Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why I'm Republican

I remember the '84 election debates. I was no more than 7 at the time. I remember them partly because of a joke I made at Geraldine Ferraro's expense, but I also remember thinking that this Reagan guy really was impressive. I certainly wasn't a political wiz kid or anything, but I think I've always been a bit Rightist, and what he said, what little I understood, made perfect sense.

You could certainly categorize me as "enterprising" - bartering and cajoling my parents into that extra quarter for my allowance in exchange for more chores, pushing boundaries in school and to get the best education for myself even when no one thought I could do it (how many high school drop outs do you know that graduated with a bachelor's degree 3 years later?) and preferring to work in small business where I could control my own destiny. So maybe it's my entrepreneurial nature that's driven my political affiliation, but it could very well have been my socially conservative parents - my father was a pastor after all - that drove me to the right. I just know that it's been that way from the beginning.

But that's not to say I haven't questioned my own positions on issues. I think it builds character to have thrown out your fundamental beliefs and to intelligently and methodically rebuild your core ideals on as solid a framework as you can. So what is it that keeps drawing me to the Republican platform? Why am I not embarrassed to say that I'm a Republican in public, even today? Why am I so frustrated at the way the Republican party is splintering, faltering and ultimately failing?

The answer is staring you in the face. I believe in the ideals of a Republic. Yeah, it's history lesson time. News Flash: we do not live in a direct or "pure" democracy. The union of independent republic states that the founders defined was not majority rules at all costs. It was that every individual has the right to be free, to do whatever it is that makes them happy as long as that doesn't impede on anyone else's equal rights. It means that the majority can't take away those rights even if they tried. Constitutionally, the government was created to protect those individual's rights. But unlike some Libertarians, I don't believe that the government is an "evil" that must be endured. I don't think that was the intention of the people who formed the government anyway. Instead the government has an essential purpose and embodies our freedom so long as we make it stick to our rules. What's evil about the government we have today is that it's forgotten those rules, extended it's own power and has therefore lost it's purpose to protect the individual.

These are fixable problems though! The point of this blog is to break down the problems, apply logic and the Constitution and hopefully have some interesting discussion in order to find solutions to these problems. Hopefully I'll be able to express myself well enough so that you'll see why I'm Right... why I consider myself a Republican and maybe, just maybe you'll see that, party affiliation aside, we can all agree to hold to the ideals of the Constitution and our founding fathers.

-Andrew Douglas