May 12, 2006

Want my Vote? Earn It

Anyone who happened to drop by earlier in the week probably noticed I'm just a bit unhappy with the White House right now over it's permissiveness regarding illegal immigration. Like many conservatives, that is just one of many issues that is causing Republican credibility to plummet, as this D.C. Examiner editorial noticed:

Bush's refusal to veto pork-barrel spending has compromised the efficacy of his tax cuts. Indeed, “limited government” never looked so big. Adding to Bush's problem is the stench of scandal stinking up Capitol Hill on both sides of the aisle. Conservatives look at 12 years of GOP control of Congress and wonder why they don't have much more to show for it.

On foreign policy, conservatives have admired Bush's steadfast pursuit of the war on terror, but they are puzzled and frustrated that he so resolutely refuses to take concrete, credible actions to secure our borders. When they learn the U.S. Border Patrol is alerting Mexican authorities of Minutemen locations, many conservatives call it the last straw.

Karl Rove reportedly has a plan to “stir up” the base to again save the Republicans' electoral bacon, but conservatives won't be satisfied this time around with more token efforts on issues like marriage and dire warnings that “the Democrats would be far worse.” Conservatives have heard that song before and know it never has a second verse.

For all the reasons above and more, I'm at a point where I'm ready to consider disassociating myself from the Republican Party, and from the grumbling I've heard, I am far from alone. What would bring me back?

National Defense.
Our active duty military deserves flexible, lightweight body armor. Our duty military deserves more modern small arms that are more rugged and offer better stopping power. We need faster, lighter, reliable and more survivable mechanized transport and combat vehicles on land, and in our near-shore and riverine “brown water” navy.

Our active duty, retired, and disabled veterans deserve far better benefits than those they currently subsist on. I'm specifically focusing on medical care for disabled and retired veterans and their survivors. The brave men and women of the United States military put their lives on the line for this nation, and it seems that the very least we should do in return is treat those lives with the proper respect and humility their sacrifice warrants.

Educate government employees as to the proper legal channels for whistle-blowing. Heavily investigate leaks, and pass a law mandating a minimum of five years in prison for those that do not follow this procedure (i.e. leak to the press).

And while I realize this is very controversial position and not one most other conservatives accept, I think “don't ask, don't tell” is a foolish position, barring thousands of patriotic Americans from serving their country for reasons that have little to do with their ability to serve or fight.

We need to do a lot more for our military, but this is probably as much as we can handle in one or two election cycles.

Smaller, smarter government.
We cannot cut taxes and raise spending and expect anything good to come from it. We can keep the tax cuts, but we have to dramatically lower spending. The best way to do this is by substantially reducing the ability to introduce and increasing the ability to strike congressional earmarks.

Disband the Department of Homeland Security. Like the plague, it seems to kill everything it touches, from FEMA to the Border Patrol. We do not need another layer of red tape slowing things down at the very moments that real homeland security depends on speed and decisive action.

Election reform.
Reverse McCain-Feingold, as this infringement on free speech leads to a less-informed American voter at the period in time they are most interested in listening. Introduce federal standards for a secure photo ID for American voters. America has sacrificed far too much blood for the freedom of self-governance, and each individual's precious vote must be protected. A secure photo ID for voters is a step in that direction long overdue. A return to paper ballots, while cumbersome and slower than modern technologies, is also a step in the direction of securing the integrity of the voting process. “Old tech” paper ballots are much more difficult to destroy or illegally modify than other ways of registering votes.

Embrace Diversity
Yes, just repeating this empty liberal talking point gives you a vaguely disgusting feeling like wet grass clippings clinging to your skin, but we should own this. Most core conservative values are common across racial and economic lines. Most communities want lower taxes, smaller, smarter government, and broad support for their families. We need to undo the damage Johnson's “Great Society” did to minority communities, and try to reverse the current trend of too many single-parent families and too many of their men underemployed or in prison. They deserve better lives, and we should be able to find a way to help them accomplish that. Right now, we're doing them no more favors than Democrats are. That needs to change.

Protect Your Own.
Sick to death of wasting billion to prop-up corrupt governments overseas while our citizens are missing the basics that they should have for being an American, we should embrace “screw you” foreign policy. There are many governments in the world taking billions of dollars of our money that are actively working against us. That has to stop. Throw the United Nations out of New York, and stop subsidizing it. It has never done anything for us of note, and all too often sympathizes with nations that do not have humanity's best interests at heart. Let John Bolton's final gesture to this den of thieves be with a raised finger. Let NATO handle their own problems, as they certainly don't support ours. Make a new alliance with the Anglosphere and other like-minded nations.

