Hal, not just to correct your ill-placed typo but also because after four years of it I'm absolutely worn out hearing liberals claim that Bush vs. Gore was a "very partisan" vote.


The above is a link to a copy of the decision (first hand sources??? Gasp! Heresy for a liberal, I know... sorry).

In case it's too much reading just skip to the bottom of the paragraph where the decision is rendered. And just in case that's too much reading still I'll just tell ya, the vote was 7-2. Even beloved (to liberals) Justice Ginsberg voted that the recounts were unconstitutional. Noted conservative stalwart (sarcasm) Justice O'Connor agreed as well. Hardly a partisan decision.

Sadly, you'll probably never seen this post and you'll no doubt continue repeating this and other fantasies to all who will listen. Actually, you'd probably continue doing that even if you did read this so what does it matter... (sigh) I will now drown my sorrows in a bottle of scotch.

Posted by: Adoniram Lipton at January 19, 2005 09:13 PM

Have you checked out the Constitution Party???
You might yet find a home.

Posted by: Dr. Dwight Galster at January 27, 2005 10:49 AM

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