Saturday, August 3, 2013

Can We All Get Along?

John McCain Official SC1 Can We All Get Along?
(This question actually has nothing to do with the late Rodney King, who coined this phrase; but with the inclusion of the word “all,” the answer is emphatically no.)
It seems we are hearing this phrase a lot lately, whether word for word or simply implied, especially from our elected public servants (and specifically the Republican ones.)
I’m not trying to dog on the Republican Party here; in fact, I’ve voted that way almost 100% of the time since I have been of the age to cast my ballot. It’s just that my sentiment these days, that Republican is the only way to vote, is offered with simultaneous feelings of duty and disgust.
During his time in office, President Ronald Reagan spoke of the Republican Party’s need to hold securely to “bold colors, not pale pastels.” But unfortunately, with spokesmen such as Lindsay Graham, Chris Christie, John McCain, and others, this conviction is proving increasingly unpopular within the elected of the party. Is this because their constituents or primary voting base is becoming more moderate or even liberal in their views of the issues? Most polls and surveys show that this is not the case. Every election cycle, whether on the state or national level, demographics including high volumes of Republican voters vote for the most conservative candidate available practically every time. This is why everyone from the most conservative fresher Republican to even Democrat candidate Obama campaigns as the most conservative individual to have been born of a mother since Ronald Reagan or William F. Buckley, Jr.
So, what’s the reason, we wonder? I don’t have a guaranteed positive answer to this question today, but one theory is that these elected politicians have 1) Never sought public office for the right reasons (for you and me), 2) Fallen prey to the prestige, power, and greed that so often entices those in office, 3) Decided to become beloved darlings of the media, 4) Become truly afraid of their opponents inside and outside of their party, or they are guilty of all of the above or any combination of the above.
These same politicians who speak out so strongly against the issuance of political labels, such as “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and “liberal,” were formerly all about political labels when they first campaigned for office and later for re-election, especially when it comes to the claim of the label “conservative” for themselves. Maybe they should all go back to the Reagan/Buckley model of conservatism to see what this label really means (or maybe they think that their unintelligent voters haven’t?) We can only investigate and speculate.
One thing, though, is certain; they’re dropping like flies, folks. The public servants we trusted enough that we went to the polls and checked the box by their name are betraying us daily. No state or officeholder seems to be immune to this phenomenon. Consequently, those in office who are standing fast upon principles are now vastly outnumbered and deserve our continued encouragement, support, and votes.
Over the last several years, discussion about the viability of a third party in big elections has gained decibels. All speculation of the changing mood of the voting public aside, though, the Republican party is still moving swiftly in the direction of not a third party, but one single party. They seem to believe that we don’t need those bold colors anymore. We need to “reach across the aisle.” We need to “work together in a bi-partisan way to get things done,” even if those things stand in stark contrast to what their voters elected them to do. You see, sometimes even “nothing” is better than “something” (especially when that something is detrimental to our nation’s founding, our freedoms, and our best interests as a whole.)
Some of the Republicans we voted for to represent us also say that the party should include a wider variety of viewpoints on the issues. Call me old fashioned, but I thought that was what our two-party system of government was instituted to do. It was meant to hold the other OPPOSING party’s viewpoint in check, providing a vantage point from which to evaluate one’s stance, considering whether it is substantial and relevant or weak and irrelevant.
We don’t need a variety of viewpoints in the Republican Party. THAT’S the real reason the party is in trouble. We need viewpoints that consistently reflect those of their base.
For those of us who honor the founding of our nation to be based on freedom of religion and a set of Judeo-Christian laws derived from the Bible, we know that our elected officials are already in a tough position on their first day of office. They are asked to be both public servants and leaders at all times. Historically, the best available example of one who accomplished this task, to whom they may be held beside as an example, is Jesus Christ. That’s a tough act to follow.
Christians and Bible readers also know, though, that Christ Himself said that He would rather that we would be hot or cold and not lukewarm. He said that He would spew such individuals out of His mouth. Maybe we should follow His example next time we go to the ballot box.