Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:39 AM

Based on recent political events, I think the Republican party has been pulling away from the conservatives, and in particular, Christian conservatives, leaving us slowly behind without the majority of Christians even noticing. It would seem to me that we are seeing the Republicans become increasingly centrist and, for some odd reason, even bowing to Democratic pressure during a time of a Republican majority. What is wrong with this party?

Think about it: “our” party has recently decided to nod approval toward a Medicare prescription bill… a bill that will cost an unimaginable amount of money to provide prescription drugs coverage to medicare recipients. This is crazy. It makes sense that Medicaid provides prescription drug coverage, but why Medicare? Why does every American senior need socialized prescription drug coverage?

Frustratingly, the part of the bill that might help dodge the large costs, allowing people to go to managed care providers for “enhance” coverage, is just a senior scam in the waiting. Right now, through what my grandmother is going through, I can see what managed care does to medicare: steal it from those who can afford to pay extra for the managed care and are tricked into signing up for it. In this case, the managed care provider called the shots as to how the hospital treated my grandmother and then refused to pay for rehab afterwards, assumedly, all the while collecting the medicare benefits my grandmother paid for through taxes — benefits that would have paid for all of these things!

So, at best, the prescription drug benefit will socialize an industry and bring the government more into everyday life. At worst, it will just feed more money into the beast that is HMO's. Neither option is good, and I can't see why any sane politician would support this.

At any rate, I'm going off track. I'll just say this: This bill is such a odd thing to support for Republicans that I think Rush Limbaugh was stumped as to what was going on — the best he could come up with was that this was an attempt to take a campaign issue away from Democrats. If I recall correctly, he even admitted once to being stumped. When was the last time that happened?

There are lots of other problems with the Republicans, right now. Many support the, I'll say it, evil PATRIOT ACT. Many support destroying embryos for stem cell research. The administration has supported turning a blind eye to Microsoft's behavior that violates antitrust regulations. The administration and congressional Republicans supported the final McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill. Colin Powell went on MTV and told teens to ignore the biblical morals that parents and religious leaders teach them and decide their own morals — “forget about taboos, forget about conservative ideas” regarding premarital sex and condom usage. The GOP Chairman was “honored” to meet with an organization that actively promotes the homosexual agenda to show the party's “tolerance.” These are all catastrophic failures going against the positions of the very people that elected these politicians.

I wonder if it isn't about time we started a new party. We've been stuck with the same two parties for far longer than any of their predecessors. I still agree with most of the Republican platform, but I think the politicians within the party are ignoring that platform. Hatch, McCain, Bush, Powell, and Ashcroft are just a few people, all of which I have agreed with at times, who are supporting these bad policies.

I think President Bush still has potential, but maybe it's time people spoke up to remind him and other leading Republicans that it's good if they are [campaign slogan]”uniters and not dividers”[/campaign slogan] but it's more important that they support the policies the people who elected them thought they promised. Thought the party stood for. The policies many people still think are right.

That leaves the question: where did the old Republican party go and how can voters who still support its positions get it back?

Tags: Politics

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15 comments posted so far.

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

what’s wrong with Powell wanting the kids to make up their own minds on stuff? ever heard the saying “you can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”? that phrase applies to this situation. you can tell kids about the Word and take them to church, Bible studies, youth camp, etc, and at the end of the day, if they don’t want to follow God, they won’t. it’s sad, but that’s how life goes sometimes. it happens all the time—maybe not openly, but i’m willing to bet you cash money that there are plenty of teens at your church doing this type of thing.

besides, if the kids are allowed to decide what they believe, chances are they will follow their beliefs more strongly than they would if their beliefs were spoon-fed by their parents. i grew up in the church, went to Catholic schools, the whole 9 yards, and for awhile i decided it wasn’t for me—so i went around, smoked pot, spent a lot of time in the world, done and saw more than most, etc…once i decided to follow Christ, the decision and what it means to follow Christ seemed much more real to me than it would have if people were compelling me to do various things and act in certain ways. faith should be something someone comes to on their own, not a product of compulsion or coercison.

