Monday, December 04, 2006

Geis (R)

I admit, I am a card carrying Republican. In my defense, I joined the Republican party two decades ago when the Reagan Revolution promised smaller government, a balanced budget and a strong defense against the Soviet Union. As I grew older, I realized that the things they promised were not what they delivered, as the budget spiraled higher, government got bigger and the Soviets failed to invade Europe, wasting all the money we spent on that strong defense. I grew wiser and learned that I wasn't even remotely a Republican. I like to describe myself as Politically Non-Euclidean, but as that only confused people, if I must accept a political label, I would choose a Centrist-leaning Libertarian.

And yet, I continue to carry that Republican registration card. Why should I do such a thing? Well, were I to register as a Libertarian or an Independent, I would be choosing to exclude myself from this country's institutionalized two-party primary system. So, with the third party option out, why not register as a Democrat? Surely more of the views of the Democratic Party parallel my own.

That's not so easy a thing to answer. Part if it could be keeping me in the loop so that I can see first hand all the propaganda that goes out to the party faithful. Perhaps by being a Liberal Republican I can, in some small way, pull the Republican Part back from the extreme right. Maybe, when the primary season comes along, I can vote for the most liberal Republican. Of course, in doing that I might be playing the part of the spoiler, taking a vote away from a centrist Republican, allowing the core of the Radical Right to install their blessed candidate. In the end, however, in the primaries I am always choosing the lesser of evils.

Not how our political system should work.

In the end, however, I remain a Republican (in name only) because of apathy. The label doesn't mean much to me. I don't feel a strong affinity for the Democratic Party. Why should I bother making the change? What does the country care whether I have a (D) or an (R) after my name?

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