A Disturbing Phone Call
I got upset today when my youngest daughter called!
She’d spent the night tossing and turning, worried about some new stupid bill passed in congress. And while I have done the same thing many times, but this was different. This was my daughter, a strong and good woman, a devoted wife and mother of two small children, who is spiritually sensitive and in some ways at her wits end.
The Real Problem
After about half an hour of talking her through it, we finally discovered the crux of her frustration. Although willing to be politically active, expressing her opinion and working for change, she felt as if she had no real pipeline for her energies. And I confessed to her I felt very much the same way.
The Republican Party has been taken over by neo-populist conservatives and the Democrat Party has been taken over by radical liberals. There is no serious political party for the normal people like me. (I’m a true conservative, but “normal” also includes moderates and actually anyone just to the right or left of center. There is no place for us.)
Until 2016, I had been a devoted member of the Republican Party and it was more than just showing up at the polling booth. As a political science major in college (late ‘70s and early 80s), I stood toe to toe with liberals (students and professors) defending Republican principles. I worked in the party on the precinct and state levels and rejoiced in the Reagan Revolution.
I loved Milton Friedman, Newt Gingrich, Thomas Sowell, George Will, William F. Buckley and, of course, Ronald Reagan. Not because they were Republicans (if they were), but because they espoused Republican principles.
My enthusiasm and involvement continued even through the Clinton years. At the turn of the century, I could still believe there was a difference between the two major parties, with the GOP clearly the best choice.
Then something happened to my party.
Somewhere over the last twenty years, Republicans have learned to politic and govern and by fear and crisis, abandoning the optimism and reason that had been the hallmark of the party. They have not become more conservative, they have become a different brand of conservative. Worse than that, they have become the very mirror image of the Democratic demagogues they once claimed to abhor.
From Now On
Examining the causes and suggesting solutions are beyond the scope of this post, but believe me, they are coming. They are coming because something must be done and I realize that I must be part of the solution.
In other words, my daughter’s phone call just made it personal.