Stop supporting the importation of poverty into America. A border fence like none other should seal off the border with Mexico entirely. Call National Guard units to the border until the fence is completed. Deport all illegals, for any infraction at all. Heavily fine any employer who hires illegals, and split that fine in half, dedicating ½ to social programs to help the assimilation of legal immigrants, and ½ to whistleblowers who report illegals and those who hire them. Call it deportation an assimilation through capitalism.

Take some of those trillions of dollars saved by no longer supporting petty tyrants and invest them in the United States. Develop our own domestic energy resources to be self-sufficient. Technologies exist to extract energy from our oil, coal and gas reserves that are far cleaner and safe that once existed, and with our vast economic resources, we should be able to rapidly develop now energy sources so that we are an energy exporter instead of importer.

Create a healthcare system that provides an publicly-acceptable level of coverage and care to all citizens and legal aliens.

De-fund the albatross that is Social Security, and instead, create a working, sustainable retirement system that allows people to invest in privatized accounts.

Encourage the return to nuclear families, and support community-based initiatives.

* * *

That is the dream platform to re-capture my vote. I wonder if anyone will come close to providing it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 12, 2006 01:44 PM | TrackBack

I have a lot of respect for your opinions normally, but the 'create a healthcare system that....'? No. To the extent that governments are already involved in 'the healthcare system', they've made a mess; the more involved they are, the bigger the mess and they started the mess in the '60s with Medicare.

We need the laws changed so that health insurance companies can sell policies across state lines, so that companies can offer policies including and excluding specific items (I'm 52, why do I need maternity coverage?), and uncouple health insurance from employment. Allow people to deduct a sizeable portion of their policy premiums from their taxes, as businesses do now.

On diversity: every time anybody, even Bill Cosby himself, tries to suggest to black people today to take some responsibility for their plight, somebody starts screaming racism. Other than to encourage the irresponsible and the ignorant to get on the stick and start taking advantage of the opportunities present everywhere, I don't see another option besides cutting off the money: no welfare (really!), no food-stamps, no apartment-vouchers for pregnant 16 year-olds.

As to the border/illegal alien issue, I'm right there with you on that. We are indeed importing poverty and it just aggravates existing problems that face the poor of every race.

Posted by: Cindi at May 12, 2006 01:43 PM

I agree 100%! Can I copy this and send it to my Senators, Graham & DeMint?

Posted by: scmommy at May 12, 2006 02:27 PM

I think conservatives and liberals alike give the Bush administration too much flak for the "lower taxes, higher spending" trend in our fiscal policy. While my education in economics at this point is only a few semesters, I have learned at this point, the fiscal responsibilities of the government in given situations: Bush entered office faced with a recession, a slowing economy. This situation required stimulation from the government by putting more money out into the economy (decrease taxes and spend government money on things). Low taxes and high spending is a legitimate response (if not the only acceptable one) to a recession.

granted... the money spent needs to go OUT of the government and into things of use, which the current gov has not done well, but criticize them for UNWISE spending, not spending outright.

Posted by: K-Det at May 12, 2006 02:34 PM

You may be partially right that all of the fiscal problems are not Bush's fault, K-Det. But when he wills into existense brand new entitlements like the prescription drug thing, it's clear that a large portion of the fault does indeed lie on his shoulders. Not vetoing pork-laden bills is also to his detriment.

I'm mostly with the CY on this. I sent back the latest RNC request for donation (they come once a month I think), saying

I am not feeling well. If, By November, we are not breaking ground on a fence on our southern border, and also breaking ground in ANWR, I feel confident that I will be too sick to vote.

I hope they get the message. I don't think I could vote for a Democrat, but I'll be damned if I'm going to keep a group in power that does not do what I helped elect it to do.

Posted by: Kevin at May 12, 2006 02:50 PM

Very nice.

Posted by: Amber at May 12, 2006 09:06 PM

Yes...It is Johnny Liberal. I am back!

A comment on healthcare since Confederate Yankee's most recent statement is a broad topic on major issues we would like to see fixed:

All of you so called conservatives (I don't see anything occurring today as conservative) like to tout that the "free" market will fix all problems, like healthcare.

However, I will point out that healthcare is not a "free" market, so this solution (basically no solution) will simply not work.

Case and point:

Freemarket scenario:

Jane Doe goes to buy a house. Jane finds and likes house. Jane cannot afford house. Jane does not buy house! Jane does not live in house! If the price of the house is too high, and there are no takers, the price will eventually go down.

