Straight Up with Sherri

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What is a Republican?

WOW! The comments were so heavy yesterday, I was almost afraid to post this question today. Since only one person wanted to share what being a conservative means, I can infer only three things from this.
  • We don't know
  • We are too lazy to comment and share
  • Right Wing Nut Job answered it so well that there was no need to elaborate; he said it all.

I honestly think it is a little of all 3. So today, I am posing this question: What is a Republican? What is that actually defines you as a Republican? Or, do you find yourself being a Republican or voting Republican because you are a conservative? Can you be a conservative without being a Republican? Can you be a Republican without being a conservative? Come on folks. I am challenging you to think. Maybe you don't need to think. Maybe you have already asked yourself these questions. If you have, then please share it. If you haven't then let's start the dialogue. We all have a set of values. We all have some sort of compass that we base our life on, and our decisions on. Do I take the job that offers more money, or do I sacrifice the paycheck for less hours and more time with my family? Do I take the job with more hours and less money, because it will lead to the vision for my future? These are choices we face all the time. What defines us? What puts us in the camp we reside in? These are questions that are vital to achieving true victory in our lives. I am posing these questions for a reason. I don't have a degree in psychobabble. I only have experience in making tough decisions that have decided my fate to this day, and guide the journey of my future.

Some of us are experts in the field of what works and what doesn't, probably due to a lot of wrong turns. Some of us keep trying to make good decisions but keep finding ourselves back in the same place. If we cannot answer these questions for ourselves and apply our values to achieving victory in our own lives, we are unequipped to do it for our country. Let's get the ball rolling. Share what you have learned. Ask about what you have not. We can all learn something from each other, but not if we are unwilling to speak up and participate. Don't hide your treasure, don't let your testimony go untold. A testimony is nothing more than a personal experience if it is not shared. What if people never shared their testimonies or thoughts? Where would we find inspiration and guidance? What would we learn other than mathematical equations and conjugating verbs? I think we want more out of life. Am I wrong?


15 Comments:

  • Wow, I'm flattered! First, I am not a Republican. Second, I do not really consider myself a Conservative (I am to the right of conservative). Locally, I vote Democrat and am registered as such because of the primary system in Nebraska. The local Republicans just want to take away all of our property and give it to corporations that offer nothing in return but exploitation of the workers (and too many illegal aliens). Except the Sheriff candidate that the Dems always come up with is a fascist. And my sentiments are not unusual .. most local (City & County) officials are Dems except the Sheriff who is always a Repub. The Mayor of Omaha switches to either party but too many start thinking their job is to be King (regardless of party affiliation). They either get recalled or not re-elected. Our State legislature is non-partisan (as is our City Council). Many of the State Senators are actually listed as Independent - I don't think they are, but it's their prerogative to call themselves whatever they want. Our U.S. Senators are
    1. Ultra Conservative Democrat (Ben Nelson)
    2. Mildly Liberal Republican (Chuck Hagel).

    I am a paid member of the Constitution Party. This is not a nation of laws, it is a nation of constitutions. I do not want to maintain the status of our governmental system (as a conservative), I want to restore it to what it should be under the principals of the Constitution. I support the Republican President, Representatives, and Senators because it's the most pragmatic way to fight what I perceive to be the greatest threat to the United States - control of the government by oppressive Socialists and the consequential tyranny. I never met a government, a business, or a school that I liked. I never met a human being that I did not like. Love is the greatest gift of God. In fact, I believe that Love and Life are the same (just as matter/energy, time/gravity).

    But I digress; I see the Republican Party as a vehicle to move the economy by way of independent personal action, personal responsiblity, and personal reward. I believe that it represents market economy and supply side social policy drivers. The party endorses the right to succeed and the right to fail. However, the principal flaws that it has violate those exact principals (I will explain if anyone cares).

    So, my short answer is this: Republicans care about Love, God, Freedom, and other people. They are willing to share of themselves to help others succeed or fail. They treasure the ideas of others, even when they disagree. Their system is built on rules, not objectives. It's not much, but it's a start.
    (* Cyber hugs to Sherri *)

    Now, I want to hear other ideas, too. I'm very opinionated, but I am not always correct!
    Right Wing Nut Job

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:30 PM  

  • - Sherri .... The very fact you're posting and thinking about gainful employment tends to support the thesis that you're a Republican.... *smirkle*...

    - tap tap tap.... testing.... one two three....is this mike on..... eeeeeaaarrroooooowww.... yikes ... cut the sound level Charley....Okay..... lets start off with a little thing from Joe Cocker.... a one and a two.... something in the way she mooooves.... thrills me like no ..... What?..... this isn't Karaoke night....

    - Oh ... Well nevermind then......

