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I Would Join The Republicans If They Didn’t Make Me Puke

Christian J - September 4, 2008

I was considering posting this at that other blog but you know, this one needs some help. I’ve been enjoying the RNC this week (comically) and a question kept popping in my head. What happened to this Grand Old Party?

As I’ve stated before, I was born a Democrat – or at least I became one shortly after my entrance into the world. When I voted for Reagan in my elementary school’s mock election in ’84 (because everyone else was doing it), my father was furious (repeat – a MOCK election!). Bush was a four-letter word in our home by the time I entered High School in ‘92. You get the idea. And though the only Republican I’ve ever voted for is a former Democrat – current Independent (Bloomberg), I admit my life experiences have led me to sympathize (somewhat!) with certain brands of economic conservatism. Speeches like this one seem to resonate with me. And yet, if my first impulse is to laugh at the RNC, my second is to puke.

So, why will I never call myself a Republican? Here are just a few reasons.

1. Their own God

When Republicans talk about prayer in school, they’re talking about Christian prayers(hint, hint – that doesn’t include the cultist Mormons). When they talk about God – it’s the Christian God. So why is this a problem for me? Well, of course its because some of the greatness of America is found in its religious pluralism. My forbearers came to this country for that very reason. And yet, if you’re Jewish, Muslim or part of any other non – mainstream Christian belief system (or no belief system) you’re not included in the Republican umbrealla of appropriate religious belief. That’s a problem. It’s not belief in God that is bad – it’s the exploitation of Him for political purposes.

2. Country First – even if common sense is last.

I’m not a huge fan of Al Franken, but his analogy about patriotism is spot on.

“We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That’s why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well.”

So when Mitt Romney takes this swipe at Michelle Obama,

“Just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American.”

I have to wonder if he’s lost his mind. Really Mitt? Read any U.S. history lately? Oh, I forgot, you were in France during the 60’s.

3. Military

Ron Paul’s non-interventionist ideas didn’t spawn at a 60’s peace march – they came from old time conservatives. What Paul “gets” is that an aggressive military means higher taxes. Someone has to pay for it – Republicans don’t seem to understand this. So if you like a strong military, fine – just don’t tell me you’re going to cut taxes in the next breath.

Oh and BTW, Saying you’re a Reagan Republican (in vogue right now) AND a supporter of a multi-trillion dollar war of aggression that my grandchildren will still be paying for doesn’t make very much sense.

Rant over.


  1. I perceive that most Mormons believe that the Republicans are God’s party. I also perceive that is almost all due to the parties respective stands on abortion and gay marriage. I perceive that at least the corporate wing (don’t regulate me and don’t tax me so I can maximize my percentage of the earth’s wealth) of the GOP that provides the bulk of the financing doesn’t give a hoot about these social issues but makes a big deal out of them around election time to draw the votes they need from the red state voters (the 4-years olds in Franken’s analogy) to keep them in power. When will they grow up and realize they are being manipulated?

    Comment by Darb — September 4, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  2. Well, those are pretty cynical views of the GOP, but I suppose it’s easy to be cyincal about party politics, it’s just wrong to focus on one party. Both are manipulative and hypocritical to some extent and neither has a legitimate claim to the high moral ground or a direct line to God.

    The problem with partisanship is that almost no one agrees with every issue that one party advocates. The parties are a necessary evil, however, because without them it’s next to impossible to get anything done.

    You may want to consider that suggesting that the democrats are somehow the party of grownups might be overstating things just a bit.

    Comment by MCQ — September 4, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  3. MCQ,
    I’ll just say this – I am definitely overstating through out the whole post – true. And hypocrisy knows no party – true. But I’ve never heard the Democrats claim to be the party of God or have a monopoly on patriotism.

    Comment by CJ Douglass — September 4, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

  4. it’s just wrong to focus on one party.

    Only if their hypocrisy is the same. It may be that the ways in which Dems are hypocritical aren’t on issues that CJ cares about, in which case he has no reason to focus on it.

    CJ Douglas: I don’t think I understood your last point: “Reagan Republican AND a supporter of a multi-trillion dollar war…” Didn’t Reagan wage a multi-gazillion dollar Cold War?

    Comment by BrianJ — September 4, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  5. Brian….ya i guess it was a stretch….I just think the Cold War money was more responsibly spent….

