By David Beilstein
TAGG ROMNEY has weighed in: his father did not want to run (or it seems) win the presidency. I was leaving Mitt Romney alone until this recent admission by Tagg Romney. Now, according to Tagg, Mitt Romney (wait for it!) was a reluctant Republican presidential candidate.
This irritates to no end, folks. Could someone suggest, ah, not running if that attitude pervades, to Mr Romney?
Likewise, The further we get away from Tuesday, Nov. 6, the more embarrassing Republicans become. Yet, we should have expected this. When a political party loses races all over the nation, vast structural problems exist. On this Christmas Eve, I’m increasingly disgusted with GOP excuses concerning the latest curve and texture of why they are losing. Things like this, increasingly, aid me in my confidence joining the Libertarian Party of Florida was a good move. Tag Romney’s admission was just another swallow, just another ah, embarrassment for those serious about political science. It becomes increasingly clear to me the GOP is in serious trouble, but not because of the Democratic Party, but because of the inaptness of the GOP itself.
An AFP story, appearing on The Drudge Report, reported the following,
The Globe story also highlights the decision to downplay Romney’s biography in favour of going after Obama and the flagging US economy.
Campaign strategists feared that highlighting Romney’s biography would open the Mormon candidate up more to personal attacks that he was wealthy, out-of-touch and belonged to a minority faith.
None of this political minutia matters. The Romney campaign lost because of the reputation of Republicans and the Democratic Party’s ability to take advantage of GOP grievous mistakes. This was decades in the making. All one has to do is turn around and focus on the massive inability of Republicans to articulate an attractive, coherent message, and it becomes clear why Republicans are swirling around the deeper rings of political hell.
I believe a majority of American voters look at Republicans as opposed to individual freedom within a secular state. I believe this is probably the biggest issue facing Republican irrelevance, besides past incompetence. They simply do not understand politics is the consequence of philosophical ideas, not the starting point. Politics is not really about morality, especially at the national level. It is about the protection of the individual and his inalienable rights, and also, the punishment of those whose actions are injurious to others inalienable rights (life, property, etc.).
What this means, then, is numerous kinds of behaviour by individuals will have to be tolerated. Republicans are about as intolerant politically to such an idea as Democrats are about things they do not like. Still, such toleration is not a justification of the behaviour, but a limitation on the power of the state. Democrats don’t believe this, Republicans can’t accept its verity. The inability to recognise this by Republicans over several decades illustrates profoundly, Republican’s have little animus with the growing intrusion on individual liberty and quality of life.
Republicans will need to comprehend the consequence of a de-establishment of religion, creating a secular society. Such reality creates different ideas about what individual liberty means to individual peoples. It’s just me probably, but I am not convinced Republicans are all that aroused over individual liberty and what that entails in a secular culture. If they did, two things would characterise Republican politics in the aggregate: First, Republicans would mount an ideological defence against Barack Obama regardless of public support – trying to dismantle his second term agenda because it would be good for American prosperity and security. Two, Republicans would be in the lead allowing individual states to legislate behaviour outside U.S. Constitutional parameters thus indifferent, so states could decide these issues rather than the Federal Government. Republicans are so patently inconsistent here it hurts to even try to explain it.
The GOP loves big government when it means preventing behaviour and cultural expressions they feel are against their brand of cultural uniformity. I’m not convinced the Framers wanted cultural uniformity, so this bothers me more so now than ever. Cultural uniformity dismantles Jeffersonian and Madisonian distinctions, fostering an unhealthy attitude toward the state by citizens. And so, when government is an evangelical crusader, Republicans have few problems with a bloated, fat government. But proponents of classical liberalism – an ideology conservatives are in the business of “conserving” should be about limitation of the State along constitutional parameters of enumerated powers. Such ambition will create avenues of consensual behaviour cititzens are going to likely find unwanted and harmful. But it is the consequence of a truly free society. We can handle such liberty, or we cannot.
I’m not sure American evangelicals or Republicans desire freedom of the individual anymore. Not really. I think it means too many things – too many personal freedoms! – evangelicals rightly see as sinful, and harmful to society. But based upon the U.S. Constitution and its indifference to much of personal autonomy and its expression, one wonders what kind of argument Republicans can mount? Their continued losing streak seems to indicate there is no argument – other than individual states, which, seems anathema to cultural warrior Republicans/”conservatives”. Thing is, Federalism is key in how states determine their own destiny in the face of an intrusive Federal Government.
Tagg Romney’s comments are revealing: showing Republicans are as unserious as Mitt Romney’s apparent shipwrecked campaign. Such lack of seriousness does not build the type of civil confidence voters need in public servants. The whole thing (despite polls) continues to illustrate to me why Obama pulled a victory out of the jaws of defeat despite an impossibly disastrous record!
Freedom of the individual is a tricky thing. It means freedoms leading to behaviour which ties GOP underwear in knots. Makes them go green. Heavyweight champion Jack Johnson established a pugilistic career and reputation expecting his inalienable rights without reflection upon his ethnicity. Johnson was not free because he was a Negro, he maintained. He was free because he was a natural born American – an inherent birthright to freedom enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
Johnson would not allow his freedom to be defined by what other Americans thought his freedom should mean.
For too long, “conservative” Republicans have been blithely affirmative concerning liberty of the individual until such liberty becomes at odds with traditional or evangelical values. Whatever that means. Simply put, a prudish cragginess comes to mind when drawing mental images of Republicans – especially over the last 20 years. I myself think of Jerry Falwell when I think of Republicans, especially those claiming “conservative” credentials who would be better served as the prosecuting attorneys at the Salem Witch Trials (Rick Santorum, Michele Bachman, etc). Yes, I can honestly say, though I worship the same God as Jerry Falwell did, I have never looked upon the man as the paragon of individual liberty. Never saw him as anything like a good reflection of classical liberal ideological expression. Too many personal freedoms are allowed in such a system for folks like Falwell calling themselves conservatives.
Freedoms that Jerry saw as unbiblical – even though – the point of America was actually to get to such a place. On further reflection, shall we consider – just maybe – the religious right and moral majority was not the best way to preserve the pillars of our free society?
British author G.K. Chesterton’s old adage, the right to do something, does not mean one is right in doing it – has been ignored by the GOP and American evangelicals for to long. Important to understand for such folks, politics will not convert Americans to moral behaviour. It’s time for those believing in conversion to act as if they do in fact believe in the consequences of their religious affections.
Until such sunsets, Republicans continue to whine and moan – therefore, they continue to lose.