Friday, June 5, 2009

Republican Philosophy: A Brief--Undeniable--Overview

A Republican pal of mine asked me today who I was voting for in the upcoming elections and when I answered, he wanted to know if I had considered any of the Republican candidates. "No," I said, "I oppose Republican philosophy."

He was not so much surprised as curious as to what exactly I meant by that, so I explained and asked him to please correct me if I was wrong on any of this. Here's what my impression of Republican philosophy is:
  • Republicans believe any American should be able to own any gun he wants and should be allowed to take that gun any place he wants at any time.
  • Republicans believe that women should not be able to choose whether they have a baby, or whether a person has the right to die at a time of his choosing with a physician's assistance. These are government options, they believe.
  • Republicans believe the right to marry the person of his choice is a government decision, not a private decision. Certain people, therefore, may not marry, generally based upon the religious belief of a majority of Republicans.
  • Republicans believe that the government should refuse the use of certain medicines, which the medical community has approved for use (think marijuana).
  • Republicans believe we have the right to invade other countries if we think they might be considering harming us or if they differ with us on policy.
  • Republicans believe that people should be able to smoke cigarettes when and where they choose and that the government has no right to require businesses to be smoke free or children to be protected from smoke.
  • Republicans believe that the government has the right to kill people convicted of crimes.
  • Republicans believe that people suspected of terrorism have no rights and that they can be held indefinitely without trial, without explanation, without evidence.
  • Republicans believe that the economy is more important than the environment, that business is not responsible for pollution, that global warming is a myth and that the market will create a good environment.
  • Republicans have denied and tried to influence scientific research.
  • Many Republicans believe the Theory of Evolution is a hoax and have demanded that alternatives be taught.
  • Republicans believe public prayer should be required in schools and at many public functions.
  • Republicans believe that the war with Iraq was necessary, righteous and prudent.
  • Republicans believe that we should be able to have as many children as we want under any circumstances.
  • Republicans believe that health care, insurance, retirement pensions and education are the responsibility of the individual and not of the state.
  • Republicans believe that, in general, the state has no business supporting the arts.
  • Republicans believe the Fairness Doctrine (giving all political viewpoints a chance on our airwaves) was bogus.
  • Republicans believe that individuals' access to the courts should be curtailed.
  • Republicans believe business should not--in general--be regulated, even for health, safety, worker protection, product liability, fair wages and benefits practices and that union activity should be discouraged at every level possible.
  • Republicans believe that, by and large, taxes should be eliminated or reduced, especially on businesses and on the wealthy, creating a "trickle-down effect" dependent upon the largesse of said businesses and wealthy individuals.
I may have missed one or two items here, but that's basically what I had in mind. I'd love to hear an argument that it's not true.


  1. The 4,096 character limit has derailed my detailed comment.
    But in essence, my opinion is that govt, by way of the Constitution, has no business telling anyone to do or not do a certain thing like smoking, using seat belts, climbing mountains and getting lost (oh, wait... we can do that), paying into social scams, making small operators compete with govt departments, subsidized businesses, and NPO's, forcing us to be charitable, or equal (which has been covered from day one), all the while faking property ownership of the citizens, and providing safety measures to people who have no common sense of their own (except climbing mountains and getting lost).
    As far as religiosity, it doesn't belong in government and is also of a private matter. What if 95% of the USA becomes Santerian?
    (Some people are probably thinking, "Awesome!!!" I'm sure it is.)
    Wouldn't it be a grand idea to force homeowners to adopt a homeless person? It'd be cheaper than welfare! I know, that's a stupid idea. And so are all the regulations aimed at your personal freedom. They take away individual choices and turn people into slaves.
    And we value our choices... at least in iPhones and such!!

    (Thanks for letting me get a little out of the ballpark here...)

  2. But not all Republicans believe in the list you have posted, Dan... The image you gave here is what the MSM is pumping using high-paid entertainers like Hannity and Rush. The sad thing is that people become disciples. Look at Britney fans - it's not that hard to do.