Posted by joseph j. fell - Jun 25, 2003 | 11:23 PM- Location: cleveland, oh

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Right, I don’t think people should be forced, I just don’t think telling teens to “forget” about taboos and Conservative morals is the right approach. Something better would be to say “Don’t let people force you to accept that which you really don’t believe” or something like that. Instead, Powell seems to be encouraging rebellion for no particular reason.

While experience is often the best teacher, how much better it is if someone can learn without experience! I’m not always good at that, but there are many times I wished I had just listened to people who know about XYZ subject. I think Powell seemed to be going for different in this case…

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Jun 26, 2003 | 1:09 AM- Location: MO

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Powell wants to people to think for themselves! he’s encouraging rebellion against people mindlessly accepting what people tell them and\or believing in something because other people force them to.

i know this is an idea that conservatives hate, mainly because once you learn to think for yourself and make up your own mind about issues and you learn about what’s going on in the world and in society, most people turn out to politically liberal and socially activist. the thing, though, is that most people don’t know what’s going on, and they’re not thinking for themselves. people accept what other people tell them because they are too lazy to go out and find out the truth themselves. that, and they’re too busy in their empty, dreary lives to become informed about what’s really going on in life. a lot of people are scared, too, about what will happen if they think for themselves. this is why i like The Matrix series so much—it’s highly representative of modern society. there are so many people in “The Matrix” who work their hopeless corporate jobs, take their kids to soccer practice, go to church, live in the suburbs and try to keep up with “The Joneses”, and have no idea about how bad things really are. those of us who know the truth, who know what The Matrix is, and who are aware of how bad it really is are now trying to “liberate” those people.

Posted by joseph j. fell - Jun 26, 2003 | 11:10 AM- Location: cleveland, oh

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

I don’t think most people who think for themselves turn out socially liberal, although many do. I think there is a reason for that though, and it isn’t thinking for themselves, but following the leader. Many liberals become liberal in academia. That’s because most professors and other students are also liberal. Particularly in the sciences, to go with the flow, the young student will reject his faith and morals and accept that of his new role models and such. The student will be told his old beliefs are silly and irrelevant and surrounded by those who believe such, he will most likely eventually agree. If that student had gone into the situation with a strong support base of his traditional beliefs, he would be more likely to sit back and consider the two opposing camps. However, if there is only one predominant voice, he will likely eventually fall to that side unless he is already well prepared for those challenges.

I think there are very few people who formulate an original ideology based solely on their own thoughts… thinking on their own. Generally, “thinking for yourself” means deciding to do whatever the group that says you are “thinking for yourself” wants you to do.

Still, I would suggest that the conservative movement is growing. Many people are tired of the humanistic ways that the liberal movement has promoted. People are tired of the unfulfilling life that “do whatever feels good” philosophy brings — it’s a short sighted and very self centered philosophy.

But, overall, I think society is decaying, and part of that decay is expecting the government to do more and more and the individual to do less and less — the liberal way. I don’t oppose helping the poor, I oppose demotivating them by providing welfare in such a way that in many cases people will lose money if they go off welfare and get a low paying job in an attempt to better themselves (within a short amount of time, they may be able to work their way up from that job, but initially it will look silly). I oppose political correctness where it is thought that I shouldn’t insist on anything being absolutely true, and that brings us back to our originally issue with Powell.

What if Powell said, “forget about those conservative ideas” about murder? Should we let everyone find their own way on whether murder is right or not? Surely not! I think most of us would agree that the idea that “murdering is wrong” is an absolute truth. Now, then, if I take another absolute truth, assuming that I take the Bible as absolute truth (I do), I can say “fornication is wrong” in much the same way. Now, why should I accept Powell saying that the latter is something you should “forget about,” but the former is not something he should say that about? Both arguably hurt both people involved in a physical or psychological way. What’s the difference (okay, okay, I know it’s a matter of degree… murder is far worse in many ways, but hopefully you get the point)?

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Jun 26, 2003 | 6:05 PM- Location: MO

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

I agree that the RNC is moving away from us. They are moving more in the middle, and to peopel who will not sacrifice on what they stand on this will be a very big deal 10 years down the road.

