Haven’t blogged in a while, but Facebook is no place to try to bare my soul without serious risk of being misunderstood. My apologies if I have offended you, or if I am about to. So here it is…my heart for America.
The American populace voted for the status quo. Even New Hampshire voted “die.” While disappointed (my own mom called to make sure I wasn’t slipping into depression), I’m not actually surprised by that. I spend enough time on Facebook, that I know exactly why that is.
For some reason unbeknownst to me, the Republican party insists on nominating old, rich, white guys – when quite frankly, there are not enough rich white guys left to elect them. Die hard fiscal-cons & social-cons will hold their noses and vote, but what I truly feared actually came to pass…it looks like Romney garnered fewer votes than McCain. THAN McCAIN! The only reason it was even close was that Obama drew fewer votes than Obama ’08. Most people, chose to just stay home. I never anticipated that the electorate would be D+6 this year, but it was, and it’s not a mystery why. So with that, an open letter.
Dear Republican party:
If you do not, with immediate effect, take my advice, you will go out like the Whigs. I’m sorry, but unlike me, not everyone has the desire to sit down and read the Federalist Papers by a cozy fire. Not everyone gets a tear in their eye whenever they see an American in uniform. The general population does not wax poetic about policy. Heck! they don’t even watch Live TV that much anymore. We stream, we tweet, we like, we don’t want to be told no. You have GOT to adapt. Seriously. The GOP needs to be burned to the ground and rise up out of the ashes stronger, smarter, younger.
1. Drop the abortio-fascists.
Christians, I’m looking directly at you. We don’t ensure the salvation of the entire country when we elect a “Christian” into office, nor do we ensure the strength of our country when we vote for the pro-life candidate. Let’s not get it twisted – we are voting for another human to act as the Administrator over the Federal Government, not Jesus. When He comes to establish His kingdom, there won’t be a vote, nor will we all show up and say “I come from a Christian country, so I get in right?” Silliness. Your vote for an idiotic, purist, legitimate rape spouting, pro-life candidate over a competent, conservative, pro-choice candidate is not saving the country. It allows the narrative of the “war on women” to continue and paints the party in the image of Akin and Murdock. Your pro-life vote simply makes you feel that you didn’t compromise your values. I can empathize with you, but here’s the deal. YOU CANNOT LEGISLATE MORALITY. If you want the government to get out of your way – you TRULY want smaller government, and less regulation, more efficient government, and religious freedom, GREAT! SO DO I! But you can’t have it both ways. Is abortion sad? Absolutely. It’s a procedure that can literally break my heart when I think about it too long. Not just for the life that is stopped, but for the life that continues on afterwards too. It kills me that we re-elected a man who literally actively supported infanticide. Am I saying that as Christians or even just pro-life advocates that we should keep quiet? Absolutely not. We should continue to openly say how much we value life. But the instant that we believe that we can force our ideas on each other through the use of law, is the instant we open that up to be turned back around on us. Think “CHINA.” I bet they would love to have a choice to have babies as they see fit. Abortion will never be illegal here. Come to peace with that and pray for those who hurt. Work to make adoption laws easier and the process less expensive. In fact, just ADOPT! Reach out to pregnant women and support them, let’s make life not seem like a burden…let’s educate our daughters, and then let’s realize that if we focused on truly conservative principles, there probably wouldn’t be so much dread surrounding an unintended pregnancy. For the first time in our civilization, we view children as a burden. Any change in this perspective, must start with us. Cultivate healthy relationships in your own family, and be a model. Bottom line though…only Jesus can change hearts. Jesus doesn’t want slaves, He wants servant hearts. You won’t bring anyone closer to the outcome you want, by waging war against them politically. We all lose. In the absence of freedom, there is always a loser.
2. SAY HEEEYYY TO GAY.
What is it about the GLBT community that scares you? Ever heard of the phrase, thou doest protest too much? For the love of all that is holy, let me break this down for you. The Republican party was based on protecting the rights of the individual from the encroachment of the federal government. There are a lot of gay conservatives who actually vote against their own self interests just to move conservatism forward. Don’t believe me? Check out some guys I totally admire at GayPatriot and how about this young, black, gay conservative? We should take a lesson from them and move our self interests on social issues to the back burner as well. These folks are your neighbors, they are successful businessmen and women, gifted & intelligent speakers, with boundless creativity and enthusiasm. The strength of their character is battle tested, and simply as a testimony of their persecution under others, they treat those around them with the respect they would ask for themselves. Do you believe in privacy from government? Would you like to make sure that the Federal Government doesn’t become so large and strong that it can take YOUR freedoms away? SUPER! Embrace civil unions for anyone who wants one, and provide specific protections that protect churches from suits raised for not performing wedding ceremonies. Because here’s the deal y’all, the separations clause was intended to keep the government out of the church, not the church out of the government. HOWEVER, if we do not change our thinking with a quickness (because it’s already happening under Obamacare and the contraceptive mandates), we will absolutely have a federal judge mandating that churches must not discriminate and force them to perform marriages or lose their 501(c)3 tax exempt status. You do know that your wedding ceremony is not a recognized legal union either, right? It’s that innocuous marriage license in a box somewhere in your closet (or maybe that’s me) that does that. We’ve done a fine job of making a mockery out of marriage all on our own. Let’s worry about our own marriages, and maybe we can learn something from them. Not saying that I agree in principle on a personal level, but until I can get myself free from sin, I shall reserve judgment. Once again. Should you have to shut up over whether homosexuality is a sin or not? Nope. You still have freedom of speech and religion (for now), but please don’t be surprised when you read that pride, greed, lust, gossip, gluttony, drunkenness etc are all sins as well and that you don’t deserve God’s love either, m’kay? Jesus comes for hearts. Sin is sin, and only Jesus can set people free from its power. The Federal Government cannot do that. It can only make sure that there is an environment in which to live freely. See also, YOU CANNOT LEGISLATE MORALITY.
