Friday, September 12, 2008

Politics, Skunk Style

*originally published in 2004, pre-November election; updated 9-8-08*

A fellow blogger recently and good-naturedly chided me for my decidely 'conservative' leanings. After a bit of good-natured kidding back and forth, I decided to follow the advice of a local radio talkshow host who often says that "before you tell where you sit, you should tell where you stand", or words to that effect. So, here's from whenst the ol' Skunk cometh (and makes no apologies for):

I am registered unaffiliated. The only party affiliation I've had since 1999 is a parody: the National Barking Spider Resurgence Party, a parody party I ran as a parody candidate for President of (in '00, '04, but didn't continue in '08, out of boredom widdit).

My family history is at least four generations Republican: my great grandfather was appointed to the Commerce Department by then-President Calvin Coolidge; he was retained by President Hoover. Of no great surprise, he was fired after the inauguration of FDR. Up to then, he had little to do with or good to say about Democrats; thereafter, he had even less.

It didn't matter that this is the way the game was and is still played. Not to him.

My grandfather was a columnist and poet for, at one time, the Des Moines (IA) Register; during the second FDR administration, he wrote a couple columns critical of FDR's 'New Deal'; he was fired for his opinions. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to grasp where he stood on Democrats after that.

We can debate which party covertly supports political "censorship" another time.

My parents were very active in the state Republican Party in Iowa, leading up to and through the 1968 election cycle. While proud of seeing many of the state offices in Iowa filled by Republicans in '68, they would later be mortified by Nixon and Watergate.

As for me, I grew up Republican; until the very early 1990s, I was so-registered. I was and remain proud, to have voted for Ronald Reagan. In '92, I briefly switched to Democrat registration (they had a much more interesting primary then; I voted for Tsongas). In an eleventh hour decision at crunch time -- in the voting booth in November '92 -- I crossed both fingers, bit my lip, closed my eyes, and voted for...Bill Clinton. Then, I bought the "change" bill of goods from a "new Democrat". Less than 11 months later, I was as mortified with the lie I'd fallen for, as my parents had been in '74.

Despite the current crop of what I call party-leading "Democraps", I do not hold that all Democrats are bad; I thought the Scoop Jackson/Sam Nunn/Zell Miller brand of 'fire and brimstone' Democrat was a respectable power that didn't sell out national defense in order to please the Daily Kos/ wing of their party. I can't stomach or say much good about the Howard Dean/Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid/Michael Moore/Hollywood branch of the Democraps of today.

I returned to Republican Party affiliation until '99, when I decided to experiment, and listed myself as unaffiliated. It worked: I started getting attention from both parties as a 'swing' voter. And I was hardly a 'swinger' (just ask my ex-fiancee, but I digress).

Philosophically however, I remain more conservative than not: I'm for smaller, less intrusive government, lower taxes, capital punishment, national defense, immigration reform, the war on terror, self-responsibility and self-accountability. I think school vouchers are a viable option in today's faltering, bureaucracy-heavy public school system. I'd like to see more welfare reform, not less; building a dependent class isn't my idea of helping anyone but liberal bureaucrats (aka, tits on a boar) who don't want to have to work for a living.

I am, however, not what other conservatives would call staunch: I don't support an all-out ban on abortion (just irresponsible and gratuitous ones at taxpayers' expense); I don't support mandating prayer in schools (nor do I support banning all forms/mentions of Christian religion, either), or a flag burning amendment to the US Constitution (free speech is not only supposed to be protected; allowing a moron to show the world he/she is a moron by burning a US flag should be allowed, so we are cognizant of the morons in our midst). I don't consider the Bill of Rights something to be gratuitously laden with a lot of added fluff that is already constitutionally addressed (which is occasionally forgotten by some activist judges). And while I approve of the legal right to keep and bear arms by law-abiding citizens -- recently affirmed by the US Supreme Court -- I condemn the NRA when it comes to allowing the sale to the public of assault rifles and armor-piercing ammo; I was a police reserve officer when this controversy was hot, and was furious with the NRA over their thoughtless stance of negating my body armor to win a political argument.
I have no problem admitting to occasional enlightened self-interest ;-)

