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Can The Real Republicans Please Stand Up?

by Alex Iwashyna

in Progressive Politics

The Republican party seems to be tearing itself apart. I haven’t been a Republican since 1999, but I still read David Brooks’ column in the New York Times and I have many Republicans that I love and respect even if we disagree.

I am currently a progressive, which means I don’t have a party — only a caucus. I, along with many people, don’t believe that a political party determines my values, ideas and desires for my country. I look for the candidate, which is close enough to the issues that are most important at the time. It is the best I can do as I have only ever found one person who had almost a mirror image of my value system and was running for anything. In other words, I could have been persuaded. The Republicans could have seized the moment. Progressives get angry at Democrats. Plus, the Independents. The grumpy Democrats. The lazy Republicans. There were many votes out there.

Alas, the Republican party seems to be making the same mistakes it made in 2008. The winner of the primary is a moderate Republican who isn’t allowed (or isn’t choosing) to run on their record. McCain, and now Romney, have distanced themselves from any political choices that helped people if they weren’t within very narrow party lines. No talk of immigration for McCain and a complete 180 on Romney Care. They both chose extremist for running mates who have no plans or ridiculous plans for the country, respectively.

I feel like yelling: Can the real Republicans please stand up? The fiscal conservatives only have a voice if they are also social conservatives. The compassionate conservatives don’t seem to get a say at all anymore. What is the Republican base? Is it “we will never have the elite, smart people on our side” or “47% of people will never take responsibility for themselves“? When did Republicans stop believing in intelligence and education and science? When did Republicans want to stop serving the Veterans, the elderly and the poor children in American? Or even, when did paying back a loan become a sign of laziness and irresponsibility? The Republican party’s own vice presidential nominee could not give his convention speech without lying. How is that leading a political party?

Perhaps, I should be happy that the Republicans are imploding, but a one party system isn’t good for our country, and I love our country. Yes, I want Obama to win the White House, but I’ve also seen what a failed party looks like in Congress. A party, whose primary purpose is to defeat a president rather than support a people and the country, does nothing. For 2 years, the House of Representatives has failed. They have voted almost 3 dozen times to repeal a healthcare bill that was never going to happen when our unemployment rate was 8.2%.

I feel like the Republican party is in trouble when the presidential nominee isn’t allowed to be themselves. A party that once elected presidents like Lincoln, who chose the country over the Southern states, and Eisenhower, who balanced the budget 3 times in part by not giving into pressure to lower taxes or raise defense spending, needs to be more than ideological pandering to an ever-narrowing base. Nowadays, those presidents would be called “RINOs” or “Republicans In Name Only.” How sad not just for them but for all of us who rely on a two-party system. The Republican party, from the stars to the base, must move beyond rhetorical and into reality where compromise is not a dirty word and our country comes first.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline @ Pink Basil September 19, 2012 1

Loved your post, there pretty much isn’t anything here I disagree with.

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Muttering Mama September 19, 2012 2

Fantastic post!

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Ashley // Our Little Apartment September 20, 2012 3

YES. YES!

I have no interest in bashing Republicans as all stupid, uncaring, hypocritical, etc. What I do have an interest in is wondering how normal, average, level-headed Republicans feel about the direction their party is taking. How they feel about the influence of the Tea Party movement on the entire platform of the party. I tell myself that there are reasonable Republicans, but then when most of them I know on Twitter are all, “Romney just said the truth! Why crucify him?!” I want to cry.

Of course, these are the same folks who see Obama 2016 and complain about welfare recipients having a nice purse. SO.

One more thing – I have a really, really hard time understanding how people are Christian but then villify the poor so much. Am I missing something? No, it’s not the ones who want to help the poor themselves instead of the government helping. It’s the ones who habor DISDAIN. Sigh.

Okay. I’m done.

PS: I love your blog so much. I love how smart and thoughtful you are. I so wish I could write about topics like these. My skin is far too thin!

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Walt September 20, 2012 4

Sorry Hon, if you have no party affiliation you are an Independent. I do agree that the Republican Party is changing. Hence, my disassociation from them. The Democratic Party has been assimilated and as the Republicans shift Left we will have (or do have now) two versions of the same party. Welcome to Communism Lite. I still offer a free t shirt to the first person who has proof that Obama has ever referred to himself as a Democrat.

You might want to read this:
http://townhall.com/columnists/susanbrown/2012/04/17/is_progressivism_the_new_communism/page/full/

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Trevor September 20, 2012 5

The Republicans shift left? Seriously? They’ve done nothing but move farther and faster to the right since 2008. They want to get rid of the EPA (who needs clean air or water?) because the private market can do a better job at regulating themselves than government regulations. They actively advocate for discrimination (anti-same-sex marriage), and they’re openly disdainful of the poor, the working class, and students who don’t have rich parents. Please explain how this is a “shift to the left”.

The fact that the article you’re posting supports Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is just sad. This is a man who was drummed out of the military for his conduct, who throws around slanderous accusations, and has an allergy to the truth.

