Friday, June 1, 2018

A Minor Musing About My Republicanism

Let's see if I remember how to do this; it has, after all, been a long time. In fact, it has been far too long to detail all of the reasons for my not posting content regularly, so I will just get on with some recent highlights.

I was the recipient of this tweet. Ok, it wasn't sent to me directly, but it does apply to me, so I thought I would share it.

That's right, I registered as a Republican. As a new registrant, it seemed prudent (Wasn't that a George H.W. Bush word? Look at me trying to fit in right from the start.) to learn what the party stands for, so I went straight for Sibby Online and South Dakota War College's comments sections.

Sibby's posts indicate that a new registrant who is resuming blogging after a long hiatus should put Cory Heidleberger's name in every post title and frequently use the suffix -ist and the prefix anti-. For example, one should refer to those who disagrees with one's views as an anti-American, Islamist, Marxist, anti-God, anti-Bill of Rights, leftist social justice warrior. The former tactic seems both redundant and desperate. Stylistically, I prefer to write with concrete nouns and action verbs, and the latter labeling seems modifier heavy.

Labels also seem to be large part of the DWC comments sections as well. Some label others as Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) or faux conservatives; however, it seems that DWC commentators label themselves: one is a true conservative, a constitutional conservative, a rock ribbed Republican, a social conservative, a fiscal conservative, a law and order Republican and the list goes on.

Because labels seem so central to Republicanism, I have decided to label myself. I believe I will be a Washingtonian Lincolnian Eisenhowerite, a WLE Republican.

My reading of republican political philosophy indicates that Republicans should support candidates who are of superior caliber. In fact, some Republicans indicate that the the American Republic was established to be presided over by men like George Washington of whom it was said, "Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand; the purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues." (I'm still trying to discover how supporting a President who paid off a porn star to be silent about their ongoing affair supports this criterion, but I am sure further reading in the above sources will provide an explanation.)

In America's most divided moment Lincoln urged Americans to allow themselves to be " touched by the better angels of our nature." (There are a lot of tweets coming from the nation's top Republican that make wonder if the Lincoln still matters to Republicans, but they hold Lincoln Day dinners, so it must just be my inexperience with the party that causes this confusion.)

Eisenhower's farewell address warned:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. 
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Many Republicans now decry the "deep state." At first blush, the "military-industrial complex" and the "deep state" seem to be similar entities. However, it seems that many party members reflexively support generals like John Kelly or James Mattis and oppose diplomats with decades of experience who advocate "peaceful methods." This difference is a hydra-headed conundrum.

I'm sure I'll be able to sort out this puzzle by watching Fox News evening programming. Establishing that practice should help me develop into a "knowledgeable" citizen. Unfortunately, Tucker Carlson's smarmy condescension and Sean Hannity's braying bore me so that I'm no longer "alert."

Up until now, I have labeled myself as a farm boy trying to make his way in the world. It is a serviceable and accurate label. Labeling one's self as a Republican is much harder.

1 comment:

mpat said...

I call myself a "homeless Republican" - or as Boehner recently said: There is no Republican party. Thee is a Trump party. The Republican party is out there somewhere taking a nap."