Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Republican Disconnect?

 Every month or so I allow myself a political comment or two-one that often has little to do with frugal retirement living per se.  In general, I believe in polite discourse, and that people can disagree. Put another way, feel free to present another perspective, but do so without insults (to anyone), bad language or any other generally out there language. Offensive responses will be removed, but I always enjoy other views and opinions

I am a self described left wing hippy chick. During my great decisions seminars,  I joke that I'm the hippy in the room. I am a unabashed liberal, and frankly am not one of those people who needs to use the word progressive instead.  Without trying to sound like presidential candidate Jimmy Smits, almost all of the positive change in the last century was enacted by or instigated by liberals.  When Republicans instigated social change they were almost always liberal Republicans. In fact, yes, there used to be liberal republicans in my father's day.  Until they felt they had to leave. 

This does not mean I have never voted Republican, nor does it mean there are not Republicans I admire (or did admire). I lived for over twenty years in the state of Virginia, where one of the great Republican elder Senators originates. John Warner served as Secretary of the Navy and then as a senator for twenty years. So popular in purple Virginia (even with the northern Virginia so called liberal elite) was he that Democrats who ran against him were noting more than figureheads and the one year when actually had a challenge, Democrats turned out in droves for the primary. A moderate Republican, he left because of infighting.

At heart, I am what in the "olden days" was referred to as a New England Democrats.  Extremely liberal on social issues and moderate on fiscal issues, put simply.

Recently, I told a friend that last election's Republican loss had absolutely nothing to do with the so called 45 percent. Heck, I am one of the 45, and I am in favor of raising taxes and fiscal responsibility-I lived in a country with high taxes for years and know well that return on taxes can be an advantage. From my perspective then (and now), at the national level conservatives fail because a. they haven't entered the 20th century on many issues, b. they don't care what the majority of Americans think, c. they speak in absolutes.

This week is a perfect example. A current poll states that 61 percent of Americans support continued funding of planned parenthood.  One in five women have used planned parenthood in their lifetimes (Including me and my adult children) for basic women's care such as birth control and pap smears and breast exams. Three percent of Planned Parenthood's patients receive abortions, and none are funded with federal dollars. And yet, when a middle aged woman who has been a patient for 34 years approaches a candidate to ask about women's health, the response is simple. I'm not concerned about women's access to health care-I'm only concerned with unborn babies.  While that may make a nice sound bite, most Americans are concerned with the former to a greater degree than the latter.  And having watched C-Span, the same response is quoted by senator after senator.  While I'm used to expecting that from middle aged conservative white guys, hearing it from a female candidate who knows she needs women is well-out there.

And this is only a small part of the disconnect:
  • Sixty percent of Americans agree with gay marriage, and a similar amount feel that Kim Davis should go to jail for not fulfilling her oath of office. These are people who recognize that religious freedom is about the freedom to worship, not the freedom to discriminate. Republicans were evenly divided-so this is not a party issue.  Even knowing that, conservative candidates stand by her side, sing songs and do whatever else.  Apparently they don't think they need that fifty percent of Republicans.
  • There seems to be an all or nothing stance from the right.  You cannot amend the health care act, mind you. You have to wipe it off the slate, and those people who will be uninsured-well, they can be damned.
  • They cannot "just get along". Prior to the last election, I was actually a little nervous. There would be a conservative majority, and who knew what could happen. What happened?? Not a thing. Not because of our current president mind you, but because the current Republican party can agree on-exactly nothing. First term senators are calling the leaders names, and sinking the ship.  Had the Republican party manage to be in agreement, huge things could have been accomplished, but instead it seems more fun for people like my old friend Ted Cruz to be a spoiler.
  • There's a lack of knowledge as to the real world and how the rest of us lives, as well as a total surfeit of foot in mouth.  Access to health care and equal education is not "free" stuff. The United States is not made up of givers and takers.  Tax breaks are not necessarily free stuff, and I don't consider job retraining to be free stuff, any more than my pension and social security. And frankly, most of us live in the "middle", politically, socially and otherwise.
  • Finally of course, is the evangelical factor. Less than thirty percent of Americans are evangelical Christians, and even less than that are true conservative evangelicals.  Politicians seem to forget that us Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists are also both Christians and religious-and that other religions may be equally devout and have values as well.
The front running candidate right now is a loudmouth millionaire who has had as many bad financial experiences as well as  good ones. A man who admittedly has no idea what he will do about issues after he is elected, but will find the right people to advise him and go from there.  A buffoon perhaps. The fact that this guy is the leader says more about the republican party than I could in a month.  And Democrats everywhere thank him.

Will Republicans win the White House?  Possibly. Will there be a revolution, a changing of the guard? Heck, No. First you have to get twenty Republicans to agree on something.


  1. I used to be a Republican but there is absolutely no place in it for me or my husband. I seem to be getting more liberal as I get older. In fact, once I had read Bernie Sanders policy positions, I became a Bern❤️!!

  2. This is an excellent review of the sorry and scary state of our country now. I'm continually amazed at the "religious" hypocrisy and discrimination. Perhaps if the media didn't give so much attention to the crazies and the fringe elements, things might be more rational.

  3. I have to say that I am a very changed person. I will admit to being a Republican, even though I am a registered Independent. Now? I can't stand any one of them. I cringe when I hear any of their voices. I also used to watch Fox News and Fox Business. After the 1st republican debate I called my cable company so fast and cancelled anything and everything to do with Fox News. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
    I have always had some liberal tendencies but today's modern Democratic Party is too progressive for me. I never liked Hillary. Bernie Sanders is too extreme for me and I had experience with Lincoln Chaffee from my Rhode Island days. Now, if Joe Biden runs, that's a slam dunk for me. I think Uncle Joe would be great for America.
    I'm liking my Obamacare. I know. I know. I was kicking and screaming but I have seen the light. And I am liking Social Security and fingers crossed with my launch into Medicare. I get it now. I'm enlightened.
    As far as Planned Parenthood goes, I used them back in my college days. I feel now, however, thanks to Obamacare and the fact that all women are now able to get adequate and at times, free health care everywhere, Planned Parenthood may be redundant. But that's just my opinion.
    Excellent post, Barb. Good presentation and review.

  4. Great post Barb! I couldn't agree more. The politics of hatred scare me. History will show Obama to have been one of the best presidents ever. He has accomplished so much! Now if we can just make some headway on gun control and climate change.

  5. I'm a bit behind on posts, having just been catching up. Being from a town in Texas that spent much of the summer being ridiculed for its extreme reaction to this summer's military exercises, it's refreshing to read something from someone with views similar to mine. Sometimes I think I'm the only person who believes as I do, and it's isolating. It's also nice to see that some people commented with views that didn't exactly go step-in-step with yours, but yet everyone's comments were measured and thoughtful.


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