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 1:32 PM  

  • Hunter .. it's nice to read your comments. I think you have hit on something important in "gainful employment".
    There is a need to do something of value, not just to have a job. The word "benevolent" comes to mind when I think of the Democrat Party. Not that it's evil to espouse the virtue, but it's not good to use it as a basis for economic policy. We need to have employment that provides some value. If I am not worth more to my employer (or customers) than they pay me, then I am not a good deal. No one should be given a job, you earn a job. (BTW : I need a job.) Additionally, when we are in a company (whether business, military, or social), we come together for a common purpose. I think that spirit has been lost in corporate America (although it does exist in many small businesses).
    RWNJ

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 PM  

  • - Ahem ... for those of us that tend to forget: We do not live in a Democracy...we live in a Republic, authored, elected, supported, and documented by Majority rule of the people. the Constitution, Bill of rights, and all such literary instruments, were drawn up as a constant reminder to the limited government we begrudgingly tolerate, for simple reasons of practicality, to remind that government of just who the hell makes the rules and signs the checks and the minority liberal asshats that they have the freedoms they do only to the extent that we the majority tolerate them and are willing to suffer their obnoxious stupid yammering and incessant mindless paranoia and conspiracy theories and totally pathetic plastic blow up boy toy candidates who.....erm.....got off track there a bit..... Anyway... We are a Roman law Republic, faith based in the Christian/Judao traditions which the titweasle leftists hate and are constantly trying to attack and undermine with their anti-American, anti-religion, anti-personal responsibility free hand outs welfare state ignoramous ideas and... erm.... sorry..... so easy to get side tracked.... Well there you have it..... Bon appitite' ....

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 1:56 PM  

  • Okay, we seem to have some nifty (and entertaining) ideas. But is it really "Republican"? There is a problem with specific party affiliation that runs rampant throughout all governance mechanisms, and that is power. Do the platform planks of any election match the values of the members of that party? This is where the national Democrats fail miserably, and the national Republicans are "so-so". Consider the borders as a good example - how many Republicans like the current policies of open borders? Locally, the elections for County Assessors, Clerks, Treasurers, and so on have absolutely nothing in common with the national platforms. As such, I would contend, that there are really many different definitions of Republican (or Democrat, etc.). It really boils down to one's belief in the ability and need of the government to solve our problems, or would we rather the government just stay out of the way? If it is the latter, where do we get the occasional necessary support services? That is where a free supply of religious and civic organizations is required. (The exact organizations that the secularists are trying to destroy!)
    RWNJ

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:15 PM  

  • - Well one of the interesting aspects of our "un-glamorized" form of government to keep in mind is the constant back and forth between centralized, Washington based Federalism and States rights. The founders were very adamant about autonomous governance by the states, and wrote the rules to underwrite that approach as much as they were able. Its still the most powerful shaker and mover in our society today. They understood that what works well in Berkeley California would not go over so well in Rattlesnake creek Arkansan. Since opportunity always trumps entitlements in any form of human enterprise, and local governance is generally the most correct and effective, so far their ideas seem to be working. To the extent that no state gets too far outside the lines with their crayons, the rest of the states play along. The biggest challenge of course, was the civil war, (btw we actually fought two of them not one if you count 1812, about the time our true form of government came into existance), which again, proved the power of state autonomy, but a gathering of strength by the Majority when necessary. We've only been a country for some 400 years and a Republican State based government for only 200 or so of that, so the juries still out. When you consider all of that its interesting to watch us spreading our idea's all over the world. An Australian blogger I read recently, tired of a Brit's constant bad-mouthing of everything American put it pretty succinctly: "Yeh mate...Britain's so wonderful....Then how come the two mass exodus groups went on to establish human rights based successful countries due mostly to Kingly autocratic persecution"....Lets face it....for whatever failings our Republic has its still the best thing since sliced ham...Maybe we'll do better than Rome's 300 year rule.....

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 2:49 PM  

  • Hunter:
    Interesting perspective on the War of 1812. I had always perceived that to be the real Revolutionary War. Britain never seemed to accept the USA as a sovereign nation after the War of 1776... I think they were preoccupied with France. But the emergence of our Counrty seems concurrent with your explanation of the States Rights issues at the time of the 1812 conflict. The question of sovereignty in fact is a State's issue. That is, the several Staes are sovereign, but is the Federal Government? Therefore, am I truly an American citizen, or rather a citizen of Nebraska?
    One other point worth contemplating: many people are familiar with the Federalist Papers, but how many know of the Anti-Federaist Papers. This was a real hot bed of contention during the establishment of our U.S. Constitution on December 15, 1791. But as you say, "Issues Remained."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 PM  

  • - If you were to ask the sovereignty question of the founders they would have been pretty clear that the states are "naturally imbued with the rights of our maker" and that any federal governance was at the pleasure of the people and an aggregate agreement between the states as a majority and whole. In that sense you are a Citizen first of your state and then of your "union" of states which we label as the "Federate of states" or Federal government. It doesn't exist unless we agree and support it, so in that sense it has no "natural" rights what so ever. Of course from a practical standpoint, and for the sake of stability, we let it assume a higher identity and act as a "country". But your question is an interesting one which forces us all as citizens to contemplate our form of governance...

