Viewpoint: Any real Republicans around here?

Republicanism: adherence to or sympathy for a republican form of government—Webster’s Dictionary

As you read this, the Republican national convention will be upon us or behind us. There is expected to be little or nothing surprising in this dog and pony show, as there was little in the Democrats’ Boston posturing.

The only real question that comes to mind is: Where are the Republicans? The real ones, I mean. Maybe they are too intimidated to speak up.

What am I talking about? Aren’t these all loyal, card-carrying sons and daughters of the Grand Old Party? When I was growing up, the real Republicans were still around and vocal. They talked about things like party principles.

So? What does that mean? Some time ago, down in—of all places—Harris County, Texas—the local party chairman issued a statement of these principles.

Jared Woodfill, the chairman, said: “I am a Republican because: I believe the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored..

“I believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

“I believe that free enterprise and the encouragement of individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

“I believe government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

“I believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least.

“I believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.

“I believe Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

“I believe Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

“Finally, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.”

Pretty noble sounding, eh? Webster’s 10th Collegiate edition also gives this definition: “Fascism: a political movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

George W. Bush, last year, said: “As we defend liberty and justice abroad, we must always honor those values here at home.”

Then he was quick to install the USA Patriot Act, I and II, legislation that goes very far to violate that first Republican principle: honoring the dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility of each person.

The administration stance on equal rights, equal justice and opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability, has not only produced an effort to ban gay marriages, but has put some Americans in federal custody without legal counsel or due process. Bush continues to expand federal power into any area he pleases, no matter what the Constitution says.

Free enterprise and individual initiative? Bush has signed legislation that benefits big business, the mammoth greedy corporations, at the expense of the small businessman, assaulting the entrepreneur with mountains of regulations and bureaucratic red-tape that strangles initiative.

When it comes to fiscal responsibility, a major tenet of the Republicans, George Bush is a record-setter. He has produced more red ink than any other president and promises to add still more. While he jeopardizes the stability and solvency of the nation, the president yammers about people keeping more of what they earn. He insists his touted tax cuts are boosting the economy. The tax breaks for the wealthiest one or two percent of the country are boosting the economies of Bush cronies and supporters at the millionaire level, but have done little for the average American.

Republicans say they believe in limited federal government, and the real ones, I think, actually do. President Bush and his colleagues, however, have been continuously working to expand the central government and provide it with more autocratic powers.

Government close to the people? Bush is building his own West Bank wall around the federal government. Secrecy is the name of the game. Attorney General John Ashcroft has advised federal agencies to act to impede the Freedom of Information Act, and be slow to respond to requests for information.

As for extending peace, freedom and human rights around the world, three words: Iraq and Abu Ghraib. That’s all that has to be said about that principle in practice.

President Bush has made more than one pronouncement that the country is more secure than before 9/11, thanks to his policies.

The fact is that the 45,000 persons who constitute the nation’s airport screeners represent one of the Bush administration’s major scams. We have spent more than $10 billion since 9/11, but the screeners are no more skilled than they were in 1987. And, in true neo-con style, the Transportation Security Administration, is hitting air travelers with fines of up to $1,500 if they show a wrong “attitude” when clearing a checkpoint.

With all of this has come intense flag-waving, pseudo-patriotism, glorification of Israel and threats to make any criticism of that country a crime, an ill-considered and unnecessary war in Iraq, the equally unnecessary deaths of almost 1,000 young Americans, badly damaged our international stature, creating an ocean of jobless citizens and suppressing all dissent by such means as “free speech zones” and mass arrests of protestors.

As one protestor and writer said, we need to bring Najaf to the streets of New York. Neither party is discussing the issues, but distracting voters with debate over who did what 30 years ago in Vietnam. Nobody is talking about the growing crisis in energy, water and other natural resources. Not Bush, not Kerry, no one.

These people are not Republicans; they are fascists, and they are trying to take this country to a fascist, police-state empire.

You may disagree, but if you really look at what has taken place in the past three years or so, which definition seems to be the best description of what we have today?

If Republicans really do subscribe to the principles spelled out by Jared Woodfill, then they need to stand up and sound off about what they want for this country and for their descendants. If you truly want freedom, you have to fight for it.

Sources: Harris County, Bush betrayal, Lew

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!