I continually get solicitations for contributions to the GOP, and I continually reply back with words to the effect of:
Not a chance until you not only re-discover your principles and an ability to argue for them, but actually stand up for them.Sadly, I've held out little hope of their re-discovering them, communicating them or standing up for them. And seeing Sen. Mitch McConnel sauntering on stage at CPAC carrying a flintlock rifle, a toadish retread of Charleton Heston, only deepened my pessimism. But, being an optimistic pessimist, when I saw this email in my inbox, I had a fleeting moment of 'Could it be?!' as my eye picked out and seized upon the word 'Principle' in the email, but that hope quickly flickered and faded away as I read the rest of the words accompanying it.
Here's a tip: If you want to turn me off swiftly, use one or more of these recycled claptrap phrases from the Grand Oldfolks Party playbook:
Note: these phrases aren't turn-offs because they are untrue, but because they are used untruthfully, IOW they are self evidently sprinkled about this fundraising message in a hamfisted attempt to manipulate the reader's emotions, rather than to convey honest and heartfelt sentiments.And of course this fundraising email used them all.
- "... travel our great nation..."
- "... deeply committed to protecting our ..."
- "... doing the hard work it takes..."
- "... the hardworking people..."
- "... makes America exceptional..."
Then, to cap it off, and to drive home the point that those driving the GOP not only do not understand their party's principles, but are even unsure of which ones they should be pretending to have, they added the following in the email,:
"... we've compiled a list of our core Republican beliefs. Please take a look and tell us which core beliefs are most important to you..."Why? So you can trade in your bestest core belief for one that's more popular to more readers? Apparently so, for it was followed by a link to a web page asking:
"What are your core conservative beliefs?"And from a popularity list of 'core beliefs' we move on to every principled persons deepest concern: 'How many people like my principles too?' 'Ooh! Ooh! I hope my principles get more likes than any others!!!', right? I mean... this is the 'Right'?!
Here's the text of the page::
Why Are You A Republican?
Tell Us Which Principles Are Most Important To You
We’ve been listening to you.
Based on your feedback, we have compiled a list of what it means to be a Republican.
Tell us which principles are most important to you.
I believe that our:
- Country is exceptional
- Constitution should be honored, valued, and upheld
- Leaders should serve people, not special interests
- Families and communities should be strong and free from government intrusion
- Institution of traditional marriage is the foundation of society
- Government should be smaller, smarter and more efficient
- Health care decisions should be made by us and our doctors
- Paychecks should not be wasted on poorly run government programs
- Military must be strong and prepared to defend our shores
- Culture should respect and protect life
- Children should never be left in failing schools
- Veterans should have the best care and opportunities in the world
- Social programs should help lift people out of poverty
- America should be energy independent
Hint: If you care more about what someone else thinks of your 'core belief', than you do about your core beliefs, and will reshuffle or discard them based upon their popularity, then you don't have any core beliefs.
Not only are they apparently unable to tell the difference between values, beliefs and principles, but they believe that a popularity poll is sufficient to determine the ones they should pretend to like the most.
For someone who actually cares about principles, the idea that I should review a wish list of statements to select a few favorites, is... not only offensive but disheartening.
Someone who's never paid much attention to principles can be forgiven for mistaking this grab bag of platitudes, sentiments and buzz phrases for political principles, but for a political party, which wants to attract people who supposedly hold the same principles it does, it is very nearly unforgivable.
For anyone thinking that my term 'ProRegressive' applies to the 'progressive left' only, is missing the big picture altogether.