Last week I said that I wasn’t using the “Republibot 3.0” nom de plume anymore because I wasn’t a Republican. I already had a lot to cover, so I promised I’d get to the explanation of it this week. And here we are.
Before we begin, I want to stress that I’m still a conservative in all the ways that really matter. I simply stopped being Republican. Why? Well, when Ronald Reagan was asked why he left the Democrats, he said “I never left the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me.” To paraphrase the Gipper, that’s what happened to me, I think. I basically stopped believing in it. Not what it stood for, in large part, but in the party itself, and in its ability to attain its stated goals. And I began to question whether or not it had any real interest keeping its promises, had it been able to do so. I’d also like to point out that what I’m about to say isn’t really subject for debate. It’s the way I feel.
I’ve always been a somewhat-right-of-center moderate. I tend to focus on the issues that I feel matter – such as controlling the national debt, and Abortion – and I honestly couldn’t give less of a crap about whether or not evolution is taught in the schools. Yes, I think it’s disgraceful that Bill Clinton cheated on his wife, got caught, lied about it, and got away with it, and, yes, I feel he deserved some censure for that, but impeachment? That’s just silly. I would have been content with an apology. “Yes, I cheated on my wife, and yes I lied about it for obvious reasons. These things were wrong, I apologize to the American people, and ask that they’ll give me another chance.” That’s all I wanted, and while I know full well that Clinton probably preferred a trial in which he looked like a victim rather than an admission of guilt, we kinda’ played into his hands there. I also think it’s disgraceful that Republicans have done nothing but played obstructionist for six years now, as opposed to trying to do something more constructive. I get it: you don’t like Obamacare. I don’t like it either. You lost there, though. Move on. Find something else to do that might help you regain a little of the ground you lost elsewhere.
I’m rambling a little bit. I apologize. My point is that pretty much ever since 1992 the Republican Party has had a weird combination of a persecution complex and a mad desire to gainsay anything the Democrats think, say, or do. This is true even when the Republicans are in power. This is not a good way to run a railroad, because if your only real agenda is opposing whatever the other side says, the other side effectively controls you.
There’s also the question of how much of the party platform the party really cares about. Let’s take Abortion, for instance, which I oppose for basically non-religious reasons. Reagan allegedly felt strongly on the subject. He even wrote a book (Or rather had someone ghostwrite one) about how bad Abortion was while he was president. It was popular in Christian bookstores. Here’s the thing: I don’t think he really cared. He appointed enough Supreme Court Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade they wanted to. Certainly a lot of Democrats were panicking about that possibility. He did nothing, though. George Bush the First pretended rather uncomfortably to be a hard-right conservative as president, but the fact is he was always somewhat to the left of Reagan, and campaigned in 1980 as a moderate. I honestly don’t think he cared about the subject at all. We get a lot of talk, talk, talk, talk about the issue, but let’s not forget that Abortion became legal while Nixon was president, and he thought it was a non-issue. Republicans talk about abortion, but as a party it’s just a way to get votes. They have no interest in doing anything about it. And if they’ll willfully misrepresent themselves about that, what else will they lie about? I mean, there’s been many a time they’ve campaigned strongly with promises to the extreme religious right. (Again, that was a process that started with Nixon) How many of them have they kept?
I reiterate: I’ve always been a right-of-center moderate, meaning there are issues people further on the right go crazy over, that don’t bother me at all. I oppose pornography, mostly for religious reasons. I’m not THRILLED about gay marriage, but (in the words of Maurice Minifield from Northern Exposure), “I don’t care what consenting perverts do in the privacy of their own home.” Well, that’s not entirely true. I care a little bit. My religion informs me that it’s sinful, and I accept that. My religion also informs me (In the same passage) that idolaters, adulterers, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers are sinful, too (Ist Corinthians 6:9-10) The US condones or tolerates all that, so, logically, what’s one more? Irrespective of religion, the whole concept of homosexuality gives me the shudders, and I’m admitting to that up front here. I think it’s just the way I’m wired. That said: I’ve never in my life been mean to a gay person, I’ve had a fair number of gay friends, and I even rescued one from getting beat up by a mob in high school. Nobody gets treated like crap on my watch, not if there’s anything I can do about it.
People on the hard right get really crazy over this, one pundit even suggesting arresting and interning all homosexuals until they die of old age, thereby removing them from the gene pool and society and ending the problem!