Now a word about our current president: I wasn't wild about Dubya in '00; I felt the media talked him up because they felt he would be easy meat for Gore at election time (look at media coverage of Dubya pre-primaries in '99-early '00). But I was less wild about the ever-changing face of AlGore. I remained cautious of Dubya until he became President Bush in my eyes in the wake of September 11, 2001; wherever else he may have fallen short since (on the immigration debate, among other things), I've supported a president who had the courage to say what made the appeasers and the apologists apoplectic, and has thus far stood by those words. Granted, not everything has gone well in the war on terror. Not everything goes well in war, period. Even during the "instant gratification" Gulf War I, things went wrong (like incidents of friendly fire). War's a messy business, and not one to be taken lightly.

And yes, I speak as one who has only read of war, and not wallowed in the mud, staring death and destruction in the face. Thanks to the men and women who have on our behalf, I had the option not to. I owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be paid in full. We all do, and always will. Those who call our military "baby killers" and demean them, are contemptible trash, and nothing else in my book. Willie Nelson's heros have always been cowboys; mine were, are, and remain the US Military, police and firefighters.
Top that, Daily Kos. *Buzzzzzzzzzzzer* lose.

Yet, all I hear from his opponents are attacks -- largely void of fact and heavy with hypocrisy that is easily proven from public statements by these same liberal champions of the previous administration -- with no viable, credible alternatives offered up. None. Zip. Nada.
In 2004, John Kerry spoke of fighting a "smarter" war, but offered not one credible suggestion of how he would do that. 'Cuz he didn't have a clue how such would be done, let alone mean what he said. Except when he talked cut and run. THAT, he meant.
As for Obama in 2008, he talks vacuously about defending America, but always comes back to cutting and running in Iraq; moreover, he won't say or accept that "the surge" in Iraq worked and makes the possibility of starting a troop drawdown soon more viable and safe. He also continues to offer "dialogue" to demonstrated enemies of this country and allies like Israel, "without preconditions". Such indirect "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" by his anti-war stance is not the kind of thing that engenders in me a trust of him as my president, when it comes to defending our shores and our interests.
In this -- and other matters -- Obama is "no Jack Kennedy". There, and on so much more of his ultra-liberal voting record on a cornucopia of things, from business to taxes, Obama leaves me unable to support him.

And yes, I've already heard that if I don't support Obama, I'm racist. That abysmally void-of-intellect statement -- coming largely from the ignorance-based, ill-educated Leftist school of Race-baiting and Intimidation -- tells me all about liberalism in today's Democratic Party that I need to know, so far as casting a vote for them goes.

Back to the war issue for a moment. My thoughts on cut and run are simple: it's appeasement. And what does appeasement beget? For Neville Chamberlain and Eduard Daladier, it beget the Munich Accord for Adolph Hitler. And it guaranteed the onset of the very thing Chamberlain and Daladier sought to avoid, by selling out a valiant ally for their own self-interests: World War II. If 50 million dead world-wide doesn't convince you about the abysmal failure of appeasement, then nothing ever will. If you really think you can appease Al Qaida, their brethren in Hamas and Hezbollah, or their benefactors in Iran and Syria, by cutting and running, or selling out're every bit as blissfully ignorant and shortsighted -- if not downright stupid -- as Chamberlain and Daladier were at a critical time in European and world history. And you will guarantee more human suffering, and millions more dead civilians, including Americans, in the times to come.

Human history has a helluva track record, for anyone who cares to educate themselves on human primal urges, and where the weaker have been gobbled up by the stronger. Now, I'm all for universal peace and enlightenment: and when the lowest common denominator in human primal urges is supplanted by the wisdom of the ages, causing that wisdom to be world-wide and truly universal, then I'll feel comfortable in spending not a penny more on defense. But until there are no Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Saddam Hussein wannabes, and until there are no more Osama bin Ladens, Ahmadineijads, Kim Il Sungs, and Vladimir Putins et al, we are so NOT there, kids. As long as there are bullies, one can be a sheep for bullies to feed on, or a pillar of strength that bullies won't test. Like it or not, no matter how corny you find the following, freedom isn't free. American history should be, in and of itself, enough to prove that, if world history is too much for you to digest.

