Yesterday’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia serve as a chilling reminder of our nation’s troubled past, and present. Many of us would like to think that the racism, hate, ignorance, and terror that we saw yesterday should be confined to history books and lecture, but instead, as if the images were ripped from those very same history books, we saw enormous crowds marching with torches ablaze, in what became nothing short of a shameful and violent riot. It cannot be said clearly enough: The actions and words of these white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and whatever other title or ideology of hate that engaged in yesterdays events are despicable, reprehensible, deplorable, and should be viewed as nothing less than among the most putrid and vile filth of humanity.
The Trump Administration has completed its first overseas tour, and as has become common place with the Trump Presidency, it was not without its share of stumbles. The trip has been characterized by a “stone faced” Pope, a now infamous hand shake, a “First Couple” hand swat, a Presidential “push,” and the awkward sneering and body language of world leaders at the G7 Summit. In the aftermath of the trip, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the seemingly central figurehead in European politics, said that they as Europeans “really must take our fate into our own hands” after her many conversations with Trump. Trump’s take on the tour was very different, as it is usual. “Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!” Trump was his typical sullen self, teaming with machismo and ego, but at least according to his Administration the trip was a success.
Just the other night, Marco Rubio gave a moving, and admittedly soapbox, speech on the Senate floor. Among the key points of his speech, he focused primarily on how he believes that “we (the senate and perhaps the country as a whole) are reaching a point in this republic where we are not able to solve the simplest issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody.” Furthermore, he stated that “what’s at stake here… is not simply “some rule,” but the ability of the most important nation on Earth to debate, in a productive and respectful way, the issues before it.” It is my hope that you, the reader, would be able to identify the reasoning behind why that notion resonates so well with my own line of thinking, and even the primary focus of this site. The irony, however, is that Rubio’s words, while moving, can and should be turned around and applied to the Republican Party itself. Continue reading
I cannot think of a time where my interest in politics has ever been so lackluster or lethargic. The nature of this election cycle, with two major party candidates with views both equidistant from that of my own, only served to repel many, including myself, from the political machine. The few times that I did motivate myself to write, I did so with a harsh bent for the political right, and specifically for Donald Trump. I thought to myself; “There is no possible way that this man can win!”
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
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.