In Defense of the GOP
Full Disclosure: In the last 4 presidential elections, I voted for: Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Bush. I'm an atheist who grew up in a Jewish household. I was once a member of the ACLU and People For The American Way.
A reader recently asked:
You have some very interesting perspectives. Most of your posts are insightful or at least thought provoking. You are a very strong supporter of the GOP. It seems mostly for their pro-business economic policy. As a member of UU community, how do you feel about the "RR" (Religious Right) and their control over the party?
Also, do you have any prediction for what will happen in the 2008 election?
Lastly, have you read, It's My Party Too, By Governor Whitman?
Let me get the last two questions answered first. Based on the messages that each party has been generating, the growing chasm between the Kos-kids and the DLC, and assuming that Sen. Clinton will be the nominee for the DNC, I believe the GOP will maintain control of congress and The White House. I have not read Whitman's book.
OK... so let's get to the big question: how do I feel about the RR and "their control over the party"? First, I disagree with the proposition that the RR is in control of the party. Are they an important constituency? Yes. In control? I don't think so. The majority of the much maligned Religious Right constituency are normal, hard-working Americans who happen to be both Christian and politically conservative. I really didn't personally know any RRs until I befriended a few in the last five years. They are not evil. The ones I know are extremely decent, thoughtful people who happen to have strong religious beliefs that I don't share. They are very intellectually honest and their actions match their core beliefs.
Despite the scare tactics of the press and DNC, I don't believe that the true religious wackos (i.e. Robertson) have a creditable voice in the GOP. In fact, I believe Republican pundits have a much better record of publicly chastising figures like Robertson when he goes off the deep end. Democratic pundits, on the other hand, let outrageous comments from the far left go with out comment (think of Michael Moore positively comparing murderous Iraqi insurgents "Minutemen").
Tomorrow, I'll give a point-by-point (economics, social policy, etc.) analysis of why I'm a Republican.