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As Long as We Remember...

December 18, 2007

Why Be a Republican? – Part 1

Farrell Keough

What is the similarity between an air traffic controller and a pilot? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; if the air traffic controller screws up…, the pilot dies. [Anonymous]

We are seeing this scenario played out in our every day lives. Democrats earnestly and honestly believe that increasing taxes, government size, and – most importantly – government control is in the nation’s best interest. While government is a necessary component of a nation, at what point do we honestly believe government handles our lives and money better than we are able?

We have all seen this played out at a local and state level. Now, this is occurring on the national stage. We have legitimate candidates running for president who have no compunction about proposing incredible tax increases. In previous years, this was a third rail that no potential candidate would ever dare to raise. Anyone remember Michael Dukakis?

But some type of sea change has occurred in which it is now not only acceptable to propose huge tax increases, but almost a badge of honor. “Maryland’s (Gov. Martin) O’Malley ridicules his conservative ‘no new taxes’ critics and insists that ‘taxes are not a pestilence, plague, or disease.” (Wall Street Journal)

Even more perplexing, the public no longer believes that “taxing the rich” will not affect their own back pocket. These are strategies which may play to the fringe of the party. It does not inspire the public. This will certainly have tremendous affects in Maryland as we are the first state in the history of the United States to increase income, sales, and business taxes all in the same year.

Don’t draw fire; it irritates the people around you. [USAF Ammo Troop]

How do the Republicans fair? The first term of the Bush Administration was just about as bad as it gets: spending out of control; increase in government size and oversight; lack of interest in their constituents; the list goes on.

A few in leadership remained firm, but they are part of something bigger than just themselves, and hence tainted with the actions of the rest. We sank ourselves and we have no one to blame. But, unlike our opposition, we need to accept the truth of our actions and make the changes necessary to uphold Republican principles.

If the Enemy is in range, so are you. [Infantry Journal]

Republicans are so often maligned, both by the press and even by party members. We are often called mean-spirited or only interested in “big business.” Regardless, these actions speak louder than words. This is not enough. As so many have noted over history, if you tell a lie long enough, people start to believe it. We must articulate our positions and not allow the “Borking” of our party to continue unabated.

Whoever said the pen is mightier then the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons. [General MacArthur]

While actions are the final say, pointing out truths and revealing lies and bias is tremendously important. So often the Republican Party is labeled as not caring about the environment, or children, or any number of factious arguments. Yet we are often slow – or worse – poor at explaining our actions. We assume people will think through points logically and arrive at the most reasonable conclusion.

Unfortunately, this is often not the case. The constant attacks begin to take their toll and the public accepts these biased presentations as fact. We must step up to the plate and articulate our views and visions.

These “Borkings” are both irrelevant as well as untrue. And that is often the reason they are so poorly argued. The opposition entices the public into believing they are the party which stands for these issues by a continuous push to increase government size and regulation over each of us.

This does not solve these problems. Rather, it exacerbates the issues by stripping our own individual rights and authority and handing it over to government bureaucrats.

We have had a War on Poverty since the 1960s, which only created more poor and dependent people. It was the Republican Party which finally made the move to end this cycle of dependence by allowing people the opportunity to make their own decisions and change their lives rather than remaining dependent.

A second method attempting to discredit our positions or influence is the constant lawsuits and investigations. This is occurring today and will likely continue as it has in the past.

While we should not resort to the same methods, we need to take hold of the podium and give the facts. We can no longer cower or dismiss these frivolous investigations as rantings or sour grapes. These situations are used to undercut our leadership and standing and, while the public may seem to tire of these actions, they have their intended result.

Five second fuses only last three seconds. [Infantry Journal]

These are but a few of the negative issues facing our Republican Party. “Win at all costs” seems to be the prevalent strategy of the day. While we cannot use the same recourse or methods, we can rise above these tactics. Knowing our visions and general consensus and articulating these positions is paramount. We must step up to the challenge and voice our shared viewpoints invigorating America.

Tomorrow, a view of what we hold in common.

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