    I have shop-owner friends who vote GOP and disagree with many points you posted. But they agree less with liberals. Both sides get more extreme as time goes by. (In fact, someone pointed out to me that JFK by today's standards would appear very conservative. And he's correct.)

    Yes, those are the typical points, though. And unfortunately, when Republicans summarize what the Dems are about, they would be correct, too.

    Have you read The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby? It goes into detail about religion in the GOP, pre-empting of funding for science, and various things that make them mean, selfish, and backward. But she isn't exactly praising the public school system, either.

    There's a reason why liberals are called "elitists." It seems they fine-comb and over-compensate for all sorts of causes and pass the costs off to me and you... but never in their backyard. (Like wind turbines off Martha's Vineyard.)

    Anyway, enough from me...

  3. SCF: Thank you for your twin missives. I like your style, but you didn't really debunk anything I said. Remember, I the positions I attributed are all publicly stated by the party. I'm not talking individuals; this is about the party line and any party will have dissenting individuals on specifics. It is not about liberals or old-party patrician repubs (who've been out-yelled); it's about today's party. (And I will emphasize that JFK was, indeed, a conservative by anybody's measure. He was a quick-triggered cold warrior, misogynistic womanizer and arm-breaking politician who was tight with a checkbook. He was no Obama. He wasn't even a TR. If "liberal" means wild spender, think George Bush II.)

  4. "If 'liberal' means wild spender, think George Bush II."
    No doubt.

    Well, you got me, then. There's not much to debunk, except that what's preached is often not practiced, or alternately, is allowed by way of "members only" status.
    Example, your first point: Republicans believe any American should be able to own any gun he wants and should be allowed to take that gun any place he wants at any time.
    How many Republicans would vote pro-gun in Newark, DC, Detroit, Atlanta, etc??
    On the other hand... maybe they mean "and places he needs to visit any time."
    (You see the trouble I can get into?!!)

    Thanks again for indulging me!!

    PS - Visiting a Botetourt County Gun Shop during pre-election last year, I overheard the owner and a customer (while proclaiming to be GOP fans) lament about how they would rather have been voting for Hillary... too funny!!

  5. Oh, please don't kill me for hogging up your blog...
    I'm sure you read tons of books, so excuse my referring to titles, some being far right and some far left (because we can).

    Another recent read that was to-the-point (for a Yankee like myself trying to absorb the relocation to SW VA) was Deer Hunting with Jesus, by Joe Bageant. It addresses to whom the party-line PR works for best. And those folks are soooo impressed, it's just too damned real!!

    (By clicking "Publish Your Comment" you hearby effectively ruin your public image.)
    x I agree
    I disagree

  6. Ron: If you're looking for a marvelous book on why we act as we do (even in the face of bucking self-interest) you might take a look at 'Change or Die' by Alan Deutschman, which is not about political philosophy, but could be. It is actually about lifestyle and changing our habits (or not) in the face of the ultimate challenge. I am an alcoholic and a former 3.5 packs a day smoker who is healthy as a moose now that I've stopped, but the book tells me that just 9 percent of people faced with the title ultimatum take it seriously--and the ultimatum comes from their physicians.

  7. I actually agree with a lot of what Alan Deutschman has to say having read articles of his. Not sure if you're a "Friend of Bill," but they are a great lot.

    Thanks for that. My insurance company need not worry, though. I have stopped paying into the scam. Thank G-d we are not yet forced into buying health insurance. Some day, we will be. I think insurance spoiled many people into doing what they do and then expecting doctors to fix them for free or at a shared discount.

    I like you, Dan. I enjoy your writing. That is why I thank you for indulging me. It is an indulgance. Please pardon my twisted philosophy, as it comes at the price of being a hard-headed Hungarian. Old, old bourgeoisie mentality that we were hunted for in three stupid wars. (I am not excused!!)

    We live and love despite differences - Be of silly cheer!!

  8. Ron: Disagreement is good. That's how we learn. God forbid we should live in a world where everybody agreed on everything. We'd all rust.