“Some voters mistakenly think political party affiliation is not that important. I want to dispel some common misconceptions about that by addressing some often heard phrases concerning politics.” – Steve Fair
Steve in his article http://www.okgop.com/your-first-vote/ ) attempts to deal with misconceptions about the importance of party affiliation by propagating partisan misconceptions that do not stand up if we actually take some time to evaluate our party’s behavior.
“I vote for the man and not the Party.”
I do not know by what crystal ball Mr. Fair knows that those that say “I vote for the man and not the Party” are being false. Nor do I know by what authority he knows those same people are in fact voting for a PARTY instead of taking them at their word. Legislatures do generally organize caucuses and usually along party lines and I do not think any would disagree that the various caucuses try to persuade by bringing to bear “unbelievable pressure”. What one has to look at however is what “Party line” is being toed. Is it the business as usual political games that are used to maintain power and control? Is it actually lines from the Party platform? There certainly are those that vote for Party. There are also those that vote for people who hold to Party principles. Sadly, a vote for Party is not the same as a vote for Party principles in far too many cases. That being the case I would have to challenge Steve’s calling into question those who want to “vote for the man and not the Party,” especially since in most cases those voting for the man probably equate that to voting for the principles he holds.
“Political Parties are the reason we have so much corruption in government.”
Here I find some common ground as I agree that government is not corrupt because of Political Parties. Parties certainly can be a tool of leverage by those that are corrupt but it is not the Parties themselves that are the problem. The problem is that the members of the Parties and the voting electorate as a whole by and large are busy living and are unable or unwilling to hold those in government accountable. The Parties are indeed simply a mechanism. And until the electorate decides to step up their vigilance it will continue to be the corrupt controlling lesser of evils that will use the Party mechanisms and voter apathy to continue governmental business as usual.
“There is no difference between a Republican or Democrat.”
Does the Party platform matter much to either Party? We often hear the Pro-life, Pro-2nd amendment, small government, fiscal conservative message from the Republican Party but how often does Party actions meet proclaimed Party principles? Are Republicans really Pro- 2nd amendment or are they pro some fire arms with certain amounts of licensing and restrictions. Those are not considered infringements though I suppose. How about fiscal restraint? We often see our Party decry spending under the Obama administration and rightfully so. We do not however see much regarding how much spending increased under G.W. Bush. He took us from 5.9 trillion in debt to 10.7. Remember too that it was Republicans that did the TARP bailouts first. Sure, Obama has continued and even quickened the pace to our financial ruin but let us not pretend that the Republican Party has actually had fiscal restraint. I would also like to remind that no matter who is president it is congress that controls the purse strings with all that such entails. On small government how about Republican backed government expansions and entitlements like Medicare Drug plans, No Child Left Behind, and let us not sweep under the rug that it was a Republican governor that believed it okay to impose healthcare mandates. Pro-life? I have no doubt that the bulk of Republicans are Pro-life but as a Party what did we do when we controlled the House, Senate, and Presidency as recently as 2004? Do you realize that Pro-life Republican politicians could have overturned Roe Vs. Wade with a simple majority with legislation that was proposed during that time? Have the actions of the Republican Party born the fruit of our claimed convictions?
“ I am going to register Independent because I am frustrated with both Parties”
Again I agree with Mr. Fair. Though there is ample reason to be frustrated with both parties registering independent does mostly just shut you out of the process in Oklahoma. Instead, join that party that best espouses your values and worldview and then DO participate in the process. Time has shown that if we as individuals to not get involved we will continue to get more of the same from our Political Parties. It is only with diligent activism within the Party that we will see the Party and its elected officials actually following through with our declared principles.
I will finish by echoing Mr. Fair in asking all constitutionally minded conservatives to consider registering and joining the Republican Party of Oklahoma. Together we can stand on principles, insure accountability, and promote those leaders that will do the same. I would ask you to join us not to support and promote any and all who would claim to be Republican. I ask you to join us so that you can help us promote the principles that our Party claims but for so long has failed to truly practice.
Shannon Grimes, D.C.
Resources and Links
National Debt Chart by President http://www.skymachines.com/US-National-Debt-Per-Capita-Percent-of-GDP-and-by-Presidental-Term.htm
Sanctity of Life Act http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.776.IH::
We the People Act http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:H.R.3893: