Republican by Default..? by Merwin

Republican by Default / Part One

Would it be fair and accurate to say whatever political party one belongs to... they belong to it by default?

I know... I'm assessing most everybody's plight to be similar to mine, but I feel pretty safe in doing so; let me explain.

We have political conditions in place that suggest an overall discontent that is bipartisan. The party philosophies that have surged strong in the past have thinned, and platform issues have dissolved into obscure notions barely reminiscent of their former glories. The leadership enthusiasm that generated large followings in both parties are seldom repeated and failure to keep the momentum gained, sparks panic in the respective ranks.

As a brief example...

Toward the fade of the Reagan enthusiasm... or the Papa Bush term of office, we had true panic among the conservatives. The elder Bush was somewhat able to tread the political waters held in reservoir by his former boss' reputation, and the smiting of Iraq for invading Kuwait helped his buoyancy. But by the end of his term however, it was obvious that no one wanted to "read his lips" while he said "no new taxes" or anything else.

Newt Gingrich and his crew purchased a lot of political equity with their "Contract with America" debacle which was little more than an expression of their growing panic, and when it failed, it marked the effectual end of Robertson's, Christian Coalition and Falwell's, Silent Majority.

And I can cite similar examples in the Democratic Party's history, but it would merely belabor the point.

The point is that inspired leadership is leadership that inspires.., and without a clear message and direction our loyalty to any party is by default.

The inspiration provided by a Reagan or a John F. or a Robert F Kennedy or any other catalyst for cohesive leadership quickly defines a party's philosophy or even redefines it. The new philosophy then becomes the face and character of that party and personifies the expectations of the constituency.

Clinton came to office on the coattails of the Kennedys, he was shown as a youth having his picture taken shaking hands with John F. while visiting the White House with his group. I saw this picture many times during his first campaign run for the office. The allusions to the similarities filled the airwaves. He crashed and burned.

Both Bush boys got into office on Reagan's coattails and they similarly crashed and burned though for different reasons. The first with being told in polite rebuke... "its the economy stupid." and the other with his shameful displays of two terms of feigned buffoonery... (he is really not stupid).

We all elected them... and why..? We that populate whatever party, are the inspired adherent's remnant. We remain loyal to our philosophies due to momentum, and are carried along by inertia of our unspent enthusiasm but are directionless, bereft of sound leadership, we are the, "whatever" party... by default.

We are inundated by would be leaders, full of cliches and bygone platitudes promising "change", and these show up, without real solutions. They are full of good looks and confidence... preying upon our default settings and our willingness (if all else fails) to vote party lines, and they get elected.

And ultimately... why are they elected..? Because of their great record of successes..? Because of their clearly defined directives and convincing desire to turn their issues into a mandate from the people, if elected..? Don't we wish!

No... they seem to keep getting into office because of the dismal failures of the opposing party that they are ousting. Then they, because there is no mandate really, simply the promise of "change..." they fail.

They all seem to get into office because we are party members by default. And they, are not real leaders they are merely part of the "Default Party" machinery.

Well there are potential solutions, at least to a lot of this nonsense and I will share them in Republican by Default / Part Two


Comments 10 comments

PassinThru 6 years ago

I am curious to learn why working class Americans vote Republican. To me, the GOP is all about big business. They cut taxes for the rich, not the working guy/girl. I'd like to hear what's good about the Republican Party. Seriously.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

Thanks for the comment and question.

I became a Republican (kinda) back in '79 with Reagan campaigning for office and the explanation of "Trickle Down Economics"... what Papa Bush campaigning against Reagan in the primaries called "Voodoo Economics".

I did not know it at the time but that very economic plan was more bi-partisan than I could have imagined, it began as an economic proposal with JFK but he never got to implement it before his assassination.

Trickle Down Economics (TDE) basically means if you stimulate the small, to almost rich, to rich businesses with tax breaks, most of them will reinvest in their businesses and expand, and ultimately put more people to work.

The first two years of Reagan's implementation was slow but progressively got to be a huge success, and unemployment dropped to an all time low, seemed like everybody was working.

It was this TDE system created by the Kennedy think tank and refined throughout the Reagan term that had the little rank and file blue collars like me joining the ranks of the Republicans in droves. Not to mention the Republicans embraced people of faith and it became co-opted to those people that felt it was their right to express their political views through a faith based platform.

As far as taxes go... I pay income tax every year and get nearly every penny back because I am lower middle class. When our kids were at home and qualified as deductions we even got more back.

The little, blue collar hourly worker pay less dollar for earned dollar taxes than the rich do.

And besides... the economic strength of this country was built on the American dream that a person could rise up from humble beginnings and generate wealth for his or her great grand children.

The Reagan era re-introduced the idea that government should stop strangling that dream with over taxation and regulation.

The result was... a lot of people went to work until government started finding new methods to strangle enterprise.

Again thanks for your comments.


PassinThru 6 years ago

The economy did improve during the Reagan years but the national debt also tripled. That was back in the day when we had a relatively small debt. I think the major changes in the economy is more attributable to innovations in manufacturing, new technology, etc. than to the tax policy of the day.

