That made me read it -- I agree!
Very thoughtful piece. Thanks DD.
DD, What a great message to the GOP from a native "white guy" who's ancestors came on Mayflower 1. I'm not sure they'll hear or learn from his well communicated post. I left my message on the board.
I posted it on Facebook and it's already been shared a bunch of times.
Great letter Drew. Thanks. Being an older white heterosexual myself I totally understand where the writer is coming from. I am consistently reminded that my problem is really my liberalism though, here on this board.
Well, that, and your lack of hair. Get a warm hat.
This is what happens when you criminalise abortion.
The death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant is the subject of two investigations at University Hospital Galway in the Republic of Ireland.
Savita Halappanavar's family said she asked several times for her pregnancy to be terminated because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying.
Her family claimed it was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat. She died on 28 October.
An autopsy carried out two days later found she had died from septicaemia.
Ms Halappanavar, who was 31, was a dentist.
Her husband, Praveen, told the Irish Times that medical staff said his wife could not have an abortion because Ireland was a Catholic country and the foetus was still alive.
I've never been very comfortable with the extent of American Conservatism's focus on so-called "social" issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, and expressions of religion in the public square. Not because I believe the positions that generally follow this focus are hateful or born of any of the base motivations their opponents cast for them, but because they most often want them addressed at the Federal level, they are not even close to being universally embraced by all conservatives, and they provide excellent fodder for the demonization efforts of Liberals who appreciate that, at least every four years, it's the headline not the paragraphs of text that wins elections.
The Tea Party movement began due to a concern over Big Government, Big Spending, and Big Debt. Early on there was a fairly concerted effort to keep the focus on these issues and to not take on "social issues." Considering that many of the strongest social conservatives are also very strong fiscal conservatives, it was inevitable that they would find a way to bring their favorite issues into the movement's area of concern.
I still believe that the Tea Party movement (to the extent that it can be defined) is primarily concerned about the issues that led to its launching, but obviously there have been candidate who have taken on the mantle of the Tea Party who have placed a great emphasis on one or more "social" issue. In doing so, I don't think they were attempting to reinforce their support among folks who self-identify as Tea Party members, but those who self-identify as Evangelicals. For the most part, the candidates the Tea Party has supported are professional politicians. There have been a few “first timers” like Allen West, but in the end, most of them are more interested in getting elected than holding true to the principles of the folks who sent them to DC.
In any case for the Conservative Movement in America to advance, it needs remain true to one of its central tenets, that decentralized government is the best government and leave the “social issues” to the States where they are more appropriately addressed. If a State imposes a law that one of its citizens cannot abide, that citizen can always relocate to another state. When the federal government imposes such a law, there is no viable alternative for the dissenter.
As we saw in this election cycle, the tide finally seems to have turned on same-sex marriage. This is fine with me because although I appreciate some aspect of the “traditional marriage” argument, let’s face it, the institution of marriage in this country has moved well beyond any notion of tradition even if it’s between a man and a woman. Better that couples themselves define what marriage means for them then the State. In the end it will be the traditional marriages, in terms of depth of commitment rather than gender or any other superficial concern, that will last, and why should conservatives frown upon gays and lesbians who are willing to commit to a traditional committed bonding under God and the law?
There will be some in this forum who may be surprised by the foregoing, but that is only because they have failed to realize that my arguments in the social issue arena have more to do with my repugnance with attempts to paint people of good faith with differing opinions as hate filled Neanderthals.
Although no Christian, I do believe that even from a secular position, we must acknowledge as certainty that life begins at conception. One doesn’t have to believe in God to believe that as humans, human life must be held sacred. The glib in this forum often counter with what about the “born,” isn’t their life sacred? Of course it is, but it shouldn’t require a PhD in philosophy to appreciate that destroying human life is not the same as failing to support efforts perceived (rightly or wrongly) that preserve it. All of the arguments about consideration of the “born” are based on either absurd and hyperbolic partisan bile, or an absolutist belief that the favored government programs actually achieve their goal. Neither measure up to the clear cold fact that abortion, with nuance or opinion, kills. You may be someone who considers a fetus no more of a human life than a living cell in the human body, but I truly believe this is an argument of convenience and that none of you consider abortion the same event as picking a scab.
In any case if one wishes to be a politician, one needs to be politic, and unless one’s entire campaign is based on the issue of abortion (in which case one would not have Tea Party support), one has to realize that the baseline in America is that abortion must be legal in the case of rape, incest and the life of the mother. Any argument, no matter how intellectually or spiritually consistent, that suggest that abortion in the case of rape should be banned is a flat out, no contest loser, and if one advance it in one’s campaign, one will lose. If one is lucky and the question doesn’t come up during one’s campaign and one is elected, if one advances the notion as an elected official, one will not be re-elected. The votes one may receive by advancing the notion will never be enough.
If conservatives cannot accept that while the issue of abortion is unsettled in America, it has long been decided that it is acceptable in the cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother, they have no future.
