Brazen Princess

Loud and Unashamed
NOVEMBER 10, 2012 7:12AM

Confessions of an Undercover Republican

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I know I'm bleeding in front of  sharks when I say this here on OS, but I am a Republican.

I don't have my own company, I'm not from a family of rich landowners and I detest Rush Limbaugh.  Writing these words and reading them after being raised in a house of democrats I see myself as borderline blasphemous... and a little cold-hearted.  

My father is an Irish Catholic born in Boston.  At the end of our hall was a statue of the Virgin Mary (*crossing myself*) in a pot of fake ferns and above her was an 11"x14" framed picture of John F. Kennedy.  Kennedy wasn't prayed to, but at the end of our hall was the reminder that Mary and Jack were sacred together - held in a homaged place for reminding us that mere humans can be perfect.  

My mother came from a Mexican family whose American roots included blood and sweat given to numerous farming firelds.  I was ten before I knew Cesar Chavez was a socialist - a dirty word at my private school - and I nearly got into a fist fight defending his honor.  

Needless to say, my  parents were later deeply disappointed by my exit from the Catholic Church to become (*gasp*) a protestant; and later my exit from the Democratic registry to become (*clasps at heart and topples over*) Republican. 

I registered as a Republican when my own party, filled with disorganization and special interests, abandoned the ideals they were founded on.

Democrats were the first grass roots political party, organizing the people to have one voice to stand up to the Republicans, fueled by the money of wealthy land owners.  The concern of the Democrats originally was that, given enough room, Republicans would only represent their wealthy landowning interests and forget the idea of a government that was called to represent its people. 

Still the ideals of the party were for freedom of governmental control - Andrew Jackson (the first Democrat to be elected as President) is quoted as saying, “We are beginning a new era in our government. I cannot too strongly urge the necessity of a rigid economy and an inflexible determination not to enlarge the income beyond the real necessities of the government.”  The newly formed Democratic Party was essentially dominated by farmers, city-dwelling laborers, and Irish Catholics.

Jackson was the real leader of a party for the people.  The Jacksonian era changed not just the nation, but the world.  It dared to say that the people were not going to be trampled by a government the same way that the colonies were trampled by a sovereign.

In later years, the Party would struggle to take back power in federal leadership.  Abraham Lincoln (a candidate as controversial in his beliefs as Barack Obama) was a Republican and ran against Stephen Douglas, a Democrat. 

Over the next 100 years Republicans and Democrats were worthy opponents, and then – I was born.  While I was a nursing infant John F. Kennedy was shot.  The nation shook, Republicans and Democrats alike. It began a change in the way the country saw the presidency; the day that Eden fell and we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

The media became hyper-vigilant for any sign of political corruption, many believing that the assassination was a government conspiracy to overthrow a leader that they feared would lead us down the wrong road. With the media believing in the corruption of Republicans, the democratic party took and upswing.  A later upswing came with Nixon and all the corruption that he was entangled in.  What we were really exposed to in Nixon’s reign was sobering and a slap in the face: politics were filled with strange conspiracies and friendships.

By the time I could vote there was Carter and all of his crew.  I liked Muskie because he seemed genuinely honest and for the people.  I worked for a democratic Lietenant Governor of California, Leo McCarthy, where we hissed about stupid republicans, grabbing on to the tail of the other stupid elephants in front of them and following right behind, no matter waht.  We were a thinking party, filled with thoughtful candidates.  I could see beyond my own views on life issues (I am pro-life – anti death penalty) to champion the candidates I really believed in.  Reagan was an idiot who somehow got by on his cabinet’s genius...Nancy made me sick.   

The problem I slowly started seeing was that special interests targeted Democratic candidates.  Having few rich contributors (like the Republicans) Democrats became prey to industry lobbyists where they asked for political favors in exchange for dollars (all legal).  Life on the hill was more and more about who was contributing to whose political campaign and less about what you stood for.  Jimmy Carter became a better man after he left Washington, citing the straightjackets of money affiliations that controlled not only Presidential candidates but senators and representatives. 

Taxes started soaring to pay for social programs that had more pork in them than a supermarket meat department.  Choice was now touted as the thinking woman’s stance on abortion.  Democrats were wild and reckless in their campaigns.  In fact, I noticed that the candidates eventually looked more and more like each other between the aisle.  I wondered where the thinking Democrats were.  I was now a young mother and the Shirley Chisolms became the Hillary Rodham Clintons, insulting stay-at-home moms for not contributing to their communities.  I took it personally.  Gary Hart, the last great Democratic hope, disappointed me by allowing a sex scandal to sentence his campaign to death.

When George Bush Sr. Took the White House I voted for him, loving his wife (an educator who championed literacy) more than I did him. 

It required me to register as a republican.

The primaries were the reason I didn’t register as an independent at all, not being able to digest the fact that I couldn’t have a voice. At the time California had closed primaries, and I didn’t want to surrender my decision just because I was mad at my party.

Today I write shaking my head at myself.  I have never in my life felt joined at the hip to  a political candidate, which makes me realize that party affiliation doesn’t determine who I believe in or who I favor. 

