Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Republican Party Vs. republican Principle

A commenter drew my attention to a central point of American politics that though it is implicit in what I usually discuss, I don’t know if I’ve ever written about it explicitly on this blog. So, I want to post my response:

I stopped having an instinct to reflexively follow the Republican herd a long time ago. In fact, especially today, neither political party establishment is tied primarily to principles, although some of their office-holders are, and most of their voters are. But, the party establishment has these principles on the table of negotiation for their real ultimate prize, which is winning power. If they thought it would serve them in that regard, most of these political strategists could almost completely swap their issues positions with the other party, with the major difficulty being just learning to temper their habitual rhetorical instincts.

All of that said, the founding principles of the Republican Party emphasized fundamental moral principles on which democracy is played and within which democracy is constrained. Those merit work to preserve or retrieve, as the case may be.

That is to be distinguished from the historical bottom-line of the Democratic Party, which is, as the name suggests, preserving the will of the majority of the people, which might restrain a tyrannical ruler or rulers, but doesn't restrain the tyranny of the electoral majority over the minority. That of course, was the problem with slavery which then-Democrats defended, and abortion today, which today's Democrats defend.

I will defend republican (small "r") principle whether The Republican Party (capital "R") defends or understands it or not. Today's "frontrunners" clearly don't, but Huckabee does.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

I would say that "Republican Principles" are those possessed by the candidates viewed most favorably by people who associate themselves with the Republican. Clearly, Larry and his mentor Dr. White, are in on sense "Republicans." Here are the results of a poll taken by the Gallup Organization a month ago. Not a whole lot has changed in that time;

Gallup GOP Subgroup National Primary Republican Nomination Preference by Ideological Self-Identification Among Moderate/Liberal Republicans (N=544) Giuliani 38% Thompson 17% McCain 16% Romney 9% Among Conservative Republicans (N=1,131) Giuliani 30% Thompson 23% McCain 15% Romney 10% Republican Nomination Preference by Frequency of Church Attendance Attend Church Weekly (N=689) Giuliani 27% Thompson 24% McCain 17% Romney 9% Huckabee 7% Attend Monthly (N=396) Giuliani 33% Thompson 18% McCain 16% Romney 14% Seldom/Never Attend (N=577) Giuliani 39% Thompson 20% McCain 13% Romney 8% Republican Nomination Preference by Religious Affiliation Protestant/”Christian” (N=765) Giuliani 28% Thompson 23% McCain 17% Romney 8% Catholic (N=273) Giuliani 44% Thompson 18% McCain 13% Romney 13% Republican Nomination Preference by Region of the Country Northeast (N=327) Giuliani 43% McCain 14% Thompson 14% Romney 13% Midwest (N=365) Giuliani 34% Thompson 17% McCain 16% Romney 9% South (N=616) Giuliani 28% Thompson 28% McCain 12% Romney 6% West (N=382) Giuliani 28% McCain 19% Thompson 18% Romney 14% Survey of 1,690 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents

What the poll suggests is that Rudy Giuliani is leading Mike Huckabee (mentioned once in the poll after people who go to church regularly) in every category, including probably evangelicals. They feel, like Gary Bauer and many other evangelicals, that Rudy has the strength to take the nation through the crisis posed by Islamo-fascism. To Mike's credit, he has tried to speak candidly to the far-right of the evangelical movement, his small base, and they have responded with snarls, as they did on abortion, illegal aliens, and voting rights for DC. What I predicted has happened: his fiercest supporters (supposedly) have not allowed him to reach out to the great mass of Republican voters. That's largely why his campaign has not caught fire in any of the largest states. In contrast, Giuliani has impressed people in every segment of the Part except the most problematic, the Dobsonite wing that has no understanding of what it means to be a federal Republic. Rudy is aying this to those who claim they will stay home and pout: good riddance.


Larry Perrault said...

Man, I wish I could get this aggressive wasp out of my backyard! This guy disparages people ignorantly and indisciminatly And, he also makes his own definitions of words, rather than consulting a dictionary or the history of usage.

By the way, Lawrence White is not my mentor. I respect and appreciate Dr. White. But, I would be saying what I'm saying, even if I'd never heard of him.

"Small base..." Social conservatives are the largest identifiable Demographic in either party, save for "race" (lexicographicaly, there is only one human race), male and female, whose political preferences split much more evenly than those of social conservatives.

I'll tell you what, Jack (curt, but not nasty): how nuch money do you have to say that Iowa caucus results (& NH and SC, for that matter) will not break down anything like your cited statistics? Actually, in at least two of the three states, I'm certain that Huckabee will beat Giuliani.

Your (national polls are not much influenced by the campaigns. They are very much influenced by the focus and clamor of national media (liberal, I remind you)

Kilsythian said...

The Republic of the United States. That's what we are. A Republic is based on a set of unchanging principles from which our conduct is premised upon. The Constitution. We can change it through a democratic process of voting. Otherwise we are bound by it. Much the same way Christians, for example, use the Bible as their unchanging code. Otherwise inch by inch we would slip into moral degradation. There must be a rock upon which we stand that does not move even though society becomes immoral we have a foundation to move us back to moral ground and return to the Founder's origional ideas.

Larry Perrault said...

kylsythian is s significant individual to me. This year, we turned 50. And, he has been , certainly in my mind, my best friend since we met in early 1969, when we were not yet 12. My family moved far away around the end of my teens, but thanks to phones, trips, and now the Internet, we have stayed in almost constant contact. I won't print your name until you have, but it's been some weeks and is time for a phone call. Even through my own physical challenges with MS, he has been a reliable friend and comfort. With time and daily bemusements divided, that commitment is a personal character quality and blessing that I can only stand in quiet awe of.

Owing to our separateness both geographic and genetic, we have leaned to slightly different interests, but remained compatible at that critical foundation and confession of faith and morality.

But, we might specify for the sake of some terrorized secularists, that in America this Morality, through some youthful adventures foundation doesn't extend to every inch of our own moral foundation.

The foundational American creed is freedom, within the bounds of some low-level moral constraints like life (which today's America plainly has a problem with), liberty (which we also went through a great problem with), and property (which we now stand under decades of pecking and digging at). A lot of things that we devoutly believe in and which many people fear have nothing to do with compulsion and have no business with The Constitution.

Generally, I'm a federalist who believes much more government responsibility should be returned to states and localities. But, as for American values, I don't think we should lose our focus on those very foundational assertions of the American civilization, and there is way more than enough work to do.

Thanks for commenting,...talk to you, soon.