    Comment by CJ Douglass — September 4, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

  6. Great post. Somehow you manage to have a somewhat biting tone without being offensive. I do not belong to a political party but I almost always vote for Republicans. I agree with you on item #1. I think we Mormons probably mostly agree with this, and I think many of us could and should do more to challenge this sort of attitude that is accepted in some conservative circles.

    Comment by E — September 4, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  7. Conservatives don’t think everything America does is wonderful and right and good, but we can love in spite of its faults and before it becomes a utopia.

    Watching journalists interviewing protesters dressed up like parrots outside the GOP Convention does not make me respect your more mature Democratic approach to patriotism.

    Comment by M — September 4, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

  8. Conservatives don’t think everything America does is wonderful and right and good

    Although if they could find a way to deport Democracts, I bet even that view would change…

    Watching journalists interviewing protesters dressed up like parrots outside the GOP Convention does not make me respect your more mature Democratic approach to patriotism.

    Watching journalists interviewing Republican delegates with their funny hats, on the other hand…

    Comment by Peter LLC — September 5, 2008 @ 4:41 am

  9. M (#7) does have a point. The wack jobs that kept trying to interrupt McCain’s speech last night certainly doesn’t warm me to the other party.

    I know CJ was referring more to how the GOP speaks of building the military and lowering taxes in the same breath, but I’ve always found it interesting how it’s the Republicans who are identified as the warmongers. Since 1900 there have been 12 Republican presidents and 7 Democrat presidents, and the four largest military conflicts the US entered had a Democrat in office at the time– WWI (Wilson), WWII (FDR), Korea (Truman) and Vietnam (JFK/LBJ). So I guess it’s obvious the GOP doesn’t have a monopoly on patriotism.

    *sigh* I hate political arguments. No one wins these things, bad feelings ensue… Why can’t we just stick to safe stuff like religion? :D

    Comment by David T. — September 5, 2008 @ 7:10 am

  10. But I’ve never heard the Democrats claim to be the party of God or have a monopoly on patriotism.

    You may have a point, but please find one quote in which an authority of the Republican party is claiming Republicans are the party of God, or that they are the only patriots.

    Comment by SAM — September 5, 2008 @ 7:56 am

  11. The wack jobs that kept trying to interrupt McCain’s speech last night certainly doesn’t warm me to the other party.

    Ack! Certainly didn’t warm me…

    Comment by David — September 5, 2008 @ 8:16 am

  12. Great post. If the GOP espoused the things that Paul did, I’d sign up in a heartbeat. As it now stands, they make me throw up a bit in my mouth. Did you see that manipulative Sept. 11 video they showed last night? Geez freakin Louise.


    I’m not sure what you consider an “authority” but here’s a good place to start.

    Comment by Katie — September 5, 2008 @ 9:08 am

  13. The wack jobs that kept trying to interrupt McCain’s speech last night certainly doesn’t warm me to the other party.

    Actually, at least one of the protesters escorted out was a Ron Paul supporter.

    Comment by Bill — September 5, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  14. Bill (#13),

    Still… a regular motif of credibility. They’re not changing minds that way– if anything, they’re accomplishing the opposite. Just annoying, mood-spoiling muppets.

    Comment by David T. — September 5, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  15. Peter (#8)- I’m not a big fan of the hats either, but there is a difference in my mind. At the conventions, the tone is supposed to be somewhat celebratory, so people dressing a little crazy is to be expected. I guess my comment about the protesters stems from my assumption that these people are gathering in order to attract Americans’ attention to their respective causes, which I assume they want to be taken seriously. But if they were legitimately trying to be taken seriously and to promote change, wouldn’t it be more effective to try to look less ridiculous? It all ends up looking to me like the protesters are trying to impress each other with their outrageousness instead of garnering serious support from citizens across the country.

    That being said, I can agree with some of the points in this post. I do think we need to be mindful of religious pluralism, but we also need to be mindful that we do not let the minority trample upon the rights of the majority or to disallow individual communities from defining themselves the way they want to be defined.

    Reading pieces from the perspectives of Democrats, I can see where they are coming from on different points. I do not think they are evil, but I think some of the domestic policies could potentially weaken America on the international stage, which I think would be bad for America and bad for the world.

