GOP must evolveSubmitted by Zef on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 02:18
By M.H. Krass
The first presidential election that I was able to participate in was the 1996 contest of Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole. It was quite a snooze fest. I turned 18 in October of that year, just in time to vote for Dole. I was raised by two republican parents and I wanted to help support the party. I have done my part to support the party since then, voting in every general election since, almost always for republicans. Yes, even Lynn Swan when he ran against Ed Rendell.
When presidential election came around in 2000, I became dissatisfied with the choices being presented to me. George Bush was a tough pill to swallow for me, but I voted for him anyway. He did not seem especially bright to me, and he seemed to have trouble articulating some of his ideas. But by 2004, the world had changed. When I reached the voting booth that year, I voted for Bush again. After all, he got us through the 9/11 attacks and put the United States on the offense. Better them than us, right? Then 2008 came around and this time, I was looking at McCain and Obama. I had become weary of the wars, and McCain was talking about victory and Obama was talking about winding it down. But things were not looking to good for McCain. I voted for him anyway, figuring he would finish these wars by winning them quickly and decisively.
McCain's defeat left me looking for answers. What was wrong with the Republicans? Why was America rejecting the message of John McCain? Now, I never did pay much attention to the primaries. Honestly, I just didn't care. I recall watching a debate between Bush and Kerry and thinking how obnoxious they both sounded. I really wasn't interested in sitting though it more than once. But, I decided to go back and look at the primary debates in 2008 that I ignored through the magic of Youtube. Imagine my surprise when I found them to be far more interesting.
What stood out to me the most about Congressman Paul, is that he actually was answering the questions directly. It didn't seem sugar coasted or canned at all, and for the first time, I was hearing someone that sounded like he had some kind of logic to what he was saying, rather than some sort of evasive explanation. The first book I bought because of Dr. Paul was the 9/11 commission report. I learned about the concept of blow back, and how there are consequences for our actions abroad. I remember thinking how people abroad seemed to dislike Americans for some irrational reason. Suddenly, it didn't seem so irrational anymore.
This disconnect on the foreign policy is a burden for me. I have family in the military, and it is difficult for me to speak out about it . I want to show my support for the troops in any way that I can, but I try to do it in a different way now. I think that many of our politicians are very careless with the lives that they are entrusted to protect. Namely, our soldiers. I also do not think it's right for us to encourage anyone to go to war in our stead, or worse yet, to serve the special interests of an elite few. What I heard in last nights debates really bothered me. If the United States attacks Iran, it's going to push them right into the hands of the Chinese, and it will undermine our already weak economy.
If the Republican Party wants to survive, it has to let go of the interests of war, and embrace the interests of peace. Ron Paul has demonstrated that he can grow the party. If the goal is to eject Obama from office, you have to grow the party. The only way to do that, is to tweak the message. The message of Liberty, is a pretty good choice.
(The author of this essay does not wish to claim any distribution rights, and may be published freely on any website or in any newspaper)