Gov. Huckabee, I urge you to leave the GOP party as you’ve recently threatened to do for the following reasons. First, you’re contributing to the GOP being the stupid and ignorant party. You wish to be stupid and ignorant by all means, start your own party. The issue of gay marriage is not one of science, and what science there is doesn’t support your positions, just like on evolution, global warming, sex ed and others. Ignorance pours from you like water from niagara. This is fine. Your an American and entitled to your opinions, but those opinions are increasingly at odds mainstream Republicans. Honestly, we’d rather you join us in our fight for sensible policies rather than this rigamarole. We want to be the party that isn’t constantly at war with reason and science for the sake of a few social conservatives. Quite frankly, we don’t need you anymore and you’re hurting more than your helping. Especially if we want to have a chance of surviving the 2016 elections.
Secondly, As I’ve just alluded, social issues are a major distraction. Honestly, no one cares what consenting people do. Let them find what happiness they can in this world. Goodness! that you care is creepy and weird. That you would legislate on non-issues take time from solving real problems. How does vilifying gay people help us solve issues with taxes, foreign policy, oversight of President Obama, and the business of government? There’s a lot of stuff we need to do and fighting this fight just isn’t worth it.
Thirdly, social conservativism is not the victim of judicial activism as you suggest, but against our nation’s laws. If something is illegal it doesn’t matter how popular it is, it needs to stop. This is why we have a court system in the first place. As Republicans we value the constitution. If there’s a core American value among Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, Black, White, green and everything in between it’s the value of our Constitution. Right now your position that we mandate restriction on marriage are blatantly unconstitutional. How do you know? wave after wave of judges have ruled it unconstitutional. This issue just got an underhanded bitchslap by the supreme court. It’s done. This fight is over. You and a few conservatives will eventually take it all the way to the Supreme Court. They’ll rule against you and you know what? We’ll be glad. This issue will be done. and we can put it behind us and stop alienating voters with our bigotry. If you want to overturn this eventual ruling you have a Constitutional option. You can do like the Democrats are doing and start trying to push for a Constitutional amendment, but we’ve got to warn you. We’re not going to support you on this. Your on your own. As you should be.
Fourthly, What kind of “Small government Conservative” are you? You want to pass laws that dictate what people can do in their own homes? No. Our party, like other parties, is about promoting personal freedoms and responsibilities. We’re not going to say what people can and can’t do in this area. You say it hurts children. Your wrong, but even if you were right, it’s not our job. We’re not going to tell parents how to parent, we’re not going to tell schools how to teach. We are going to give people the freedoms to live there lives however they see fit. This is what the GOP stands for, or should stand for.
In short, make good on your threat and please leave the Republican Party.
It’s popular to be an “independent voter”. About 40% of the electorate describes themselves as “independent”. You’ll find them into all walks of life and political niches. In every news broadcast, talk show, and political discourse, “independents” seem to be the new key political demographic for politicians. So many people are calling themselves “Independent” that political wonks are considering the death of the two party system. “Independent” is the new political “cool” and I hate you all.
Ok, so I don’t hate all independents, just the 70-80% of independents that are really closet partisans. In many respects, centrist leaning organizations have done a wonderful job of advertising independence in voting. Who doesn’t want to think of themselves as “independent”? It’s a la carte political positions for one and all. Republicans have done a wonderful job with their self-inflicted political sabotage. Republicans are near universally hated on a national level. They’ve utterly failed to do anything of note, and have succeeded in bringing this country to the brink, crossing over that brink, and otherwise grinding to a halt the normal everyday business of government. Not only THAT but they’ve fielded some of the most notoriously bad candidates for political office I could possibly imagine (Mr. Todd “legitimate rape” Akin springs to mind). So it’s no wonder the GOP have lost members to “indepedency”. They’re image is pathetic right now. I wouldn’t want to be associated with them now either.
I know voters who call themselves “Libertarian” and vote for non-libertarians candidates. You are a useless waste of political capital. If you like libertarian ideals, don’t vote GOP and don’t call yourself an independent. The GOP are not libertarians, they will never be libertarians. You are setting your own cause back, because, (if I can speak in the language of Libertarians for a paragraph) you’re only going to advance pro-corporate, pro-statist, non-personal autonomy philosophies and policy. Listen to me Libertarians, you will never move the GOP. At best, they’ll superficially shift their positions a little to better market to you, but it’ll never happen. I’m sorry. You need to vote 3rd party. This is the only way, the ONLY way, you will get a clear message past the mainstream corporate interests and the GOP establishment. It’s also the only way to hold elected officials accountable to your values.
There are other reasons for voting “independent”. Quirks of your state primary laws can make it tricky to be one or another party. You think it’s no one’s business what your party is. You don’t want to get harassed for support every few months by your favorite political party. You like to think of yourself as an independent, even though the odds suggest you really aren’t. Because you don’t agree with everything on what you imagine your party platform to be and don’t want to sound like you do. I suspect that the last one resonates with a lot of people. But here’s the thing, if you have always voted one way, and always will, tell people that’s what you are. And no, “that one time” doesn’t count. Remember all those “Reagan democrats”. Yeah they’re not “independents”. They’re Dems that changed their mind for one election. If you converted from one party to another don’t say you’re “independent”.
So what has any of this to do with my antipathy for “Independent voters”? Because you needlessly confuse the conversation. Who is talking is as important as what is being said. “What does it matter”, you ask. “if I’m one thing or another, does that change the value of my opinion to my elected official?” It shouldn’t but it does. When the national party talks to the electorate and they see the only people crazy enough to still call themselves Republican, you’re going to get crazy policies and candidates because they think that’s what you want. Moderates and centrists need to stand up and yell over the crazies. People need to say, “I’m a Republican and I think you’re NUTS.” “I’m a Republican and your candidates are so crazy I’m going to vote for the other guy”. In a weird way, DEMs have the opposite problem with their independents. Your policies get artificially pushed towards the center. Admittedly that’s where my own comfort level is, so I might have a bias in that direction.
Strictly speaking I shouldn’t really be poking solely at Republicans in this piece but Dems have a different set of issues. But the same issues of message and clarity are still in play for them too. Independents, as they are now, are like a crowded stadium everyone yelling for their favorite policy. What you want is a bunch of smaller conference rooms that voters can tour where you can calmly advocate for your position. “Hello, I’m a ________ and I want ________)” “To thine own self be true” — Shakespeare. It works for politics too.