    Comment by M — September 5, 2008 @ 10:01 am

  16. David T: Is there any evidence that any of the protesters were from “the other party”?

    I don’t buy the “Democrats led during the biggest conflicts” argument. It’s a false tally. Do you really think that if Republicans had been in power during WWI or WWII that we wouldn’t have entered those conflicts? Vietnam and Korea are arguable, but WWI/II? No way. That leaves your tally falling pretty even between Republican and Democrat for the last 100 years. (And we won’t even get into how much “Iraqi Freedom” has cost in terms of $$$ and time….)

    Comment by BrianJ — September 5, 2008 @ 10:07 am

  17. I can’t believe you got in trouble for your ballot in a mock election. My dad was similar. We went to everything, including all Democratic gatherings for UT. He made one of my brothers dress up as the donkey and carry around a sign and Robert Redford came up to him when my bro had the donkey head off and he was sweating profusely. RR said, kid they don’t pay you enough to wear that in UT.

    I’ve been surprised at how non-Republican the rhetoric at the RNC seems to be (I love rhetoric, that’s not a diss) I mean, mavericks, reformers, and taking on the good ole boys and big oil companies (sorry I’m probably remembering Palin’s speech since McCain has the same speech inflection as Wirthlin) that doesn’t seem very Republican to me. But lots of people in the audience were wearing lots of flag clothing and that’s pretty Republican I guess.

    Comment by amri — September 5, 2008 @ 11:42 am

  18. Franken has it all wrong.

    Conservatives love America like their spouse. They take the good with the bad but largely ignore the bad because the good far outweighs the bad which ensures peace and harmony in the marriage. When correction is needed discretion is the rule.

    Liberals, on the other hand, are like the shameless, self-righteous spouse– more than ready to publicly air all the dirty laundry and point fingers under all circumstances and in all venues. While the gripes may be legitimate the damage caused by the disunion (or at least the appearance of one) undermines the public credibility of the marriage and render it less effective.

    Regarding point #1, you really don’t know much about the conservative movement (which is really what drives the agenda at the GOP conventions lo these last 40 years). The day-to-day voice of the the conservative movement is National Review and the Op Ed page of the WSJ and I challenge you to find even a single article in either of those two publications that even remotely communicate what you have posited as the official Republican position. You assume Mike Huckabee supporters reflect the majority opinion of the Republican party. Need I remind you that he finished a distant third.

    Regarding point #3, you conflate two completely unrelated issues (military strength and tax policy) and demonstrate you own ignorance about both. Regarding the military there is not a conservative philosophical tradition associated with a small military. Ron Paul is a libertarian who fears the military as a threat to individual liberties– not because it “costs a lot.” On the contrary, conservative philosophy favors building the strongest military force around and then retaining the will to use it when it’s in the best interest of the country. Now, what’s in the best interests of the country is a subject of debate (even among conservatives) but the presence of a strong military is a given in conservative philosophy. Regarding the need to raise taxes in order to pay for the military you obviously have never heard of the Laffer curve. Before responding read up on it. Review the history of tax policy since WWII. Federal tax rates have been cut 19 times since then and 18 of those times the government took in more revenue than they did the year before. During the same period tax rates were increase 13 times with the result being an increase in revenue only 5 times. Now, based on history what’s the more sure-fire way to raise government revenue?

    I’m also curious as to why you think your grandchildren will be paying for the Iraq War which has cost something like $1.5 trillion dollars? Are you as livid about the more than $100 trillion that has been committed to making sure that middle and upper-class retirees remain fat an happy for as long as we can keep a heart beating?

    Overall, I find this a sad posting because the author seems to comment on subjects about which he/she knows little.

    Comment by PaulM — September 5, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

  19. PaulM, you’re talking about some vague conservative philosophy that has no bearing on the excessive corruption of the last 8 years. Hmm, let’s see — pallets of $100 bills -lost- and unaccounted for? Halliburton and related corporations raking in profits while 4000+ American soldiers and countless Iraqi civilians are killed (uncounted and never reported in US media)? A complete dismantling of civil liberties and any semblance of lawfulness, put together by Republican policy makers who work in the shadows behind W, who was fraudulently “elected” by the Supreme Court?

    CJ is right to point out that what passes for a Republican party in 2008 is a huge, corrupt political machine that has absolutely lost track of any conservative principles. And lost track of principles, period.