    - One of the other questions that I find interesting is this whole on-going feud between the press and the government bodies, both national and state, over their so-called "1st amendment rights". To the extent that their access to officials and the happenings of day to day governmental actions is certainly to our benefit it is good and proper that we the people, allow them that access. But I have long contended that the constitution, Bill of rights, indeed all of our documents, are strictly intended for individual citizens and/or states rights and give absolutely no such implied or written rights to any business's, enterprises, religions, or any sort of organizations what so ever. I think if anyone ever challenged this principle in the Supreme court they'd be in for some "shock and awe"....

    - Of course there's some things we ought to do just because they're generally to our benefit. But there's a good reason why the Federal government tip toes around a lot of issues and cherry picks the way it argues things before the high courts. No matter what they say they know where the real power is.....

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 4:18 PM  

  • Hunter ... Well said!
    RWNJ

    Sherri -- I do hope you get more participation. Listening to me ramble can get quite nauseating.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:42 PM  

  • Sherri,

    Great post, great topic, great responses. RWNJ's thoughtful comment illustrates how inadequate the "liberal=Democrat, conservative=Republican' paradigm really is.

    By Blogger Asher Abrams, at 7:19 PM  

  • - Just as a follow up and an overall simplification of things, as tenuous as that is when you're dealing with our constitution and bill of rights, the Federalists - Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, were not all that hot on too strong a federal entity either. So when the anti-federalist letters and papers were submitted to the convention they were very open to the various points of view. In fact its most probably true that in most cases they were relieved to some extent that they didn't have to carry the burden of the final decisions alone. Moreover they included almost every one of the more serious changes and thus the Federal government as we know it is very much at the beholding and control of the states and most importantly the people. The initial Ratification in 1787 was done with the full intentions of additional modifications which they most certainly did in short order.....

    - The very first three paragraphs of the first anti-federalist papers written by James Wilson he very specifically states (paraphrased)....

    ...."In the case of state government/law everything written shall be law and everything not written shall be assumed to be the providence and assumed power of the state and the people of that state....Whereas everything written and the powers given to the Federal government by the states and the people shall be in force as long as they support it and anything not specifically written shall NOT be assumed unless given by the states and the people...."....

    - This direct proportionment of power is written specifically in the two most important amendments to the Constitution, as a part of what is commonly called "The Bill of rights".... The ninth and tenth....

    - Amendment IX - "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people" ...

    - Amendment X - "The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or the people."...

    - The ninth says in plain English that the States and people have the final say in anything and even the constitution cannot over rule the majority's wishes...

    - The Tenth stipulates what the Anti-federalists were so concerned would be left out.... namely if the States and people don't say it specifically then the federal government can't do it.....

    - These two amendments form the very foundation of our government, our society, and our lives....

    - So the next time you hear a Federal official spouting off about the Government has the right to do this and that you'll know he's just blowing smoke...

    - Then again sometimes we need things like the Patriot act for our own safety....Even when it may ignore the letter of our Law.....

    - We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 8:04 PM  

  • Thanks Hunter .. What a wonderful summation of the Anti-Federalist point of view! I especially like your consideration of Articles IX & X of the Bill of Rights - the forgotton rights.

    Shoshanna -- glad you could join us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:20 PM  

  • I don’t consider myself a Republican though I tend to vote that way more often than not. RWNJ did a great job of explaining what a Conservative and Republican is. But what makes them this way? Why do I vote for more Republicans and Conservatives? I believe it is what Hunter touched on, Christian-Judean ethics and it is what this great nation was based on. The founding fathers believed that only a nation that had Christian-Judean ethics would be able to self-govern.

    Love of every life, consideration for others, personal responsibility, charity, compassion, strength to die for what you believe in; these ideals have been ingrained in the fabric of America because of Christian-Judean ethics.

    Do not be covetous, envious, do not murder, steal, lie, cheat; these Commandments have been made into laws. But they should be obeyed because it is the right thing to do not because you might get punished.

    Not all Conservatives and Republicans are Christians but because I am a Christian I tend to vote that way.

    Typical Texan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:49 AM  

  • I don’t consider myself a Republican though I tend to vote that way more often than not. RWNJ did a great job of explaining what a Conservative and Republican is. But what makes them this way? Why do I vote for more Republicans and Conservatives? I believe it is what Hunter touched on, Christian-Judean ethics and it is what this great nation was based on. The founding fathers believed that only a nation that had Christian-Judean ethics would be able to self-govern.

    Love of every life, consideration for others, personal responsibility, charity, compassion, strength to die for what you believe in; these ideals have been ingrained in the fabric of America because of Christian-Judean ethics.

    Do not be covetous, envious, do not murder, steal, lie, cheat; these Commandments have been made into laws. But they should be obeyed because it is the right thing to do not because you might get punished.

    Not all Conservatives and Republicans are Christians but because I am a Christian I tend to vote that way.

    Typical Texan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 AM  

  • Sorry, I might have posted twice. It seems like this thing takes a while to post.

    Typical Texan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:54 AM  

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