Friday, August 26, 2011

Case Closed

Back on August 9th, I received one of the most interesting, politically based e-mails I've ever received. In fact, it was rather comical because the words therein provided evidence backing up some of the points I've made time and time again. I should probably thank them. After "ruminating" on it, as my buddy Dale likes to say, for a couple of weeks, I thought I'd share a portion of the newsletter with you and then add a little commentary.

The portion of the e-mail newsletter that I want to call your attention to is the part titled "The Myth of the Independent Voter" and it's from the August 2011 Wilson County Tea Party Newsletter (you can link to it on their site by clicking here). The excerpt said :

"I think that most of you would agree that the two political parties are further apart in ideology today more than ever.
The left supports monstrous growth in government coupled with restrictive states' rights, higher taxes, unbridled debt, redistribution of wealth, expansion of the welfare state, class warfare, judicial activism, a weakened defense, intense government regulation and the rights and desires of the collective rather than those of the individual.  The left is against the execution of violent criminals but strongly supports the abortion of innocent babies. They want religion visually removed from every corner of our society and tried to regulate speech they oppose.  The left believes that America must apologize for her strength and view America's exceptionalism as 'greed' and 'arrogance'.  They believe that the Constitution is an ever-changing document - one that should be changed to cater to the whims of the politically powerful - rather than a document that should be revered and provide the core structure of our government.

On the other side of the spectrum are Conservative values.  They believe in smaller government in which individuals are allowed to keep as much of their earnings as possible and they support the rights of the individual.  They believe that the out-of-control debt is detrimental to our future and freedom and realize that we must live within our financial means.  They support states' rights and believe that hard work is the basis for wealth.  They believe that the welfare state, although needed for the truly  poor and disadvantaged, is destructive and addictive and that class warfare should not be part of our culture.  They believe in a strong defense, limited government regulation, the free market and adherence to the Constitution.  They believe in American exceptionalism.  Conservatives believe that innocent babies should be protected while supporting deserved punishments for violent criminal offenders who have made repeated destructive life decisions.  They strongly support the Constitution as the cornerstone of our government and judiciary and believe that this precious document should not be changed by a group of non-elected judicial activists nor is meant to be changed on a whim.

So how could someone truly place themselves ideologically in the 'middle' since the path that each of the two major political parties would like to take is starkly opposite?
You have to wonder if 'Independents' know what type of 'change' they really desire ?  In the recent debt ceiling debate, for instance, it was not possible to support fiscal responsibility while supporting higher taxes coupled with higher spending - the plan of the left.  Increased spending when the spending is based on a borrowed dollar is NOT fiscally responsible.  In addition, increased spending when you are forcibly taking money from a hard working American to give to another is not morally or fiscally responsible.

So, what is an 'Independent' voter ?
Many years ago, it might have been possible to support the ideological middle.  But now, no, it is not.  The sides are polar opposites.
You may find yourself on one side of the spectrum while supporting one or two issues from the other side but, unfortunately, your vote translates to 'all or nothing' support of the agenda of one side or the other.

There is no middle.

Most of us have a hard set of core values and beliefs that guide us through our lives.  These beliefs help us determine which stance we'll take on all issues in our life.  Therefore, if you are aware of your core values and you understand the differences between the two major political parties, you cannot be an 'Independent'.

Still consider yourself to be an 'Independent' at this point ?  You're not paying attention." (August 2011 Wilson County Tea Party Newsletter, section titled "The Myth of the Independent Voter")

My initial reaction was, "Not paying attention, huh ? Perhaps it is you who isn't 'paying attention' ?" It also occurred to me that the ideas and viewpoints expressed in the newsletter portion show exactly the kind of thinking that has wrecked the U.S. political system. I've made the point many times on this blog that for too long, we have blindly walked into the voting booth and looked for the "R" or "D" by a candidate's name and then pushed the applicable button. We've done it without knowing their stance on the issues or their voting record. We've voted for a "party" instead of the ideals we hold dear. By doing this, we've sold out the principles and values we believe in and that our country was founded on for the sake of "the party." It has to stop.

The quoted newsletter portion did get a couple of things correct. First, it correctly described the different political views of Liberals and Conservatives. Second, it accurately reflected the three main political mindsets - Liberals, Conservatives, and Moderates. However, it's accuracy pretty much ends there. The referenced portion struck me as basically a partisan piece of political propaganda that infers that as a voter you have to be a Democrat or a Republican. You can't be anything else. That's un-American in that it tells you how you must vote. Such a viewpoint throws freedom of thought and freedom of speech out the window. It's just like Liberals who support freedom of speech except when they disagree with what you're saying. In that case, they want you to "sit down and shut up." I was under the impression that the tea party groups supported freedom of speech and thought ? Hmmm. Maybe I'm confused.

Furthermore, the referenced portion implies that all Democrats are Liberal Lefties and all Republicans are Conservatives. Nothing could be father from the truth. There are many Republicans that are as Liberal as Democrats. I could list them, but I'd be typing for the rest of the weekend. In addition, there is the implication that all Independents are moderates, or fence sitters, Once again, untrue. Some Independents may be moderates, but some Democrats and Republicans consider themselves to be moderates, too. Heck, there are many voters who call themselves Independents who are far more conservative than any Republican ever thought about being.

I guess the thing that really jumped out at me as I read is the lack of understanding of U.S. politics. The number of voters registered as Democrats or Republicans do NOT determine the outcome of our elections. Just ask anyone who has studied Political Science. It is a well established fact that the American electorate is about one-third Democrat, one-third Republican, and the other third consider themselves Independents. It is these Independents that decide the outcome of elections. Often, an Independent is not a moderate or someone who sits on the fence. They are voters who have simply chosen not to affiliate with one of the major parties for any number of reasons. Oftentimes, it is because they used to be a member of one of the major parties but became "disgruntled" with it. In other cases, it could be that an Independent may tend to vote Democrat but not call themselves a Democrat because they don't agree with some parts of the Democratic platform. Take gun control for instance. I know some people who tend to vote for Democrats but are firearm enthusiasts who completely disagree with the Democratic Party's desire for more gun control. Others are Independents because they think that some Democrats are too liberal while others aren't liberal enough. Other Independents, such as myself, may tend to vote Republican. However, we have chosen not to brand ourselves as Republicans because some Republicans are too liberal or moderate and not conservative enough. This is where I find myself. I believe that most Republicans aren't conservative enough. Simply put, Independents generally vote for issues, NOT parties. That's basic Political Science 101.

In an earlier blog post, I made the point that some of the tea party groups are giving the Lefty Democrats evidence to support their claim that "the tea party is nothing more than a wing of the Republican Party." The newsletter excerpt makes that point for me, too, by providing more evidence to support the Lefties claim. However, in my opinion, the most disturbing thing about the newsletter is what's not said. The Chairman of the Wilson Co. Tea Party (WCTP) is Sherrie Orange. Earlier in the year, she was appointed to the Wilson Co. Election Commission. I'm not sure if Ms. Orange actually writes these newsletters, but nevertheless she is in charge of the WCTP. In my opinion, the lack of political understanding shown in the newsletter could make one wonder why she, the WCTP Chairperson, was appointed as an election commissioner. Who appoints these people anyway ? Isn't it done by an elected representative from that district ? Who could that be ? Could it have been State Senator Beavers ? I wonder who would know.

Anyway, based upon the newsletter, the appointment doesn't make any sense. Or, ..... does it ?

I love it when people make my case for me.
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