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 ]