God in the public sphere? God doesn’t need it, and if a few words said to be his are chiseled into the stone of a courthouse wall will that really reduce the number of crimes prosecuted there? Kids praying in school? They can do it if they want and a proscribed time for it isn’t going to mean they don’t spend the minutes thinking about Dragonball Z. The fact of the matter is that, for better or worse, America is increasing turning away from God and religion (at a much slower pace than the rest of the Western world to be sure, but still it is). If this makes Americans the targets of God’s wrath, then so be it because the people who have made the shift don’t see it that way and no one is going to force them to. Believers will simply have to have faith that God can be selective when he unleashes his fury against those who have turned their faces from him.
The true tenets of conservatism are not going to go out of style. No one thinks it’s cool to be a cog in the wheel of Big Government. People inherently know that there is a difference between those who make and those who take, and those who make feel a whole lot better about themselves than those who take. Kids today who are all for soaking The Rich to help them pay for their tuition debts are going to age and then it will be there wealth at stake. If the current trend continues, at some point conservatism will actually be able to take advantage of the iconoclastic nature of youth. Freedom from Big Government can be an intoxicating battle cry.
From a purely political perspective, the Conservative movement (and the GOP) doesn’t need to be tied down by the “social issue” advocates. They need only take a lesson from Obama and the Democrats. All of his single issue supporters (Gays, Environmentalist, Labor, and Pacifists etc) have been disappointed in his first four years for one reason or another, but did they switch to Romney? No they didn’t.
The Republican single issue groups aren’t going to vote Democrat either. The only concern is that they might not vote at all, and here’s where the GOP needs to take another lesson. Turn out efforts have to be improved. These folks can be encouraged and led to vote if they haven’t been hearing all they want to hear. So they vote for the lesser of two evils? Who cares, as long as the candidate they vote for is conservative?
Not because I believe the positions that generally follow this focus are hateful or born of any of the base motivations their opponents cast for them . . .
You just can't discuss any of these subjects without erecting a straw man of those with whom you don't agree. You apparently can't view those who don't agree with you in any manner but a two dimensional cardboard cutout. You're a sad case.
Although no Christian, I do believe that even from a secular position, we must acknowledge as certainty that life begins at conception. One doesn’t have to believe in God to believe that as humans, human life must be held sacred.
Just because one feels life begins at conception doesn't give strangers the right to choose what a woman and her doctor decides. Besides, the issue of "life begins at conception" is hypocrisy at its worst; nobody who claims such is willing to support that pregnant woman to fund the raising of that child. If it's so important, how about paying for its birth and upkeep? Talk is cheap.
As a complete stranger, you are willing to impose your beliefs on other humans who are best to decide what's best for themselves.
A straw man?
Because no one in these forum, let alone in the wider world demonizes these folks for being hateful bigots.
You zero in on one line in a rather long post in order to back your inevitable disregard.
Who is the sad case Set?
Yea, morals is great when one can't see their own "sins."
I want to protect all babies; ****, get real!
Do you know how many infanticides they perform in India every year? How about abortions in Vietnam?
You are ths sad case, Moosehead. You have demonized everyone who might not agree with the values of the religiously conservative. Leaving aside that there is no possible way for you to know what absolutely everyone who does not agree with conservative ideology actually feels about the people who do agree with that ideology--i have not said that no one demonizes them, so that's yet another typical straw man from you. That there are some people who demonize them is not evidence that everyone who disagrees with them demonizes them.
Your entire post is poisoned by that kind of attitude on your part--that you know for a fact what people, whether those who agree (more or less) with your political outlook, or those who disagree, think abou others. I have no doubt that you see yourself as a thoughtful fount of wisdom. I see you as a reckless bigot. Get over it.
Blah blah blah
And I care so much how you see me.
You've made your point, now move on.
So you think god died and put you in charge? You move on, Moosehead, you're stinking the place up.
I was interested in the ideas coming out during the early days of the Tea Party Movement. I was also interested in the ideas coming out during the early days of the Occupy Movement. I was hearing similar refrains from both groups, although they were focussed on different specifics. What I was hearing is, "Something is wrong" and "The 'system' is broken". Both groups gave voice to the idea that we can't keep going the way we're headed, but they had different experiences and complaints. I agree with that sentiment. We need to revamp the 'system' to better meet the needs and desires of Americans. Determining the role of the federal government is part of that. My battle cry has always been against the two-party system and I still feel that political parties are the bane of us all.
I very much agree with the blogger from the previous page. I too should be Low Hanging Fruit for Republican/conservative candidates. Given my conservative upbringing I should be easy pickings, but for the same reasons detailed by Mr Garland I completely rejected anyone with an R next too his/her name as I cast my ballot this year (first time ever).
I also agree with some of your points above. Social conservatives and small government conservatives need to part ways. The primary process of the Republican party needs to somehow put forth a candidate who can appeal to moderates and independents. Small government conservatives can't hope to win a national election if they ignore the points made in Eric Garland's blog, including (and perhaps especially) the point about meanness.
You got my thumb's up, because I also agree. It's really not even a specter of what the republican party used to be.