I often get told that for a “centrist” I spend too much time picking on Republicans. Of course, this criticism is levied by hard-core conservatives that while they “like” Glenn Beck, they feel he could be a little crazier before they can “love” him.
I was told the other day something to the effect that “for a liberal, you’re not too bad,” which is really strange since I’m still a registered Republican (as of this writing). I think it’s fair to draw a distinction (if it’s possible) on the differences between the two.
Firstly, I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican (registration aside), I’m a Libertarian. For those not well versed in political labeling, suffice it to say that there are so few Libertarians around, that votes for or by this group often fall into the “other” category. Some of you may know just enough about Libertarian ideals to think that we are basically Republicans, after all, Ron Paul ran for President in 1988 on the Libertarian ticket and Bob Bahr, former Republican congressman from Georgia, was the most recent party nominee for president (both failed to garner more than .5% of the vote in their respective elections). Source
My primary reasons for identifying as a Libertarian are in the party platform:
1.1 Expression and CommunicationWe support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.1.3 Personal RelationshipsSexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.1.4 AbortionRecognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.
These planks in the party platform make it impossible for Republicans to support (there are plenty of other party issues regarding the role of government taxation and spending that make it impossible for Democrats to support as well). The reasons Republicans can’t support these ideals by now are well established – the effective takeover of the party by the religious right.
A Washington Post-ABC Poll conducted finished in early October found that Republican-conservative leaning voters answered the following question:
Say a candidate for president [ITEM]. Would you be (more likely) to vote for a candidate who held this position, (less likely)?
– Thinks public schools should teach creationism or intelligent design alongside evolution as part of the science curriculum.
More likely 34%; Less likely 31%- Sees global warming as a problem that needs to be addressedML 27% LL 36%- Supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriageML 38%; LL 27%
This is just a sampling from amongst a wider array of questions, but these to me are telling. A prospective Republican candidate for office runs at his or her peril unless they tow the party line on these social issues.
Some might say that I should just hold my nose on the social issues and support Republicans without regard to their positions on these issues – but these are the core issues to our individual freedoms and our future competitiveness.
While the first two issues may not appear at first glance interdependent – the underlying commonality is SCIENCE. It is harder and harder each day to see any level of respect conservatives have for science and more importantly – the scientific process of discovery and validation. Worse, just about every conservative has an opinion on issues pertaining to evolution and climate change without having cracked a real scientific journal and conducted their own independent research in order to form that opinion. It appears that their opinions are formed based on whatever FOX and Rush tell them they should think on the matter.
Lastly, their position on same sex marriage is untenable. For the party that consistently purports to want less government in our lives (at least our wallet) – they want to have all eyes on what happens in our bedrooms! This isn’t even taking into account the hypocrisy of conservatives that claim marriage is so damn special, then turn around and bang hookers or do the toe tap dances in restrooms. It just shouldn’t matter to anyone – period.
If conservatives could just let it go – all the way, they might be worth supporting. But that’s not who they are and it’s why I take extra special time to berate them :).