3. Don’t we WANT hard working people here?
Seriously. Some of the completely over the top hatred toward immigrants I see is nauseating and borders on racism. Our fences should be tall, but our gates wide. If you want to pay taxes here, why would we ever want to prevent you from being able to do that. We should be jumping to have their money staying in our economy, not going back to another country! Embrace the Latino population here who is hard working and seeking opportunity. We have more common ground than differences. Heck, most of them are very socially conservative too! They are the perfect example of American exceptionalism. We need common sense immigration reform, and we need to be actively reaching out to this community. FIGURE THIS OUT OR CONTINUE TO BE IN THE MINORITY.
can we please not embarrass ourselves next election cycle with milquetoast ads and tweetbots? It makes me cringe. Let’s figure out this whole Twitter, blog, Reddit, Tumblr (insert social platform here) network thingy and actually leverage it. There is a wealth of creativity in the young American populace. Many of them freelancing entrepreneurs! Embrace them. Elevate them. Publicly laud their efforts! We need to finally control the narrative on what conservative values are and what they are not, and we need people familiar with new media with new voices. We cannot be the nice guy and believe that nice wins. It doesn’t. Fear motivates, and this year we were cast as the party to be feared. We need to make the case for freedom, and explain how we ensure it. Want the youth vote? Explain that you want them to be able to make money doing whatever they’re passionate about and you’ll protect and defend their right to live their lives without interference from someone telling them they can’t. The end.
women vote! who knew? We cannot be the party of crusty white guys and their stepford wives. 40% of all babies are being born to unwed mothers. Praise their efforts. They’ve done what you preferred – they delivered their babies. Point out that they are the spirit of American determination and work. Recognize their challenges and give solutions. Not all of them are welfare pariahs, and unless you want to walk a day in their shoes, maybe we should reserve judgment on their circumstances and show them that economic freedom could bring them more money to spend more time with their kids. Improve education through vouchers and charters in failing school districts. Give them the tools they need to become taxpayers. Raise your sons to be worthy of them. Let’s stop making marriage look like a sham. Show them how the free markets and thriving economy will make their life easier whether their situation is by design or circumstances. I can tell you one thing for certain, women have all the babies. Single mothers are quite literally, raising the future generations as much as the homeschooling mom. Want to have a strong future generation? Woo them. Stop demonizing them.
6. Get involved
Nothing changes, because the same people participate in the process in the micro level year after year. Don’t like the results? Do something about it. I know I’m reevaluating my level of involvement. I typically do the yard sign thing, and the bumper sticker thing, and the small donation deal. Now? I’m at a place in my life where I’m ready to take a much more active role. I don’t know exactly what that looks like yet, but I think that if you were upset enough to post on Facebook, you’re a perfect candidate to affect change in your small sphere. That action, repeated over and over throughout the country is the only thing that will put us back on a track to freedom and prosperity. Instead of shrinking the tent further, we need to push it out wide and be willing to focus on conservative values.
CONSERVATIVE VALUES ARE NOT: neglecting the poor, discriminating against those who sin differently than we do, saying freedom! freedom! then detaining citizens without due process, regulating industries to protect special interests, and neglecting to steward our resources – both financial and environmental. Crony capitalism bastardizes true free market capitalism.
CONSERVATIVE VALUES ARE: protecting the poor and defenseless both at home and abroad when necessary, defending liberty, providing opportunity regardless of race, religion, and creed, stewarding our revenues through balanced budgets, managing our resources, and cultivating an environment where markets – NOT GOVERNMENT – determines winners and losers. The belief in an exceptional America and the promotion of the American dream. Conservatism seeks to give out of compassion, not out of government redistribution.
Prop 37, sustainable agriculture, food freedom – these should be conservative initiatives! We need to return to pride of work and the value of the working class. We should be championing the small farmer, the construction worker, the road paver, the teacher, the first responder, the creative mommy blogger, and the labor force at large. Give them the freedom to innovate and improve on broken models. There are a lot of ways that we could broaden the tent, but right now, the party is so fractioned it is impossible. The bottom line is this. Until we can show the public at large that being a conservative Republican does not mean we are coming for your lifestyle, but that we are coming to ensure you continue to be able to pursue your dreams, we lose. We need to stop the bleeding. We need to show people they can do better without a government holding them back. We need to change, and fast.
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