Posted by jake - Jun 28, 2003 | 12:19 AM- Location: USA

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Yeah, you are right Jake. I hate to think what the RNC will look like ten, twenty, or thirty years down the road. I hope somehow we can give them a wakeup call before then…

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Jun 28, 2003 | 2:27 PM- Location: MO

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

I think this post lacks historical perspective, personally. If we compare this GOP to the not-so-long-ago days of Michel and Bob Dole, this is a very conservative party leadership. It’s better to look at this sort of thing from a long-term perspective, rather than at the headlines. Conservative influence in the GOP over the past 25 years is a bit like Christian sanctification— it has ups and downs, but the overall trendline is upwards.

Secondly, the GOP will never outlive its usefulness as long as it exists. We live in a 2-party nation, and have since the inception of our current system of government. If by “usefulness” you mean “having a voice in politics and society”, it is one of the only 2 games in town. If you honestly believe Evangelicals can strike out on their own and form a new and viable party, you haven’t been following Barna’s demographic research. First of all, there aren’t enough of them. Secondly, those who do exist won’t do it en masse, so the effort will be piecemeal and ineffective. Thirdly, the system is structured in such a way that 3rd parties can’t sit at the adults table. Fourthly, without corporate backing you aren’t likely to be able to afford a realistic party structure, and there are few Evangelical Ross Perots. 3rd parties are a nice fantasy, and sometimes a good way to scare the existing 2 parties. They do not, however, eat one of the existing parties and take their place, short of situations like party suicide (a la the Federalists) or a nation-rivening issue (like slavery and the Republicans.) If there is a party that’s in danger of disintegration, it’s the Dems with their unstable amalgam of various grievance groups. The R’s are experiencing unprecedented party unity at the moment.

If R’s are straying, it’s largely due to Evangelical apathy and unrealism. We expected politics to cure societal ills that only Christ can ameliorate through the church. We made an idol of politics in the 90’s, expecting it to win our “culture war” for us. And now we’re disillusioned. We’re pulling back from the activism we once did, and about 6 million Evangelical voters sat out the last election, according to Rove’s analysis. If you aren’t in on the victory, you have a lot less to say about how the war spoils are divided. That’s how life works…

Posted by Discoshaman - Jun 28, 2003 | 5:02 PM- Location:

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Hi, btw. I hope I didn’t sound snarky when I mentioned historical perspective. I like your blog very much, and am enjoying dialoging with you over at Jake’s house. Keep fighting the good fight!

Cheers, John

Posted by Discoshaman - Jun 28, 2003 | 5:05 PM- Location:

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Having worked in politics a bit as a volunteer, I can assure you that, within a narrow margin of results, virtually every election in the US is fixed. I refuse to cheer any so-called “elected public servant” who promotes anything contrary to the Constitution. With but an 8th grade education, anyone can read the Constitution well enough to see we left it long ago. It began with Lincoln, the first “Republican” President, and those of us with principles have been at best patsies for them ever since. What difference does it make if you are in bed with Satan (Democrats) or simply sleeping in his spare bedroom (Republicans). They have NEVER represented the Christian voice, and never will.

As long as Christians continue to fall for this hooey, they will share in the judgment for the results.

Posted by Ed Hurst - Jun 28, 2003 | 10:02 PM- Location: Rural Southeast Texas

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?


” Having worked in politics a bit as a volunteer, I can assure you that, within a narrow margin of results, virtually every election in the US is fixed.”

Please don’t take this as rude, but I’m amazed that you have access to information about a massive conspiracy to fix elections. It’s especially shocking that your finger is so much more firmly on the pulse of things than World Magazine, National Review or any of the host of other news sources with a significant Christian presence. Is ‘rural southeast Texas’ really such a news hub?

Posted by Discoshaman - Jun 29, 2003 | 1:31 PM- Location:

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Hi John… you raise some good points. I do hope that this is just a “down” time. At any rate, I think I’d rather give the GOP a good shakeup than start a third party, but either would require serious unity among Evangelicals (I guess I shouldn’t hold out hope for that :-(). Your post didn’t sound “snarky,” by the way. :-) I too am enjoying the discussion over at Jake’s, it’s been quite enjoyable.