The U.S. Healthcare scenario:

Jane Doe (who is an illegal immigrant I might add) goes to buy a house. Jane finds and likes house. Jane cannot afford house. Jane does not buy a house, but we give her the house anyways. The "free" market does not apply, because the equation is broken! Everyone else who pays for houses now pays more in future, because somebody did not carry there weight in past. The problem is exponential, as more and more people either can no longer afford the increasing prices, or others who can afford realize this system is broken and they opt not to pay as well (the worst kind of pond scum imaginable).


There are only two solutions:

First, you change the law. If you can't afford healthcare, then you don't receive healthcare. This is immoral and not acceptable if you have warm blood in your body.

Second, government (yes that word you all hate)must intervene since we are not dealing with a free market system.

Government is necessary to solve this problem, but we have no leadership. Our leadership is contributing to the problem by allowing millions of people into our country everyday who are not part of our healthcare system. Corporations pay less for sweatshop labor. We pay less for goods and services. But, we end up paying the difference somewhere else. WAKE UP PEOPLE! YOU ARE BEING TAXED! IT JUST DOESN'T SAY "TAX" ON YOUR PAYSTUB. IT SAYS "BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD".

Posted by: Johnny at May 13, 2006 08:11 AM

CY -

I share your frustration with the Republican Party. My GOP roots are very deep, and it amazes me no end to watch a political party who controls 2/3 (2 of 3 branches) of the most powerful government on the planet act as if it has no power, for its politicians are paralyzed by fear, and they always seem to seek approval from the "mainstream" media, who will never give the GOP credit for anything but failure.

However, I also grow weary reading the "make me happy or I'll be too tired to vote" comments. Pure poppycock, in my humble opinion. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. More on that in a moment.

Yes, I know this is the time to scare our people into doing the right thing. Yes, I understand the need to energize the conservative base. Yes, I understand that conservatives are generally more intellectually honest than our liberal counterparts and thus enjoy more vigorous debate about the relevant issues of the day. Yes, I know that faithful are the wounds of a friend.

But enough is enough. Surely the Democrats who read such comments are rubbing their hands and greedily grinning at you and my fellow conservatives' angst and apparent willingness to vote with our rear ends sitting on the sofa on election day.

Don't get me wrong. I too want a wall on the border and aggressive immigration enforcement. I too want lower spending to accompany lower taxes. I want everything my fellow conservatives have always wanted, historically.

But I have never forgetten Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment: "THOU SHALT NOT SPEAK ILL OF A FELLOW REPUBLICAN."

Reagan's sage advice was not just the simple, idealistic musings of an eternal optimist. It was brilliant political strategy and one to which we should least in a public realm.

How often do you ever see the Democrats eating their political children? How many times during the Clinton years did you see Democratic senators holding press conferences against Clinton's stance? Rarely, if at all. A virtually unified front at all times.

It's ironic that they actually get it. It amazes me how, especially in an election year, we never do.

Lest I give offense to the independent intellectual streak for which conservatives are known, I'm not advocating goose-stepping to the Bush/GOP party line. I just wish such criticism would stay behind the scenes as much as possible. No one likes to see a family fight, except our enemies, and we have many, particularly in the press.

Instead, can we just keep our disagreements among ourselves for once?

Posted by: Atticus_NC at May 13, 2006 09:13 PM

I'm one GOP donor that has sworn off the Party. I've told my excellent congressman, D. Hunter, and various Party ops local and national that I will vote in opposition to any GOP candidate in 2006.

I won't comment on your bitch list for I don't care about issues at this point. I have decided that the persistent bait & switch lies from the GOP leaders and their remarkable combination of cowardice, incompetence and arrogance make the Republican Party as it stands no longer an honorable choice for a conservative American.

My position is that this corrupt leadership can be swept away only by a massive defection of conservatives from the Party. It should happen now in 2006 while the Executive will remain capable of vetoing, God willing, the looney judges and laws that will be thrown up by the Dems. If we don't burn down the House in 2006 these lemmings in the GOP will continue running toward the cliff and we'll lose all branches to the Dems in 2008.

I hope to see the GOP in ashes and a real conservative party rise up.


Posted by: Richard at May 14, 2006 07:50 AM

I won't go so far as to say that I won't vote... why? Because politicians don't learn lessons. We won't be "showing em' that we're serious. The only real place that we conservatives can effect change is in the primaries. DO NOT send money to the RNC, instead support legitimately conservative candidates in the primaries. This is the only way to rid ourselves of RINOs. I'm with Atticus_NC... we will get through this, but only by directing this energy towards things that make a difference. To summarize: 1)support individuals with your time, talent, and treasure (not the RNC) and 2) Affect change in the primaries.

Posted by: The Fastest Squirrel at May 15, 2006 01:41 PM