Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why I am a Republican - Part I

As most everyone who knows Cheryl and me is aware, we are a divided couple; she is a Democrat and I am a Republican. I respect anyone who votes; I respect more anyone who votes with a sense of moral conviction for guidance. I fully understand why some devout, born again, Spirit-filled Christians are Democrats. The Democratic Party has a long history of commitment to issues that should concern followers of Jesus: justice, poverty, human rights, etc. However, the truth is just as many Republicans care about these issues. We differ in how to address them. I believe a conservative political philosophy is the best way to achieve these goals.

Before continuing I need to address a few of my pet political peeves. First, I am especially sensitive when my friends in the other party make comments about Republicans being warmongers. As best as I recall the majority of military conflicts the USA has entered in the last century have been at the behest and leadership of Democrat presidents [Woodrow Wilson in WW I, Franklin Roosevelt in WW II, Harry Truman in Korea, Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam, Clinton in Somalia and Serbia – granted George Bush first sent American soldiers to Somalia on a humanitarian mission to prevent pending starvation but it was Clinton who changed and extended their mission to that of military action. I think there has only been one President from the Democrat Party in the last one hundred years who hasn’t led our country into military conflict. I am not here commenting on the justification for any of these wars. I am just stating the facts. Democrats take us to war.

Second, I refuse to grant the Democrats the higher ground on issues such as civil rights. The GOP is after all the party of Abraham Lincoln. It is the historic party of civil liberties. I am old enough to remember the old Southern Democrats who fought civil rights on the grounds of “states rights.” The openly political racists of the twentieth century were virtually all Democrats. Some converted to the GOP when they felt shut out of their party and shame on the GOP for accepting them for political gain. But it was the Democratic Party that nurtured and promoted them for the biggest part of the twentieth century.

Third, I am irritated by people who are single issue voters, unless the issue is of grave significance and is consistently applied. Abortion is the one issue that qualifies for me at this time. I am pro-life and I will not vote for a person or a party that is not committed to protect the weakest members of society. But I am completely pro-life which means I oppose abortion, the neglect of those who suffer, and war (except when all other methods to protect the innocent from gross inhumanities have been exhausted – the problem with the “just war” theory is that it is too easily manipulate to defend any war). While I personally consider abortion a form of genocide, I recognize some Christians may honestly disagree with me on the question of when human life begins and thus may allow for early-term abortions as morally defensible. My strong view is that a woman should have a choice as to when to get pregnant, not when to end a life. If a Christian is going to support the Republican candidate primarily because of the abortion issue, he or she has a moral obligation to weigh all life issues against the Scriptures.

Finally, I don’t vote on the issues because Presidents can’t deliver promises made about the issues (congress has to write the laws) and they often surprise us with actions that seem to contradict their stated political positions. Nixon, a Republican, got us out of Viet Nam, started D├ętente with the Russians, and went to China. The military build-up that led to the break-up of the Soviet Union for which Ronald Regan gets the credit was actually begun by Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. The biggest cut in social welfare programs in American history was initiated by Bill Clinton, a Democrat. And finally, the “no child left behind” act, one of the biggest expansions of the federal government into state and local government since reconstruction of the south, was initiated by a Republican, George W Bush. Politicians are unpredictable.

Therefore, I simply do not choose my party or my candidates because of their position on specific issues. I am concerned with the underlying philosophy that guides their positions on the issues. I am a conservative, not a liberal. Therefore, I am a member of the conservative party, the Republican Party.


C Dickhut said...

I whole-heartedly agree so far. I cannot wait to read the second part.

dazedroyalty said...

Jackie, did you post this elsewhere as well? It seems familiar. (Maybe you just said it all while we were at the beach!)

treesalt said...

While it is true that people disagree on when life begins in the womb, thus allowing (in their minds) for early abortions, I find that to be hypocritical owing to my own experience. When I miscarried, not even at 6 weeks, I was surrounded by sympathy for my lost baby. I have yet to have one person tell me that I did not lose a baby. The difference is that the life was wanted. That is the only difference. The lack of emotional understanding for post abortive women is huge because people can't allow for the leap of "It's okay. It was only the products of conception" to "You can mourn. You lost your baby". I hurt for those women. I was comforted. They are not. ...I digress