At the same time, I don't give a pass to some folks on the far Right (beyond the Christian Right): there's plenty enough blind stupidity, hatred, and useless hardheadedness on that side of the aisle, too.

So it is left to us -- the greater mass in the Middle -- to use reason, common sense, and rational give-and-take, to try to find answers to the questions that neither the far Left nor the far Right will seek to find common ground on. God help us the day that the great majority between the Right and Left leave one or the other to do all our speaking, thinking and legislating. That day will mark the end of our constitutional republic, and the end of the freedoms we've come to cherish so.

So there you have it. If you had any question as to from where the Skunk is coming from, consider them somewhat answered now. As for the just-completed DNC and RNC conventions, two things are clear: the RNC had better food (celery sticks vs beer-batter fried walleye? You lose, DNC, and in the eyes of many of your own). And my vote is now set: I'm voting for Paris Hilton; not only is her energy plan a good balance, but she's hot.
Okay, I heard that chorus of *oinks* out there, and I'm probably kidding here about voting for Paris, even if I wasn't kidding that she's hot (physically).

At any rate, despite how ol' Skunk sees things, my blog pal might still put up with me, anyway (at least she has since '04, even knowing that she's a Hillary supporter and I ain't).
I'm me, and I approve this post.


Blogger Two Dogs said...

In this day and age when political leanings are described in a different manner hourly, you would be a fire-breathing right winger.

Welcome to the club.

12 September, 2008 18:11  
Blogger jenniferw said...

I agree with so much of what you said. This, especially, was great:

I speak as one who has only read of war, and not wallowed in the mud, staring death and destruction in the face. Thanks to the men and women who have on our behalf, I had the option not to. I owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be paid in full. We all do, and always will.

Amen and amen.

I find it humorous (or would, if it weren't so pathetic), that the same ones who pillory President Bush for going to war, goad him further for "bungling" the war he shouldn't have gone to in the first place. Make up your minds. We are winning; if you loved America you would rejoice in that.

I firmly believe that history will prove George W. Bush to be one of our greatest presidents. At least he loves America, which is more than you can say for B. Hussein Obama.

Excuse me while I spit up, then rinse out my mouth. That's what saying (or writing) that name does to me.

Being a conservative of the ultra-staunch variety, I must add: Abortion is murder. All abortion is murder. No circumstance mitigates brutally taking the life of an unborn baby. This is the great scourge of our time. You said:

If 50 million dead world-wide doesn't convince you about the abysmal failure of appeasement, then nothing ever will.

Well, if 50 million dead IN AMERICA since Roe v. Wade doesn't convince you that legalizing abortion was wrong and immoral, then nothing ever will.

I'm going to blog about this soon ... the "Missing Voters" the Dems need to win this election have been systematically murdered by their own party for the last 35 years. They've put to death the very voters they would need to provide the margin of victory.

(Someone's done a great study on that and crunched all the numbers. It was published in The Wall Street Journal. in 2004. I'll provide a link.)

The Dems will lose in November. BO is just an empty shell of a rabid socialist. He's gonna crash and burn, mark my words.

12 September, 2008 18:18  
Blogger Debbie said...

My parents were not very political, didn't dig into the candidates like they should. Years ago I liked to think of myself as an Independent, but I later learned that was not really possible if I wanted to really have an affect on this country. I have nothing in common with the Democrats, zip, nada, ... I'm proud of that today.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

13 September, 2008 13:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Skunk. Excellent.

13 September, 2008 22:58  
Blogger Herb said...

Well, from the far left that has hijacked the dem party you would be a frothing right-winger. I would think that people in the middle would find Mac appealing because while Barry, when he wasn't voting "present" voted 97% (nnumbers from Wash. Post) with his party. Mac, 85%, which says to me that, whether I will agree with him on every issue, he is going to be able to work with the other party effectively and vote according to his conscience.

14 September, 2008 05:23  

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