When it comes to political issues, I am strongly libertarian. Unfortunately, the libertarian party in this country is not big enough to have a major impact on the political landscape. Because I'm a realist, I just can't justify using my vote on a third party when I can use it to support one of the two big dogs in the fight. For that reason, I've been siding with the Republican party lately.
Siding with the Republicans is painful right now. Not because of Romney's loss last night, I pretty much expected that. Siding with the Republicans is painful because the Republican Party fails to make itself understood and fails to innovate and change.
First of all, why the hell is gay marriage even an issue with the Republican Party? If we truly live in a society in which there is separation of church and state, why isn't there gay marriage in every state? The state's definition of marriage should be independent of a church's definition of marriage. This is ridiculous. Dear Republican Party, get over this issue and move on. Let gays marry already! (Yay for my home state, Washington!)
Secondly, when it comes to the economy and businesses, I believe the Republican Party can do a lot of good. But this party continues to have trouble with PR. This party fails to reach out to diverse demographics. It continually fails to connect with large demographics of people. This party can no longer be confident that it will win with simply the old, white guy vote. This party really needs to re-brand and re-connect with voters. Innovate! Grass roots! Learn a few campaign tricks from Obama already! PLEASE!
We need conservatives to bring their logic to the table rather than continuing to harp on faith and family values. I've read plenty of eye-opening, smart literature from conservative political scientists and think tanks. But the logic gets burried behind emotion and religion. The Republican Party needs to elect young, smart, eloquent public figures. Figures who won't make unfortunate guffaws when the whole world is watching (Akin).
The Republican Party needs to show the world that it is made up of intelligent, logic-driven people. Democrats may laugh at that sentence. This is EXACTLY my point. They assume Republican are backwards and uneducated. I wish I could introduce them to my eloquent, overly-educated and supra-intelligent family members who vote conservative.
Finally. I'm frustrated by the Democratic Party's failure to understand the conservative agenda. I was listening to news radio today and a very liberal radio host said that the country is divided between people who believe in science and objective facts (Democrats) and people who believe in their own subjective manifestations of reality (Republicans). This made me sick. I don't care if you don't agree with the Republican Party (heck, I don't always agree with them) but you owe it to yourself and the rest of the country to at least try to understand what the other half of the country thinks.
Saying that Republicans are "anti-women" and "anti-health care" sure sounds good and translates into Democratic votes. But this is simply not true. People who actually feel this way about the Republican Party are over-simplifying or just refuse to understand what is really going on in the minds of the Republicans. Differences between the two major parties are largely due to disagreements with what the government's role should be in society and NOT over a hatred for certain classes of people.
For example, I want women to have access to birth control. I just don't think the government should be required to give it away for free. And I sure as heck don't think tax payers should pay for it. (Why is the country so obsessed with birth control for women, what the hell about birth control for men?) Also most members of the Republican Party have a different definition of when life begins. This isn't relgious dogma- you can believe life begins at conceptions without being religious. Can't we understand why people would be anti-abortion if they think this way?
I wish, instead of branding Republicans as "anti-women" and "ant-poor" and "anti-health care" that Democrats would actually understand the logic and the reasoning behind the Republican agenda. Obviously, no party is perfect and the Republican agenda is a good example. But, I beg Democrats to shed what they think they know about Republicans and try to see the party from a Republican perspective. Labeling the Republican agenda as "backwards" is merely a good excuse for Democrats to set it aside without acutally having to think about the logic that lies beneath. The logic may differ considerably from Democratic logic, but it's there.