Monday, March 10, 2014

Why Are You (embarrassed to vote) Republican? Funny you should ask.

Warning: Rant ahead:
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:

  • "... travel our great nation..."
  • "... deeply committed to protecting our ..."
  • "... doing the hard work it takes..."
  • "... the hardworking people..."
  • "... makes America exceptional..."
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.

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.
End Rant.


Unknown said...

Don't take my comment as a counter to your'n. These are genuine questions. Maybe they're rhetorical here but any representative should be asking them.

If ours is a Republic and each representative is elected to mediate for the people, how does the rep know what her/his electorate wants?

If the rep feels differently than the people being represented, should said rep vote and act according to their ow values or according to the values of the people?

The only reason I ever voted for anyone is because they best represented my values. With the exception of one Democrat in the 80's, I voted Republican just because they were the closest. After the election of '12, after seeing what the Republicans did, I will not even vote for THEM.

Van Harvey said...

Frank, even if you were disagreeing, it wouldn't be a problem - it always works out in the end.

And those are good questions... the only issue is whether I can fit my replies into a comment... or if they've grown into a post themselves... which it's kind of looking like.

I'll let you know in a little bit.

Van Harvey said...

Took awhile, but here ya go.

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