Today there is a thriving industry in promoting the Republican Party.
It is a veritable cottage industry. But it is not a cottage industry without its share of dissenters. The argument on both sides is as follows:
If you are looking for a real conservative – and I use that term loosely – then the candidate who best embodies and represents conservatism is likely to be the one that wins your vote. Which means that someone else must be labeled a liberal.
That is a good reason to give careful consideration to your vote for President. But you may be asking, “Is that all there is to the story?” Well, maybe.
There is a second story that I believe is just as important to the election of the next President. In my view, the choice between the right and left depends upon which side you want to be on when the moment comes to make the choice of who to put in office. This is because it is the difference between “being right and being politically active.”
Once we understand that each side believes he or she is on the right side, it follows that those on each side have an interest in identifying with and championing their national identification. You see, they are two sides of the same coin. Being right and being politically active are the two poles of a small triangle that represents the values of each side.
On the right, the right wing identifies with the national identity and with national sovereignty and values.
There is a strong preoccupation with defending the nation and defending the freedoms that we have taken for granted in this country.
On the left, the national identity and national sovereignty are considering a positive value.
It is only our freedoms and protections, the others are not important.
In recent years, the perception of the former side has been tempered somewhat by their feeling that the United States has made some mistakes. It is possible that the left will identify as liberal in future decades. It is also possible that the right will once again be identified as conservative.
From a pure political standpoint, however, the choice between the right and left and their identification with the national identity is a purely tactical question. It is a question of where you want to stand and why. And once we understand that, the choice becomes quite clear.
If you want to be active politically and a part of the political process, then the candidate that will do the best job of representing your political beliefs and representing your interests, should be the one who wins your vote. And if you want to remain politically inactive and avoid the political process, then the candidate that best represents your interests should be the one who is elected.
It is my belief that this is a profound misunderstanding of the politics of the Republican Party and it is my contention that the political philosophy of the Republican Party is being misrepresented and mischaracterized by those who so passionately want the party to achieve power. They want their ideology to dominate our politics and they do not want the facts about the political philosophy of the Republican Party to be part of the picture. They want the facts to stay out of the political discussion.
It does not matter whether the right wants to be considered a conservative or the left wants to be called a liberal; we are all Republicans, and we all understand what it means to be Republicans. And we understand that it is the differences in our political philosophy that create differences in the way we view the world. And, it is those differences that cause the differences in our approach to politics.