The reason you get nearly every penny back is the Democrats go to bat for the low and middle income taxpayers and keep our taxes relatively low. If it was up to the Republicans, you'd be paying more. Check out http://taxfoundation.org/publications/show/26766.h...

And as to our standard of living, who works for the little guy? Who is for a minimum wage? R's or D's? The R's say a minimum wage stifles small business. The reality is they want an unlimited source of cheap labor.

You say that the Republicans "embraced" people of faith. I say they duped them by incorporating a couple of Christian ideas into their platform. I see many UN-Christian qualities of that same platform.

The economic strength of this country is attributable to the richness of its natural resources combined with the work ethic of the people who populate it.

And as for regulation of business... hmmm... I seem to remember something about our present economic situation being caused or at least assisted by the lack thereof. The rest of it is good old American greed.

I could go on but I fear you are Republican by default ;).


Chasuk 6 years ago

It took me several reads to get it, but when I did, I agreed, sort of.

I vote to prevent the other guys from winning. For me, the "other guys" are the Republicans. I don't vote for economic issues, but for social ones, and the Republicans get every single social issue wrong, in my estimation.

I vote default Democrat because we are currently -- and perhaps irrevocably -- a two-party system. It isn't out of loyalty. If a viable third party emerged that matched my economic and social philosophies, I would jump parties in an instant.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

2 Passin Thru... Thanks for your reply.

Everyone that punches a clock (like me) loves the idea of a higher minimum wage. Until they are laid off because the bean counters of the huge corp says we need to keep our profit margins intact. Or worse yet the small business that was barely making enough to keep their self out of the red finally has to shut their doors because the 2000 hrs per year for each min wage employee of X's 150 employees at an additional 2.00 an hour, for a yearly payout of $600,000.00 MORE, has forced them to close their doors.

Oh... but you don't understand Merwin it is only $2.00 an hour more. Yeah to you and me and the other guy punching the clock. But to the small business owner it may mean he's now the bad guy to the 150 + people he had to let go and now he has to go punch someone else's clock because he put his modest home on the line to start his business in the first place. His credit is shot due to filing bankruptcy in an effort to keep his home, and he has former clients and vendors suing him for multiple breaches of contracts.

I do understand... I do. But us blue collars are usually willing to cut off our own nose in spite of our face.

Very much like the Steelworker Union in Fontana California... "working for the worker" choked the life out of Kaiser Steel. Put them out of business and that whole town depended heavily on all the things this company did.

The union did not care. It did not care about all the civic benefits that flowed from Kaiser. It built Fontana's first High School that for years was the envy of most colleges.

It didn't care that it built Fontana's Hospital which was and to some degree still is a model that later became Kaiser Permanente.

The Union did not care about what I've mentioned that simply scratches the surface of Kaiser Steel's civic mindedness and willingness to "do" for its people. It did not care.

Similarly government over regulation does not care one whit about how many businesses close down (resulting in loss of jobs) because the remnant of workers that got the "raise" will pat them on the back come election day.

I am all for the little guy getting more, but the little guy needs to think it through.

And I am a republican by default, but only because I do think it through not because the Republicans have done anything great.

What do you think employs the little guy... a lack of greed?

Most are not greedy, people are people are people, whether they are comfortable providing jobs for others (making wealth for themselves) or working for someone else trying to make due. People are people, stop vilifying the employer or soon we may not have any.

Thanks again for stopping by.


Roger Crigger profile image

Roger Crigger 6 years ago from Northern Idaho

I'm seeing employer after employer closing their respective doors. For a million reasons and thousands of individual factors per reason for such closure. This animal, at this point, is soooo complex, I wouldn't know where to begin, with ANY of the contributing issues. It's hard for an employer, (small business) to offer a wage that average joe American can work for and still keep heat in their house and food on the table, when people flooding into our country, (unchecked if not assisted) will work for ANY amount, because ANY amount is more than they were able to make back home in ...(insert country here) and they CAN keep the heat on in their house because there's 17 other people in that 2 bedroom apartment contributing to the budget,and I am in no way saying that, given the circumstances, I wouldn't do the same thing for my family!

This is just ONE contributing element to take into consideration.... I have NO answer. I have ideas but, AGAIN, once I start dissecting (my) solution, I run into more questions and causes and effects and and and... One thing I will say is, I AM default ... by default ... by default

Very informative article Merwin. Thought provoking and OF COURSE, well written.


PassinThru 6 years ago

I don't mean this maliciously but it's nice of you to take a hit for the rich. Too bad they're not willing to do the same for you.

There are exceptions of course, like Bill Gates Senior in Washington trying to offer a tax on the rich. It failed the ballot because low/middle income Republicans such as yourself voted along with the rich of the selfish kind.

I don't know, I just can't grasp it.


Chasuk 6 years ago

As long as CEOs are compensated with millions of dollars and then given golden handshakes, I don't want to hear them whine about profit margins, but I do understand your point.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Man, you nailed the leadership thing with the kind of accuracy that makes the hair stand up on my arms. Sometimes I honestly think were twins. (laughing) I won’t make a long drawn out comment, like I usually do, but I want you to know that I voted this up and gave it a straight run. Awesome job my friend.

Jim


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 4 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

Thanks Jim...

I don't know if we are twins but were likely from the same litter.

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