Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This Is Not Your Father’s Republican Party!

I know from personal experience that debating hard-core political right- or left-wingers about inconsistencies in, and questions about the effectiveness of their respective ideologies is often an act of futility worthy of a Saturday morning knock at the door by a conversion-minded Jehovah’s Witness. In fact, one would do better trying to talk to a tree; at least when the wind blows, a tree will actually sway, resembling an actual response. For extreme and/or die-hard conservatives and liberals, their near religious adherence to their beliefs stands as a testament to why we have become so both politically and socially polarized as nation (e.g., The Tea Party & Christian Fundamentalists on the Right, and Gay Marriage & Rabid Feminists on the Left).
While doing a little research, I came upon a bit of political history from the election season of 1964, when current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney also sought the Republican nomination for the White House). At the time, George Romney was a moderate conservative, supporting call for Civil Rights, and rejecting the rigid ideology of those supporting his one-time rival for the ’64 nomination—and standard-bearing symbol of ideological conservatism—Barry Goldwater (who opposed, among other things, the cause of Civil Rights). In protest of the staunch ideologues support of their ideological champion, Goldwater, Romney walked out of the 1964 Republican Convention, and warned:

As if those prophetic words weren’t enough, Goldwater himself warned about Fundamentalist Christians’ potential influence within the party…

If you want to know whether or not the warnings of these two moderate (by today's standards) Republicans were heeded, look at the platform adopted this week during the 2012 Republican Convention from Tampa, Florida...

Subtitled “We Believe in America,” the platform keeps its focus on the party’s traditional support for low taxes, national security and social conservatism. And it delves into a number of politically charged issues. It calls state court decisions recognizing same-sex marriage “an assault on the foundations of our society,” opposes gun legislation that would limit “the capacity of clips or magazines,” supports the “public display of the Ten Commandments,” calls on the federal government to drop its lawsuits challenging state laws adopted to combat illegal immigration, and salutes the Republican governors and lawmakers who “saved their states from fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing public employee unions.” (Source; "Platform’s Sharp Turn to Right Has Conservatives Cheering," NYTimes, 08-28-12).

The message here is simple: (1) Not all change is good change; (2)The Republicans (as well as the Democrats) need to purge their ranks of the extremist elements, and get back to a time when the traditional family—not business—was the nucleus of policy and social influence in America; (3) Father knows best!