The “One Can Shift”

As some of you may know, I work in a grocery store. I know, how exciting? I must be so proud of my job. But, lets not get out of hand, I am happy to have a job.

The other day, I found myself in the canned goods aisle of the grocery store where I work. I found myself talking politics with a friend at the store about how the majority of the American people find the Republican party simply out of sync with their lives and the country as whole today. This is not an entirely wrong assertion to make on the part of the American people. We have quotes to back this up, like: “Women should count pregnancy by rape a blessing,” because you know, it was God’s will.

What a joke.

So, what can we do to fix this? This is exactly what my friend and I were discussing.

Let me present (as a result of the meeting of the minds at your local grocery store):

The One Can Shift

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We should all eat more Campbell’s soup. (Just Joking.)

Let’s all put our creative hats on, because I am fairly positive we are going to need them to get through this one. Let’s pretend that “Italian Style Wedding” soup represents the Democrat party, “Creamy Potato Roasted Garlic” is American Moderates, “Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta” is the Republican party, and “Savory Chicken” represents this country’s third largest political party, Libertarian.

For Democrats to win a presidential election, they must win Italian Style Wedding and some of the Creamy Potato. They do this, and they win.

Republicans, on the other hand, must win Savory Chicken, Chicken With Whole Grain Pasta, and some Creamy Potato.

I think this is fairly clear. The Republican party has to please a much broader base of peoples in order to be successful in federal elections (Thanks a lot Spoiler Effect). This in turn, puts them at the disadvantage. They must step slightly to the right in order to please their more conservative base, but not too far as to upset and turn off moderates. This is what I would like to call a political nightmare.

So, What I would suggest, other than actually recognizing third parties in federal elections, is for the conservative side of the spectrum to shift, just one can to it’s left. This is not nearly as drastic as it seems.

Right now, the topics that put many Americans off to the Republican party, are pretty much summed up in the realm of social issues. Now, conservatives have taken some very hard stances on many social issues in the last few years. Republicans have always opposed abortion, but the same cannot be said for the use of contraceptives. Oh no, this only developed recently. I will leave this alone now lest I devolve into a rant on the parasite known today as the Tea Party. Many of these stances taken, have religious or personal belief connotations.

Republicans, the party of smaller government, and less intrusive government, should be willing to set these stances aside, while still believing in them personally.

What would this look like? Allow me to demonstrate.

Imagine if you will, I am a candidate for president of these United States, and I am asked about my stance on same sex marriage. How should I address this issue? Is there a way that I can state what I believe without the side effects of putting the gay and lesbian voters off? The answer is: YES!

“Through my personal faith in God and his Holy Word, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. However, as potential president of these United States, it is not my job to enforce the rules and laws of my personal religion, and to make you live life in the ways in which I see fit, but rather to protect and to exercise the will of the people I govern. It is not within the governments ability to dictate it’s people lifestyles, unless these lifestyles are an immediate threat to the well being of the people around them. (Also, a president’s opinions on same sex marriage should not matter to us in the least, as laws regarding marriage are the sole right of the states. I can never figure out why people care so much about this topic.)”

In this response, I have stated my personal beliefs, and chosen the lesser intrusive style of government, a choice Republicans usually applaud. By recognizing that this is indeed my personal belief, but that it is not the government’s job to decide, I have taken one step to the left, or shifted one can left. Is this going to win the vote of all gay and lesbian voters? No, but maybe it will put less of them off. The last several elections have been incredibly close in the realm of the popular vote, and democrats have won the last two in the cities of swing states. Republicans, if they wish to remain relevant, or even hold any semblance of position in government, need to do a better job of winning the American Moderate. Without this group, the party is destined to fade away into history, joining the parties most have never heard of, such as the federalists and the anti-federalists. Hmm. Sounds familiar.

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2 thoughts on “The “One Can Shift”

  1. I like your “one can approach” to change, and I like your commitment to the separation of church and state. States rights is debatable on individual issues unless the constitution specifies. In the case of marriage, I believe you are correct in saying that it is given to the states to decide, but the case could be made here that this should be a nation-wide human rights issue regardless of the specifics of the constitution, but that’s not what I want to talk about.

    The problem that I have always noticed with the Republican party is that it is basically split into two large groups: social conservatives and economic conservatives. Put bluntly, extreme social conservatives lead to the crazy that the people hear. Both when extremist social conservatives talk, and when republican politicians are forced to pander to them. And provided your goal is to get the economy to do well as fast as possible, there is nothing dated about the ideas of economic conservatives. I agree with you that what puts most people off about the Republican party before they even look at economics is the extreme social conservatives. People are not instantly put off by the smaller government, lower taxes, “grease the capitalism machine” ideas. To make the moderates agree more with Republicans, you must curb the influence of extreme social conservatives, get them to update their perspectives (not easy). To paraphrase ultra-social conservative Pat Robertson of all people… “We should stop talking about our beliefs, so we can get elected.” This of course would help, but doesn’t really solve anything. To conclude this thought, you should have ranted about the Tea Party.

    The issue of the “size and intrusiveness of government” is often the idea which reconciles the social and economic conservatives as seems to be the case with yourself. This can be argued on a case-specific basis, and seems to me to not be the major reason that people don’t side with republicans, except in the case of people generationally on welfare, I don’t know the number of people this phrase applies to, but I’m inclined to believe it is far less that Romney’s 47%. In their case, Rush Limbaugh’s “In a nation of children, Santa Claus wins” argument is valid, but I don’t believe this is the main disconnect between republicans and moderates. As stated above, I think the main problem is the extreme social conservatives.

    I believe there are two keys to maximum-sustained economic prosperity: moderated capitalism and a culture/ infrastructure that fosters, respects, and protects innovation and intellectualism. The latter is where I believe social conservatives fail. As for economic conservatives, economic issues don’t put people off as quickly, but when you don’t moderate capitalism, it tends to lead to an economic climax community. (Ex: a rainforest in an ecological sense, where little to no sunlight gets to the ground for new trees to grow because the existing trees take it all). When you have an economic climax community, you get a huge income inequality, and alot of unhappy voters… All I believe is necessary to moderate capitalism successfully is fostering competition as it is most beneficial for the people. This is where I believe the economic conservatives fail, I remain convinced that most politicians (pretty much except libertarians) put forth as economically conservative report to the existing trees more than they should. (I could go way more into how I believe that capitalism works most efficiently for the majority when it is not quite at a climax community).

    The world is changing faster than it ever has, and it is only going to get faster. Businesses in the market of commodities (meaning low-skill-labor, anyone can do it) will be under pressure to cut costs the most, this usually means shipping their low-skill jobs overseas. We need a culture that fosters human capital (useful skills) that the world wants in order to maintain, and increase the number of higher-skill, higher-paying jobs. This means that people need to be adaptable, scientifically literate, and well-educated. Extreme social conservatives seem to stand in the way of that on many grounds. In short, America doesn’t agree with the extremists (not just on the republican side), they are your problem, get them to change, but good luck.

    That said, the typical voter is an idiot and will vote for whoever looks more lively and/or whose party has not seemed responsilbe for the most failures lately.

    • I appreciate the response, and am actually quite interested in your thoughts regarding capitalism. I most certainly have mixed feelings on the system, but we as greedy humans seem pretty good at running it (even when it leads to super corporations like Wal-mart that destroy small businesses everywhere they pop up.).

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