I love the idea of Barack Obama.  I know in reality he is as disorganized as the party I abandoned so long ago.  I boarded a ship I was taught to believe contained only the rich and heartless, only to find that the Republican party was filled with disillusioned Democrats who were tired of needless taxes - just like the Jacksonians. 

Go figure.


“I understand that when government takes more money out of the hands of people, it makes it more difficult for them to buy things. If they can't buy things, the economy doesn't grow. If the economy doesn't grow, we don't put Americans to work.”    

                                                                             ~ Mitt Romney


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That quote by Romney is not what I believe. I like a balance of money and helping people. I am not a Communist or a Socialist but I am definitely not a Republican. I am a Democrat. At the same time I hate labels. Things change as you so competently explained. It think the new movie about Lincoln is going to be a good one.
Barbara Bush would most certainly made a more interesting president than George HW, maybe even a better president, though overall HW didn't do a bad job - for a Republican. I understand and empathize with your disillusion with the Dems, that's why I vote Green.
I absolutely loved your post. I also would register indie, but I need the primaries. It is interesting you are Irish-Mexican and I am Irish-Cuban.
Zanelle! Your heart is rich and filled with a desire to see justice... and I agree about labels - that was what I was trying to say here.

Jmac!!! I agree about Barbara (she and Dolly Madison ROCK) I see Green the same way as Independents - filled with folk who HAVE to vote their conscience and won't be labelled.

Catholic Girl!!! What a nice thing to see your pretty face here - now that I know your heritage I can genuinely call you hermana...
You did a good job in chronicling your political travels! Not everyone could do that - but NOW our introspection id begs for it. R
Fascinating personal background vis a vis your political evolution. I have little respect for either party, as they both rely too strongly on corporate money for me to trust them to do what's right by me and the other 99%ers in our land. It becomes an aesthetic imperative for me, tho, when one party emerges as the more blatant appendage of oligarchy, both with its stated policies and with the lies it promotes to win at any cost. In the latest contest, there was no contest for my vote, and you surely know what I mean.
I am not sure what I am?
I feel like a Roaring Bull.
I am so tired of derision.
Ridicule Ruins Humans.
News causes me ` Vomit.
I've tossed away` teevvee.
If I listen to Views` I in PU.
Nature is Phenomena AWe.
I sense Divine` Apparitions.
It's not as 'kooky' as it seems.
I saw a Falling Star @ 3:00AM.
I've Heard Clapping Thunders.
Aye - a chicken in every black-pot.
No act too goofy and ` flambeaux.
No Be Pernicious and `dispicable.
You Know I write very` generally.
No associate with `um crook-folk.
Bad-Morals Darken` Ruins-Folk.
I see the layered spin in that Romney quote. He's speaks as if he's talking to the middle class, correct that we need money in our pockets if we are to stimulate the local economy and tip our waitresses their due. however, his party wishes to overlook the opportunity to put money INTO people's pockets with government led infrastructure programs. or have we now forgotten the I-35 bridge collapse in St. Paul and the subequent determination that the majority of the nation's bridges, highways, etc. are obsolete.

Of course for this to happen, the extremely wealthy must be taxed. A lot. The money they sit on is not being spent to stimulate the economy anyway. Taking more money out of their hands will not make it any more difficult for them to buy things. that's what makes them wealthy.

(one little sharky took a bite...yum)
Marlilyn ~ Thank you for reading and your insightful comment.

Chicken Maaaaaaaaaan ~ A beautiful comment - sounds like you should do a post!

Art James ~ The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls - and OS.

Jewllya~ Thanks for popping in...although it seems you read only the Romney quote (was supposed to parallel one of Jackson's). A good shark reads, then bites. You get a better bite that way!
Marlilyn ~ Thank you for reading and your insightful comment.

Chicken Maaaaaaaaaan ~ A beautiful comment - sounds like you should do a post!

Art James ~ The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls - and OS.

Jewllya~ Thanks for popping in...although it seems you read only the Romney quote (was supposed to parallel one of Jackson's). A good shark reads, then bites. You get a better bite that way!
the problem begins with the constitution. the people being near powerless to affect public activity lose interest, become the nation of 'know-nothings.'

power concentrated in 535 people is easily bought. national corporations serving 330 million people find it easy to put a dozen or so congresscreatures on the tab.

where else in the world is there something like 'k street?'

if you must vote, and i don't recommend it, the question is not which party is crookeder, but which party will attempt to prevent revolution by providing survival at the bottom of american society.
You sound as if you are as moderate a Republican as I am a moderate Democrat. The problem I have is trying to separate fiscal issues and social issues. I can honestly say I am pro-life, pro-abortion as an alternative to pregnancy, anti-capital punishment, but infuriated by the costs we bear as taxpayers to pay for the incarceration of "lifers." I never saw a tax I didn't hate, but I pay them without rancor because one of the things I carried over from my own rejected Catholic upbringing is the obligation to care for those who can't care for themselves. The fraud that you are probably thinking about right about now is not a necessary component of social programs. Poor management and oversight is the cause. I believe in balanced budgets -- and that includes wars that are declared without funding sources being identified -- but they should apply to both parties, equally.

