Boy, this conservative is really upset. I admire John Cole for writing this and admitting his disillusionment with his identified political party. That takes a lot of guts, as well as the ability to go back and reexamine your belief system. That is never easy. He is already getting his very own personal character assassination from the attack dogs on the extreme right. Andrew Sullivan, whom I read on a regular basis and quote from often, is another person who regards himself as a conservative but has totally lost faith with the current Republican party. Almost daily, he says something like “Abstain from voting, or vote Democratic”. Those things must be hard for a person to say after a lifetime of saying you are a Republican.
Here is a reply to John Cole’s post from Kos. It’s quite nice. I didn’t realize that Marcos used to be a Republican.
Here is how I guess I view it. Although I do consider myself a liberal and a Democrat, I wonder how much of that is really saying “I am against everything that the current conservatives and Republicans stand for”. I don’t really want to make the same mistake that the Republicans always make (if it can actually be called a “mistake” and is not, in fact, a cold calculation). Hardly anything is a “black or white and that’s the only choices you get” proposition. There are all sorts of shades of gray in this society of ours. So, just because I am infuriated with this current crop of Republicans, I wonder if that automatically makes me the Democrat I think I am. Yeah, I am rather liberal when it comes to social issues. For instance, I think what gay people do is their own business and the government has no damn business interfering. When it comes to fiscal matters, I think I am more on the conservative side. We have no business giving huge tax cuts to anyone, much less the top five percent of this country, at a time we are running up huge deficits. That is more than just irresponsible. That’s criminal. I don’t know what that makes me. I know I just feel much more comfortable with the label of liberal Democrat than I do with “independent”.
Anyway, although I don’t agree with a lot of things they say and think that they tend to be overly patronizing and insulting at times, I do commend John Cole and Andrew Sullivan for coming out as strongly as they have, publicly, when they know they are going to get slammed by the thugs of the Republican party for it. I believe there are many, many very principled people who are just as mad at how the Bush administration and his enablers are manipulating this country down a very dangerous path.
One of Sullivan’s regular readers makes this point about the need for principled people to come together and really get this country back pointed in the right direction.
I do not agree with all your views on particular policies - but that's not necessary, because I respect and trust your good intentions and good faith, your essential humility and humanity.
In any case, we agree on the bedrock issues, which utterly transcend left and right. We can agree to disagree on particular policies here and there - and get on with it. The challenges we face in the coming years - from global warming to nuclear proliferation to economic instability - will require us to meet on common ground.
This country really need two healthy, principled, and respectful political parties in this country. They act as a constant check that neither goes too far astray, which is unfortunately what has happened now with the Republican party. They do not stand for the same things now as they stood for in the past. No, things will never, and have never been in the past, ideal. There has always been and will always be people who try to manipulate the system for their own gains. However, the system we have now has not just jumped the tracks but has fallen off the cliff into the river. We need to find a way somehow to get back to political discourse as a way to resolve issues. Vowing to destroy your enemies, which are defined as “anyone disagreeing with you about anything”, and doing whatever you can, no matter how devious, cynical or manipulative just to stay in power, is not how this country became great.