    Comment by no-man — September 5, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

  20. Thanks goes to Paul for showing us conservatives can be arrogant pricks too!

    Comment by Jon in Austin — September 5, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  21. Hey Paul,

    I’m glad you’ve picked up on the flippant nature of the post. If you’re looking for a dissertation, I would recommend going elsewhere. I’ll defend myself but have no interest in a fun blogger back and forth.

    Your analogy is not bad. Good job on that.

    #1. You’re right that the WSJ Op-ed page and National Review are two of the most respected sources of conservative thought today. But to say they are the only two is either coy or naive – take your pick. I say anything spoken at a party convention is fair game. I guess you missed that big event in Minny last week. Check out anything since 1980 and you’ll realize what I’m talking about. I’m not going to trouble myself with linking you to all the videos but I will give you one of my favorite examples. Good ‘ole Pat Robertson never lets me down.


    #3. Its true – I’m no economist. I have heard of the Laffer curve but its beside the point. I recognize my point was not very clear. Let me be more precise:

    1. The Iraq war is paid for by our creditors.

    2. In my own experience, a debt can be counted as an investment if it yields a profitable return.

    3. I’m not even aware of a claim (by the President or anyone) that the war will yield a financial profit.(well, at least a current claim. We all know how “the oil will pay for the war” thing worked out) – let alone a realization of one. I recognize that was can be profitable. We are not engaged in one of those wars.

    4. This does not equal fiscal responsibility – something Republicans used to care about.

    As far as your last quip – I suppose you’d have to give me some more detail. Maybe you’re talking about Social Security? I’m not sure. I suppose if you don’t have a problem with the way things have gone in Iraq(financially or otherwise), who am I to convince you? I can hardly blame you – not counting our military families, we Americans have been asked to sacrifice very little – which explains your apathy.

    Comment by CJ Douglass — September 6, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

  22. CJ – Good points on all issues. Sabastian Mallaby writes in today’s Washington Post about the opposing viewpoints of tax increase or tax decrease that Paul is barking about. I think the article adequately debunks that old trickle down Republican theory that never seems to die.


    Regarding the national security issue I always like to point out a statistic I learned earlier this year. Part of my job responsibilities invloves the construction of new Border Stations on the Northern Border between the U.S. and Canada. This past Spring I attended a conference in Chicago where a representative from Homeland Security outlined their needs for new construction. He pointed out that an investment of $0.5 billion each year for the next twenty years would give them everything they need in Border Security facilities. That equates to $10.0B over the next twenty years. When one considers that we are spending $14.0B PER MONTH in Iraq it isn’t hard to see that we are making, and have made, a bad investment there. Which function will give our nation more security? Adequately built and staffed Border Stations or the war in Iraq.

    “…$100 trillion that has been committed to making sure that middle and upper-class retirees remain fat an happy for as long as we can keep a heart beating?” I’m interested in the source of these numbers and just what they are referring to.

    Comment by lamonte — September 8, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  23. Mormons should be defenders and champions of free agency, not of forcing their views down someone else’s throat by using the coercion of government. Mormons should naturally be anarchists, not Republicans, Democrats, Independents or any other political party.

    Comment by LDS Anarchist — September 8, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  24. Why the very term “cultural hall” screams Red.

    Comment by David T. — September 8, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  25. Darb,

    I’m in 100% agreement. Abortion and gay marriage are used in a completely cynical manner. Tucker Carlson admitted as much on the Chris Matthews show a year or two ago, stating that real Republicans look down on the Christian Right and simply use those two issues to put themselves in power in order to accomplish other goals.

    Abortion rights are here to stay. The power brokers know this. Even if Roe v Wade were overturned it would simply fall back to the states and at most 5 states would ban abortion.

    Gay marriage is as unstoppable a force as earlier civil rights issues and in 30 years opposition to it will look just as silly as the opposition to civil rights looks now. There is no way that a federal amendment banning certain unions will ever pass. The states will fall one by one. Let me tell you how much gay marriage in MA impacted my family: not at all. When reasonable people realize the reality of this they’ll stop being energized by this issue. Radicals on the other hand will be motivated by it for the next 25 years and their votes will be used to put people in power that don’t care at all about gay marriage and have a private agenda that differs from their public one.

    Comment by a random John — September 10, 2008 @ 9:11 am

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