Life in America is not black or white, red or blue or anything of the like. It is complicated and requires a certain amount of personal thought when making voting decisions.

You love the "idea of Obama?" What does that mean? Can you quote Mitt Romney as you have without ANY concern about the people who are not fortunate enough to have been born to families that have the means and the wherewithal to guide them through life? You can't convince me you don't care about the handicapped and the elderly.

As thinking people, I think we should demand to have the ability to remain independent and not be shoved into one party or the other because of the primary process.

I was looking forward to reading why you might have joined the GOP, but really got a good analysis of why you left the Democrats, which is not the same thing.

My problem with the GOP is that while they talk about cutting Gov't, and all the Dem give-aways to individuals, they never talk about the cutting the GOP sacred cows. Bloated agricultural subsidies, for example. Or the military.

Further, we spend 41% of the world's military spending. We spend more that THREE times China and Russia combined --- and those two countries are 1) more likely to go to war with each other than gang up on us and 2) undoubtedly losing a lot to corruption, meaning their defense dollar buys less than ours.

The GOP talks a good game, but Bush Jr increased Gov't spending rather than cut it. Romney couldn't detail what he was going to cut --- probably because it would have been political suicide. But how did he think he'd get those cuts passed?

Ryan torpedoes Bowles-Simpson because he thought his own plan was better. What was the result? NO deficit reduction.

Aside from the whole obnoxious social crap, the thing that bothers me about the Republicans is that they don't address reality. The last time that happened was Heritage, which produced RomneyCare and ObamaCare.

Ryan's plan to turn Medicare into a voucher plan was, Ryan said, based on the idea that free markets work better than Gov't programs. Okay, that's ideology that I might buy. But the reality is that most Americans have free market health insurance and it hasn't demonstrated any ability to deal with costs. Ryan's plan didn't address the very complex reality of American health care. Just as Romney's deficit reduction plan never added up (except to the extent that Romney was so vague that no one could quite pin down what his plan was).

I'm a Democrat because the GOP has failed to match their rhetoric with reality. Reality is hard. Simplistic solutions are easy.

And to address Romney's quote. He has paid 13-14% tax for years. If we reduce his tax rate to 10%, he's going to move money from the Cayman Islands back to America? Don't make me laugh.
Al~ You sound jaded, which is definitely not where I am. I do believe in a popular vote inside of an electoral system and encourage voting - especially for the emerging generation. We are a government for the people, of the people and by the people....

L~ I feel like attaching your comment to my says so much. I agree that "Life in America is not black or white, red or blue or anything of the like. It is complicated and requires a certain amount of personal thought when making voting decisions" - which is why I wrote this! I do care about the elderly and disabled and support numerous (private) charities that puts my money where my mouth is. I support your views on pro-choice but see the "new abortion industry" as exploiters of women. I support a federal prison system - even for lifers and believe that our military spending is excessive. One of my favorite illustrations of a thinking person's revolt to taxation is in "Stranger Than Fiction" - the movie that depicts a small business owner (played by Gillenhal) as pating only the taxes she agrees with!! As usual Leslie, you have given a sound rebuttal to my sound argument.

Malusinka~ How LOVELY to see you here!! My "changing ships" was a process, one that the Democratic Party has played a significant role in - by disorganization and being guilty of what they accused the Republicans of all of my life! I agree that you can feel like you know the political game by the way the press reports - but I've worked for political candidates and I have seen campaigns run...the truth of what lies beneath is slimier than what's reported. The reason I wrote this is to say that Republicans are not ___________ any more than Democrats are ____________. We have pre-conceived ideas of each other that are false. I am no wealthy, heartless warmonger who loves Rush - I am Janet. A foreign missionary with almost no savings and a heart to see America stop spending so much so we can pass her on to our children.

I love the idea of a great Democratic hope like Barack Obama - but I know he is just like Romney. Political machine out to win and gain power and a place in history.

By the way...Did anyone see a parallel in what Romney said to what Jackson said - or is it just me? Maybe I should have ended with a Jackson quote!!
In the late sixties, some liberal intellectuals tire of the false egalitarianism and utopianism the democrats are preaching. Then the counterculture of the young comes as a last straw. In an attempt to protect the American Way of Life, these, now formal liberals, introduce a new political philosophy: Neoconservatism, which departs from conventional conservatism by embracing collective insurance and monetary help for the poor. Liberal programs, such as Social Security, the original neocons warn, could be the last line of defense against further socialization, which conservatives fear the most.

“A welfare state, properly conceived, can be an integral part of a conservative society...In a populous, complex, and affluent society, people may prefer to purchase certain goods and services collectively rather than individually...People will always want security as much as they want liberty, and the nineteenth-century liberal-individualist notion that life for all of us should be an enterprise at continual risk is doctrinaire fantasy,” wrote Irving Kristol in The American Spectator in 1977.

Both political parties serve the big money. Yet, recently, the religious right went of a cliff; they sound crazy.

A great post, Princess, thank you for sharing. R
Thoth~ Like Lezlie you have given a comment that I want to attach to my post. I LOVE when you are here! Thank you for reading...