How the hell did saying things like that become *not* offensive among Republicans? Why isn’t the party raining down upon people who say things like that, condemning them, distancing themselves from them? As for myself, I find a much better way to protect myself from the creeping menace of Gay Marriage is simply not to marry a dude. And as I’m already married to a chick (A hot one!), I think I’m adequately protected.
Again, I’m rambling. My point is that there are issues the Hard Right goes crazy over, and which the party fans the flames over, that I don’t care about, or don’t care much about, or care about but am long past the point where I believe the party has any interest in changing things. If they did, it would take away one of the things they use to get people all paranoid and voting Republican, right?
Another thing that bothers me is the creeping rewriting of our own history. Reagan (One of my heroes, and the 4th greatest president of the 20th century) is portrayed now in ways that would doubtless make him laugh. By modern standards, he's a moderate. He even declared amnesty for illegal immigrants in his second term, remember that? Remember eight years ago when everyone in the party loved George the Second? Remember seven years ago when suddenly everyone claimed they'd never liked him, and that he was the cause of all our present ills? And now he's kind of popular again, so these same people are saying, "Oh, I always liked him. When people were dissing him a couple years ago, I never took part in that." What the hell kind of Ministry Of Truth thinking is this?
Another thing that’s really put me off is the increasing uncomfortable racial stance of the party. In the McCain election, well, we knew we were going to lose. There was no way to win. McCain was chosen to mount a token campaign and fall on his sword for the good of the party as a whole, who didn’t want to sacrifice anyone who might be useful. And while the party never crossed the line into racism, it’s not overstating things too much to say that the unofficial slogan of MANY of McCain’s backers was “He’s white! Vote for him!” (McCain himself is not a racist, by the way, and I’m not accusing him of that). I’m not saying the party is racist, either, but I’m saying they allowed themselves to appeal to racists, rather than doing the right thing and distancing themselves from them, which would have cost them nothing as they knew they were gonna’ lose anyway.
While I’m not a Republican, and while I’ve always been a moderate, I’m not a fan of Obama. I consider him to be a largely incompetent president, though to be fair he *has* gotten better the longer he’s held the job. Just the same, the ’12 election should have been a gimmie. O wasn’t terribly popular, many disliked him, and Republicans had FOUR YEARS to mount a strategy, groom some candidates, and prepare to retake the office.
Instead, they did NOTHING for the entire time. Readers of my editorials on this site and elsewhere will recall that I called 2012 as a victory for Obama TWO YEARS before the actual election simply because Republicans were doing nothing to prepare. They had FOUR YEARS to find a valid candidate, and the best they could come up with is an almost-obnoxiously white privileged rich kid who’s a clergyman in a cult? Are they even trying? Are they that clueless?
The last two Republican candidates have been complete non-starters, and nobody in the party even seemed to recognize the fact. This is sad after all George II and his dad and Reagan did to make the party less monochromatic.
I find it unfathomable that the first Black president was a Democrat, and that unquestionably the first female president will be, too. I mean, good gosh, what party was the one that split the country and tried to set up a one-party democracy that took the lives of 3/4ths of a million people? Democrats. What was the party of unbridaled racism from 1866-1932? Democrats.
What was the party at war with itself over segregation? Democrats. What was the party that went so far to the left that they lost the entire South in the '80s, AND DIDN'T CARE BECAUSE THE FIGURED THEY'D STILL WIN WHILE PISSING AWAY 70 MILLION VOTES?
Republicans, by contrast, preserved the union, freed the slaves, gave black people the vote, formed the national park system, guranteed worker's rights, were tough on crime, gave amnesty to illegal immigrants in the '80s. Nixon started Detente, which that fool Carter ruined and started the Cold War up again, then Reagan and George the First ended it once and for all. I mean, the most famous Republican of all time is "The Great Emancipator."
How in the holy hell did they piss all that away? And how can they not seem to realize that they did it? And how can they not care?
But that’s the state we’re in.
And that’s where I snapped.
And that’s why I’m not a Republican anymore.
Kevin Long is a well-reviewed Science Fiction author, who has written three full-length anthologies, and is at work on several other projects. He used to blog under the name “Republibot 3.0,” but now that his stalker is dead, and he can afford to be less paranoid, he uses his real name. His personal website is here: http://www.kevin-long.com and his smashwords page is here https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rthree He also sings with several bands, and plays guitar. Sort of.