Friday, November 28, 2008

A Response To "Republicans: It’s time to hang it up"... About The Right Splitting

Before I start, I would like to show you a quotation from my entry endorsing Obama for President. In this quote, I show you exactly what I think of third parties. Keep this in mind when you start reading my response to The Ohio Republic:

" To start this off, I would like to first talk briefly about third party candidates. Both Ralph Nader and Bob Barr and the who string of other candidates have no overall chance of winning this election. At most, third parties will pull in 5% or so ALL TOGETHER. This means that a vote for a third party is not only a wasted vote, it is a vote AGAINST your favorite mainstream candidate. That said, lets chat briefly about what third parties actually do. Third parties usually are very similar to a mainstream party, just they have one big difference. When that difference (their campaign base) gets enough attention and support, it jumps to the mainstream parties. Basically, third parties are vetting parties for new and interesting ideas. They should be allowed to get local power, but never national."




Over on The Ohio Republic, Harold has a post about the potential split in the Republican party that he sees occurring soon. I am going to be quoting his entry, so that I can respond below, and per the terms on the bottom of his blog, I need to include this:

"Permission is granted to use contents of this blog (except feeds copyrighted by their originators), provided that this copyright notice appears with the item used, and the use is not for profit."




"The paleoconservatives, of which I consider myself one, have consistently advocated limited government, particularly at the Federal level, balanced budgets, a strong national defense but avoidance of foreign wars; and social and economic freedom. Examples of paleoconservative Presidents are Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower (with the qualification that President Eisenhower was unable to balance his budgets – partly due to World War II debt and partly due to a Democratic Congress through most of his administration)."

Claiming Hoover as an example of your party, or your own position, is probably not a good thing to do. That said, I agree that the old-school republicans, of which I do respect and enjoy, are more socially liberal and fiscally conservative. The main point of a paleoconservative is mostly laze-fare in both social and business aspects. Furthermore, they should only care about the countries well being, making sure that we do not run into debt and that we are ready to defend ourselves. A true paleoconservative will only wish to go to war when either our country is attacked or if there is clear evidence that we NEED to go to war to protect ourselves. This is the position a lot of our founding fathers were, and this is a decent/good position.


"Neoconservatives have consistently advocated the use of the military to expand American interests throughout the world, economic freedom, and a more proactive approach to the regulation of business. Since 1980, neoconservatives have advanced a social agenda reflected in the preferences of the Religious Right, They have been outspoken for Second Amendment rights, and have tended to expand Federal powers affecting secrecy and individual rights. Early examples of neoconservatives (before the term came into use) are Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. More recent examples of neoconservative Presidents are Ronald Reagan, and our current incumbent. "

While I would not place Roosevelt, or even Nixon, with Reagan or Bush, I agree that the same fiscal sense as the paleoconservatives, while an invasion into the personal sphere, is the trademark of this group. To me, neoconservativisim is not a good position to be in, as it forces your believes (usually religious) upon the country. Additionally, the odds of being able to get our message around the world without going into debt (the fiscal republican part) is very unlikely. How can we have a war without a huge waste of money? Basically, I contend that their secondary goal, makes the neoconservatives lose their primary goal.


"The bipolar shifts have confused Republicans to the point where many wonder whether the Party has a philosophy at all; and it has alienated the general public to the extent that a recovery in four years may not even be possible. "

The Republicans have weathered worse storms then this. When Lincoln left the party, they still were able to reform shortly there-after. I can not see that the party will fall due to only this issue. Frankly, at the start of the election season, I agreed that they would, but at the end, I thought the Democrats would.


"Therefore, I would like to offer a not-so-modest proposal. For now, America would be best served by a vibrant three-party system.
The Democrats would remain as is, less a few conservatives who would be more attracted to one of the other parties, since neither now would be called “Republican”. The Democrats would continue to represent the liberal tradition of governmental activism both at home and abroad. "

The Democratic party is splitting more than the Republicans are. Frankly, I see both extremes breaking off, and a new 'moderate' party forming with 20% from both camps. The old-school democrats are getting more and more alienated from their party as the far-left (huffpo, moveon, etc.) become the mainstay of the party. That said, as the Democrat party is the oldest party in US politics, I see this party as being stable and continuous.


"A Populist Party would represent the paleoconservative tradition, best represented today by Ron Paul. It would seek a return to Constitutional limitations on Federal power, would emphasize both social and economic freedom, and support a strong national defense – but for defense only. "

I sure as hell hope that Ron Paul will never get his own party. While I like the idea of this populist party, it is clear that this is simple old school republicans. Frankly, this is how the party was before Reagan, and this is what I think it should return to. Due to its previous existence for decades (right after the fall of the Whigs, until Reagan), this party would probably still be very stable. Hell, I would be a republican if it went back to this system.

That said, Rob Paul would not be the leader of this; Paul is in no way a supporter of social freedoms. Additionally, he is not for a strong national defense, nor does he have good economic plans. For more on Ron Paul, refer to my entry regarding him.


"The neoconservative home might be called the “Christian Conservative” Party, because it would represent the desires of the Religious Right regarding homosexuality and abortion, favor military interventions abroad, and be less committed to decentralism than the Populists. Sarah Palin might be a good example of a Christian Conservative. "

To me, this party would be one of the worst things that we could have in the American political system. After all, why would we want a party that specifically aims to violate the Constitution. Don't we already have the Constitution Party for that? My biggest question to this party would be how they could justify a pro-life social policy, but an anti-life foreign policy, policy? Unlike the previous two parties, I can not see the neoconservatives as being a stable party. After all, any small party that is targeting only one specific area, will become redundant and thus loose votes. By doing this, the CC would regulate themselves to tiny-party status.


