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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Please, let’s keep the Elephant out of the Graveyard

Credit: Jonathan McIntosh
Is it an endangered species?

If I were an American I have no doubt I would vote Republican…but, but, oh but.

It must be obvious to those who read my articles that politically I lean to the right. I’m a libertarian and a conservative. In British elections I vote for the Conservative Party, I have since I was eighteen, most recently in the London mayoral contest for Boris Johnson, a personal hero of mine.

So, if I were an American I would be a Republican, consistent with my conservative principles and my deeply held belief in personal freedom. I could no more vote for the Democrats than I could for the British Labour Party. I consider Barack Obama to be a socialist, a philosophy that I despise, made all the worse by the fact that he is an Ivy League ideologue who understands little of the problems of ordinary Americans.

So, yes, for me it would have to be the Grand Old Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of free soil, the party of freedom itself. There is a problem here: I’m not sure I would be welcome. You see, I may not fit the profile – I’m young, I’m even-tempered and I’m a woman, not an angry mature male!

Actually, no, that’s not quite true – I am an angry young woman. I was outraged by the recent observations of Representative Todd Akin, running for the US Senate in Missouri, on ‘legitimate rape.’ I could not quite believe that a candidate for the Republican Party, a candidate for major political office, could come out with something so unbelievably crass, an insult to women everywhere, an insult to the victims of rape, a barbarous crime by any standard.

I know that Akin, now busily backtracking, has been condemned for his words by Mitt Romney and other senior figures in the party. But the damage is done. Attention has been taken away from the main issues of the present presidential campaign towards the more regressive shades of Republican opinion. The focus, if you like, is increasingly on a Party unsure of itself, unsure of its constituency and unsure of its future. Is it, I have to ask, a Party unsure of America?

America is changing. Demographically and culturally it is changing. The Republican Party emerged in the 1850s, created by Americans who understood that the nation had to change or die. There would seem to me to be no place in such a movement for the likes of Todd Akin, a backwoodsman so out of touch with the modern world.

But is he a maverick? My concern – and it gives me no pleasure to say this – is that the GOP is starting to mark time, and that the time it is marking is somewhere in the middle of the last century. This, if you like, was the apex of WASP America – White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. But the wasp no longer stings as it once did. The GOP seems almost afraid of the new American, whether that is Black or Latino.

The electoral machinations in Florida, supposedly designed to prevent fraud, seems to have actively alienated a large portion of the state’s Hispanic community, who perceive it to be a measure in part directed against them. The GOP is even losing support among Cuban Americans, traditionally a highly conservative community, once solid in support for the likes of Ronald Reagan. What on earth do people like this think when they watch the antics of Arizona’s Sheriff Joe “your papers please” Arpaio? Does the Republican Party have an electoral death wish?

Yes, I know, the GOP’s core constituency is among white people, or Anglo-Saxons, as they are referred to in the Romney camp. There are legitimate concerns here and I’m more than a little sympathetic with aspects of the Tea Party platform, at least so far as it touches on personal freedom and the minimising the overweening power of big government.

I’m out of sympathy, though, with those I refer to as the Christian ayatollahs, the fundamentalist wing of American conservatism that seems to have grown stronger and ever more influential, flowing steadily into the mainstream. If European conservatism went in this direction it would, quite frankly, be laughed to death. It’s all very well to make a stand over the issues of the day on the basis of one’s personal Christian morality. The danger is turning a particular form of Christian dogmatics into practical politics. It simply does not work.

Suspicion of sections of the wider community, a narrow and narrowing vision of the future, too great an emphasis on a particular code of ethics, turning in ever decreasing racial and ethnic circles, these are the factors that may eventually lead the Elephant to the graveyard. It’s not a prospect I welcome.

Barack Obama is not just a bad president; he’s an atrocious one, the James Buchanan of the modem age, a Nero who fiddles as the city burns. The fact that so many Americans may vote for him because they feel unwelcome elsewhere is a depressing thought. It certainly depresses me.



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Anastasia is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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6 comments on Please, let’s keep the Elephant out of the Graveyard

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By Caballero_69 on August 24, 2012 at 07:37 am

Anastasia,

I would think a citizen of the U K would know what socialism is and therefore, see the absurdity of calling President Obama a socialist. Well it simply proves, one learns something new every day.

It seems you have missed this recent development, "the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of free soil, the party of freedom itself" no longer exists. The GOP is no longer the Grand Old Party. Now these initials stand for Greed Obstructionist Pricks.

If the American electorate can come out of the trance prediatory billionaires, homophobes, misogyinists, zealots and xenophobes are intent on perpetuating, they will vote to inter this rabid authoritarian faction in a final resting place.

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By Randy Mitchell on August 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

Anastasia, another good one. And I wish we had you over here come November. The GOP is definitely not the one during the days of old, it's evolved more than people give it credit. However, we believe in the core principles of financial, social, and moral responsibility to the citizens.Small government versus big, and those will never change.

What Akin said recently was terrible, and does not reflect the views, in any way, of the GOP. No more than what VP Biden said to a mostly african-american crowd about us wanting to "put them back in chains." Another repulsive statement that doesn't parallel the overall views of the Democratic party. But, we've come to expect this from him, he has a long track record of communication missteps.

America's demographics are changing, but I only hope we can cling to the basic foundations making us who we are.

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By Agit8r on August 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

as a prominent Republican once said:

"One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now."

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=501

btw, Akin is no backwoodsman. As someone born in the back-woods, I take offense ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Akin#Early_life.2C_education.2C_and_business_career

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By Anastasia on August 26, 2012 at 05:45 pm

Yes, Caballero, I know exactly what socialism is, that’s why I’m able to make draw parallels with what is happening under Obama. It’s principally about the growth of an overbearing state power, a cancer of creeping bureaucracy. I give you this from a previous article of mine which touched on the practical implications of Obamacare:

Take the massive health care bill which Congress passed in 2010. Did the senators and representatives actually read this document in its entirety? Has anyone read its 2000 odd pages and lived? No, probably not, but it’s a monster that has acquired a life of its own. Its acquired a life in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where one finds Obama’s statist tendencies at the most refined. Here the sacred flame of creeping state socialism is guarded with care.

This self-serving bureaucracy is set to acquire power over so many aspects of American life, of the life of ordinary Americans, set to be strangled in red tape. It’s staffed by people who represent the hard left of American politics. These are the refugees from The West Wing, now enjoying unprecedented and vicarious power, like the bureaucrats in Europe.

You don’t like the Republican Party. I think we can all take that now as read. :-)

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By Anastasia on August 26, 2012 at 05:47 pm

Thanks, Randy. The core principles really are the thing to focus on. Akin will pass; they remain.

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By Anastasia on August 26, 2012 at 05:50 pm

Agit, sorry! Actually here 'backwoodsman' really is just an expression for a particular state of mind It really does not matter if one was born in the back woods or not. :-)

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