Ed: Just curious what began with Lincoln? I honestly am not aware of one single problem with him… (certainly, great presidents’ failures are eventually lost, but…)


Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Jun 29, 2003 | 9:09 PM- Location: MO

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Thank you for you question, Discoshaman. I have not always lived in TX, so that has little to do with my cynicism. Rather, it’s the other way around. I firmly believe that the various publications are selling their stuff, and telling real information and truth secondarily. Furthermore, “truth” is subject to debate, anyway. My rant is as good as anyone else’s. Conspiracy? Not in the typical sense. CFR, Trilateral, Bilderbergers, etc., have been around quite some time, and their publications make it clear they run the show. I suppose I could say the US Government IS the conspiracy. Recent events elucidate this more than ever. Tyranny is here, and we will do well to keep our sanity. My cynical rant was aimed at helping folks see that politics is at best a source of entertainment, and we should never be sucked in by the lie “government by the people…” Ask the Pilgrim family in McCarthy, Alaska, for example. The federal government will lie, cheat, steal, etc., ANYTHING to get what the elites have decreed. The current administration has carried on with that.

As for Lincoln — he defied the US Constitution in so many ways it’s hard to count. Try the movie Gangs of New York for a sample. Or the closure of newspapers and arrest of their editors? Need more? I am a historian, among other things. Dr. DiLorenzo has a great book on him.

Posted by Ed Hurst - Jun 29, 2003 | 11:16 PM- Location: Rural Southest Texas

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Not discussion of the Trilateral Commission, anything but that! ;-) I must say I’m dubious about the claims that the CFR, TLC, etc., have any real power. I have another friend whose spent much time trying to convince me of such, but I just haven’t seen actual proof. Perhaps you have some, Ed?

At any rate, now that you mention it, I remember the closure of newspapers. Indeed, that isn’t ideal. It wouldn’t suprise me if an amendment to the PATRIOT Act allowed for a new round of closings sometime soon.

Say… what’s that sound? That chop, chop — choppers! It’s black choppers! Oh, no, the Trilat*click*

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Jun 30, 2003 | 12:47 AM- Location: MO

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

Not the black choppers! [LOL] I don’t obsess over those folks. There is evidence pro and con, and I have accepted the story that they pull an awful lot of strings. It’s probably influenced by my many negative experiences with our US Government and various One-World agencies. I saw the under-belly of the beast while serving in the Military Police in a NATO assignment in Europe — ethics and morality were highly discouraged at all levels of government operations.

The point is this — TRUST JESUS. Never expect anything but evil from a government more than 20 years old. The second generation of any governing institution will toss the grand visions of the first, if there were any in the first place. There are many fine people serving the public, but most of them are not “public servants” and the old saw that civil servants are neither is in most cases accurate. Shoot, even your church staff is likely to have some venalities.

You and I should not ever put faith in politics to bring godly results, except by accident. True believers are in the minority, and seldom exercise sufficient power as a group to get much done. When we get close to doing so, things happen and we start blowing up at each other, instead of the Enemy.

Posted by Ed Hurst - Jun 30, 2003 | 9:16 AM- Location: Rural Southeast Texas

RE: Rant: Has the GOP Outlived Its Usefulness?

i put up a post a few days ago, but since you gotta click twice on here (once to preview and then again to save) unlike other blogs where you only click once, i accidentally clicked off it and it never made it up.

anyhow, Ed Hurst’s posts…wow man…i was talking with someone who goes to Baylor last week and she made some comment about Texas being a very conservative state, wow, i don’t think conservative even begins to describe Ed’s posts. first of all, why are the democrats satan and the republicans in his spare bedroom? could it be the other way around? (this refers to one of his posts long ago) also, what kinds of candidates do you support? furthermore, where are you coming from about the Constitution? what EVIDENCE do you have to back up your point? there’s a nice principle in american government called “judicial review” which allows the Courts to determine if a law violates the Constitution. also keep in mind that the Constitution is INTERPRETED. many parts of it (just like the Bible) are unclear and people have to interpret what it says in order to make decisions.

i’m sorry to let you down, Ed, but i will continue to put faith in politics to bring Godly results. maybe your view on politics is soured by the Bush Regime, who polluted texas before it began ruining america and the world, but he’s only an aberration—there are many fine politicians out there like Dennis Kucinich, who is my choice for the next President (http://www.kucinich.us)

Posted by joseph j. fell - Jul 01, 2003 | 12:47 AM- Location: cleveland, oh

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