The United States is in no way approaching communism. (def: all property is owned in common by the state.) That charge has no basis in reality; though I would be interested to see you prove your accusation that we are heading towards “Communism Lite”. The US is still a free market, capitalistic system, and will be for the forseeable future.

Side note: The sad thing is that the “real Republicans” are no longer welcome in their own party. They’ve become the Blue Dog Democrats, as the GOP has shifted right-ward, they’ve purged any notion of moderates in their own party. It’s not healthy for the US political system, and won’t be healthy for us. What our country needs is some actual electoral reform where we get private money out of the arena and have three or four viable political party choices.

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Late Enough September 20, 2012 6

I was just talking to one of my favorite Republicans about how I voted for the Green party candidate in 2000 because I knew we needed another party even back then (hey, I get to brag every so often) Too bad the only viable 3rd party since then has been the Tea Party, which for any good it could have done was so quickly usurped (or those who had good intentions out voted/voiced) that it is unhelpful.

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Walt September 20, 2012 7

Instead of “shifting left”, maybe “merging” would be better. If you like this, go Democrat. If you like that go Republican. All roads lead to the same place. Only one party.

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Walt September 20, 2012 8
Lily from It's A Dome Life September 20, 2012 9

Walt,
I respect you views even though I wonder if we live in the same country. Isn’t it amazing how two people can draw such different conclusions from the same information? The thing is, you lost me right away when you referred to Alex as “hon”. Maybe you are related and that is just your pet name for her. I don’t know, but it distracted me from the point you were trying to make. It just sounds so disrespectful. Alex is a smart woman. I mean she did get through medical school. She’s not a little girl. I’m sure you didn’t intend to discount her in that way, but that’s all I can think about after reading your comment.

Also, what does this free T-shirt look like? Can it be of my choosing?

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Walt September 20, 2012 10

It’s short form of “Your Honor”. You need to read more of my posts.

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Lily from It's A Dome Life September 20, 2012 11

That is such a relief! I try to read ALL of the posts and ALL of the comments. I do miss some.

So, about that T-shirt…is it real?

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Walt September 21, 2012 12

here’s the scoop about the t shirt contest.

http://luckypuppy.net/?p=5138

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Sarah September 20, 2012 13

“I feel like yelling: Can the real Republicans please stand up? The fiscal conservatives only have a voice if they are also social conservatives. The compassionate conservatives don’t seem to get a say at all anymore.”

Yes. This. Exactly. I’ve often said to myself in this election cycle, “Why are they picking these people (aka, Ryan)? Is this a joke?”

I was raised in an area where compassionate conservatives were still in existence. The goals of their agenda was to limit government intervention (including defense spending) except in the areas of assistance to the poor and education, etc. They seemed to start to slip away under Reagan. Now, they’ve almost disappeared. I agree it’s because their agenda is superseded by the morally conservative right.

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Late Enough September 20, 2012 14

Is it bad that I also say that line to the Eminem song?
Anyway, yes, I grew up in a similar area. Instead of the Republicans I know having a voice, they seem to have no place to go when, in my view, they ARE the real Republicans. I’m happy to have them join the Democrats but our country needs 2 functioning parties.

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Denise September 20, 2012 15

Exactly. You nailed it. I have many Republican friends who feel like aliens in the party because they see it running off the rails. This is not good for anyone.

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Lily from It's A Dome Life September 20, 2012 16

My Grandmother is in her 80′s and has been a life long Republican. She’s planning to vote for Obama this year. I don’t think she recognizes her own party anymore. I had a lot of respect for McCain before he ran for President. Watching him contort his views to fit into the new Republican mold was uncomfortable to watch. I haven’t felt the same about him since. I’ve been a registered Independent since I could vote, until this year when I switched to a Democrat. The Republican party scares me right now. I feel compelled to take a stand against what is a threat to my future and my daughters. I wish we had more options. I have been reading about other Presidential candidates that are running. The not so famous people. I wish they got more attention and that other parties had a real chance of winning. I think we need more options.

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@bluenotebacker September 20, 2012 17

There are those who would argue that what America needs is actually a THREE party system, or perhaps even no parties at all, which could be interpreted as a single-party. It’s the polarity and inherent in a two-party system that has created the mess we’re currently in. Maybe there’s something to such an argument.

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Late Enough September 20, 2012 18

I would love a 3 or 4 party system. I agree that 2 parties is not working well. I feel like it did work for awhile thought and I wonder what has changed — I need to read more about the history.

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Trevor September 21, 2012 19

The Whigs broke up and the voters who used to support it mostly went to the Civil War era Republican party. It could have been the third party to help balance out the Democrats and Republicans, but instead only lasted for a couple decades before dissolution. It did help to drive the Republican Reconstruction agenda to some extent, but I believe we would have been better served had it remained a viable, separate third party.

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Jenni Chiu September 20, 2012 20

Hot Nerd and I were just talking about this the other night. The party is shooting itself with it’s own extremists. It’s destroying the party and stalling the country.

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Chara September 21, 2012 21

Watching the news has now become a drinking of game of “What Has Romney said Today?” We constantly shake our heads and can’t figure out how this is the best the Repub. party can do. Oy vey. I plan on writing in Jed Barlet.

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