...


"I do not expect such a system to be permanent – American history teaches that sooner or later the parties will again become only two – but while it lasts, it would give the American people an opportunity to see issues more clearly and to decide for themselves just what this nation is about. "

The reason that more than two parties do not last is the way that our system is set up. With a winner take all system, it is best to try and keep your party stable, and thus not on the fringes. Any third party is on the fringes, and when it becomes mainstream, it gets taken by one of the two players. This works very well as it allows vetting, and socializing, of the more "extreme" ideas before they come to the center.


Overall, I do agree that the religious right (neoconservatives) will be splitting from the Republican party sooner or later. I do not think that they will form their own group, but that they will promptly align themselves with already existing groups. The Constitution Party, and other third parties, would be a good fit for these former Republicans.

6 comments:

Leah L. Burton said...

You have nailed it in almost every aspect and I am a democrat who is in total agreement with you.

The only thing I would add is the topic of a book that I am writing, which is, while most of the tuned in politicos are discussing the separation of church and state, we are all missing the intent of the neocons...

In 1992 the infiltration of the Republican Party ramped up. And with the popularity of a Palin, the evidence is clear that they are succeeding in that takeover.

My father was an old-school republican who was very active in politics in Alaska where I was born and raised. I totally get what you are saying about the alienation of these paleocons. I too, miss them - even tho I am a dem.

This leads me to point out that the infiltration is so much more than the religious right. It is indeed an even more fanatical base of the fanatical religious right. They are "Dominionists".

Dominionists are believers in the Old Testament. The have no desire to separate church & state, a line they have worked so diligently to blur. They believe in "End Times" and consider themselves "commissioned" by God to "take dominion over all" and provoke the apocalypse in "our life time".

(I'm not making this stuff up!)

They espouse that democracy is the enemy of theocracy, which they fully intend to implement. My current book was in reaction to how appalled I was that a character such as Palin could actually rise to the level she did considering her complete lack of experience, knowledge and world view...

But it goes so much deeper than that. Palin is a dominionist. And the rest of us had best become educated about this group who proudly identifies themselves as warriors in "Joel's Army".

I am knee deep in writing so I must cut this off now, but I am grateful for republicans such as yourself and will be the first in line to celebrate the paleocon take back of the Republican Party!

Thank you!

Leah L. Burton

Barga said...

I do not believe that Palin is in any streatch a member of Joel's Army, or any of the other branches of this extreme religion (hey, look, a new religious extreme to write a post about sometime). Looking at the Intellegence Report that is sitting on my bookshelf, and rereading it on SPLC's online site (http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=964), I believe they would have made it clear, either in the article or in their 1/4ly hate lists, that Palin, or any reigning member of the government, was a member of this group.

I agree that she is an extremist, and one who thinks the end time is coming (hence the diehard support of Israel), but disagree with her being in a militant and racist group...

Harold Thomas said...

I think your commentary on my article was quite fair and well reasoned. Obviously, I disagree on a few points; but that is a good thing. It is in the clash of ideas that the truth is to be found. I have absolutely no objection to your quoting The Ohio Republic in Whalertly.

I think you underestimate the strength of the "Christian" conservatives; though in my envisioned three-party system it would probably end up being by far the smallest nationally; though very strong in some areas (Appalachia being one). I agree that the home of "Christian" conservatism would likely be the Constitution Party, but, knowing some of its members (through the Ohio Freedom Alliance), I find their rhetoric to be very confusing (between paleoconservatism and "Christian" conservatism). (I put "Christian" in quotes because I profess to be one myself, but have serious issues with their interpretation of Scripture, which I believe has the effect of reducing the credibility of the faith to non-believers).

As to the Populist idea -- I have my own reservations about Ron Paul. I just did a search of my own blog on "Ron Paul", and found only five references: the one you cite (a careful reading of which will show that it was not an endorsement of him leading the Populist Party), two in which I wrote that I was "not a Ron Paul fan", and two which were neutral references (one to his possibly becoming a third party candidate, the other to some thuggery against his supporters at the Republican National Convention). I find much to like in what he believes, but like you, I find some inconsistencies -- the most glaring of which is his public endorsement of third-party candidates while he refuses to leave the Republican Party himself. I remain Republican only because I have not yet found a third-party movement worth committing to.

Best wishes for continued success in your blog. I look forward to following it in The Carnival of Ohio Politics.

Ander said...

if it is best to try and keep your party stable, join the neo-con's. they do an excellent job at maintaining continuity and consensus.


Where the religious right and what the Republican party are doing as far as splitting and whatever, don't really matter other than to show that general consensus and movement towards democracy and freedom has hit a wall. The same could be said about the Democratic party right now as well, there are large amounts of disenfranchisement.

All this splitting and discontent shows is that people are less trusting of each other and that democratic ways of doing things are being put on the back burner. More importantly it reinforces the discontent at our current situation.

I don't disagree with either the original author or you so much as I just don't think its that important and I don't think much in the way of progress will come of a third party or the republican party splitting. The party system, what democracy means to us, and most importantly how our meaning of democracy manifests itself is what needs to be in question here.

I do think the republican party will split for one reason or another, who is right or wrong and the reasons for such don't make a difference. The overall question is why are people not working together?

Ander said...

**edit to last sentence**

The overall question is why are people not working together to solve the problems common to all humans?

Barga said...

Harold, do you perceive the Christian party as being able to get at least some house positions?

I like a lot of Ron Paul's talking points, but looking through what he does then propose/offer I notice the huge problems. Plus, unlike you, I don't really like the idea of states rights in an unlimited format

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