By Alan Caruba
Monday, November 19, 2012
Republican Regrets and Revisions
By Alan Caruba
Like a lot of conservatives, I have been thinking about what went wrong in the recent election. All my assumptions were wrong and, sadly, even though I advocated for Mitt Romney early on, he turned out to be a disappointment as a candidate.
Remember, though, the other choices we were offered. Rick Santorum? Newt Gingrich? Michelle Bachmann? Herman Cain? Et cetera! The leadership of the RNC could be found hiding in the bathroom during the primaries.
I liked Romney because he had strong credentials in venture capitalism and had a record of success in the world of business. I thought, then and now, that’s what the nation needed to avoid financial failure. I dismissed his history of “flip-flopping” because, well, that’s what politicians do. Even so, he had a good record of bipartisan success with the Massachusetts legislature. He also had “Romneycare” and I didn’t like that at all.
In the end, I was wrong and—this may not make any sense at all—every time I saw Romney receive applause or end a speech he had this sappy smile on his face that seemed to say “What a good little boy I am.” It bothered me. Okay, he also had a broad smile, too. Jimmy Carter got elected with his and the voter reaction to Watergate. George W. Bush smiled all the time and I had the feeling he really liked being President. The best smile of all was Ronald Reagan’s. It came from the heart.
Reagan’s dead. Get over it. The 1980s were a long and very different time ago.
Over the years the values of the Republican Party pretty much matched my own. However, I began to wonder if both myself and fellow conservatives were going overboard on a number of issues This was confirmed by a Wall Street Journal commentary by Bret Stephens on November 12. He articulated a lot of doubts I have had for a long time regarding the issues to which I and other conservatives have long been wedded.
For example, you can’t just tell twelve million illegal Mexicans and other Hispanics to go home. You can’t tell the children of illegals to leave the nation into which they were born. Then there’s the practical problem of some 2,000 miles of a mutual border. Immigrants know and we should know they are happier here. Amnesty now seems an appropriate response. We need to help them transition them into red-white-and-blue Americans and, by most reports, they do share conservative values. They just don’t like the way Republicans have been talking about them for a long time.
Over the years I have been critical of the demands of just three percent of the population, the gay, lesbian and transgendered. I have always believed that what two people do in a bedroom together is their own business, not mine. That said, I have opposed the propagandistic efforts of this minority to insist on full acceptance of their sexual preference as “normal.” It is nowhere normal in nature. But if they want to get married, let them. We should heterosexuals be the only ones who have second thoughts after the wedding and honeymoon?
The Republican Party has, it would appear, turned off a lot of single women. The married ones seem to like it. As someone who has never understood women, I am the last person to comment on this, but I still don’t understand why I am expected to pay for their contraceptives.
The big divide—one that the Democrats and Obama capitalized upon—is between those without wealth and those with it. As Romney inelegantly noted in a closed door fund raiser, a lot of Americans don’t pay any taxes and a lot of Americans receive all manner of benefits from the government such as unemployment compensation and food stamps.
As for Social Security and Medicare, those of us who have paid into these two programs have every right to expect to receive a check or help paying insane medical bills. Both programs, however, are in need of reform to reflect the changing demographics of aging Americans.
There were so many woman and people of color on the convention platform of the Republican Party I still don’t understand why anyone thinks the party likes neither of these groups. Blacks, however, have been wedded to the Democratic Party despite the fact that history documents that it has always been Republicans that led the fight for the abolition of slavery and for enfranchisement.
The Democrats fought granting any real equality for a hundred years passed the end of the Civil War. Well, there have been laws on the books now since the 1960s and, while there are individual blacks who have climbed the ladder of success through education and hard work, there are far too many who haven’t. Their crime rates, school drop-out rates, and fatherless children are all indicators of serious problems within the black population.
Conservatives have been obsessed with abortion for, well, forever. Simply said it is the murder of a human life. Frankly, I can’t get around this one. It is immoral. I am reluctant, however, to demand that it be made illegal again. I think we have come too far from the days when it was. In the end, I come down on the side of the women that must make the decision. It’s their body, not mine. Their morals, not mine. According to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey, 54% percent of Americans now identify themselves as pro-choice.
To end or at least deter more voter fraud, I want everyone who wants to vote to show a valid ID. You have to do it for a lot of things of lesser importance, so let’s make it a federal law.
I expect to see the Middle East remain a volatile basket case and I expect Israel to blow the hell out of Iran’s nuclear facilities and military bases. That will be fun to watch. If Obama does nothing to help defend its only real ally in the Middle East a lot of people will notice. As for Muslims in America, it’s time to find a nice church to attend.
I want conservatives/Republicans to hang the present financial “fiscal cliff”, the taxes to follow, and Obamacare around Obama’s neck like a noose.
That’s what I want, but it’s not what I think will happen. I expect Republicans in Congress to cave and try to put a happy face on it.
A lot of people are going to be very unhappy with having their taxes go through the roof along with the unemployment numbers, The Obama war on energy and a lot of environmental claptrap being shoved down their throats is a big turnoff. Events, too, may make Americans realize how reductions in our military have put the nation at risk. A lot of others will feel creepy knowing that an Orwellian future of Big Brother is coming true.
Finally, there’s a midterm election coming in two years and, if it is anything like 2010, the Democrats will take a hell of a beating.
This is what happens when an election comes along and slaps you upside the head and makes you think about what you’re thinking about.
© Alan Caruba, 2012