We Can Do Better… a Whole Lot Better

The Republicans wasted a golden opportunity when Todd Akin made his now infamous quip about “legitimate rape.” Instead of locking arms to condemn the man, they could have mentioned that the Republican Party (unlike another party whose name starts with “D-” and ends with “-emocrat”) does not value solidarity more than it loves freedom, liberty, and the wholesomeness of dissent. After all, dissent is the engine of federalism. It is the reason our country has enjoyed up until now the longest-lived written Constitution. We didn’t used to believe everyone had to agree on every little thing. Leftists like to parade around their love of diversity, but we all know that the only diversity they appreciate is one where no one disagrees. Why else would they have lambasted Todd Akin and Dan Cathy? Isn’t this a free country? Aren’t we allowed to hold opinions that differ from our neighbors’? Apparently not.

And the Republican National Convention was just another sign that the Republican Party will not abide by dissent either, not even among its friends.

I know Obama is bad. He’s almost definitely the worst president we’ve ever had. But the biggest problem with Obama and all his compatriots is their abiding confidence that the “federal” government knows better than average citizens and local governments. Centralization and totalitarianism have been the earmarks of our national government for quite some time now, and, though the Republican Party may have a different perspective on what the policies of our national government should be, it is becoming very clear that it has no intention of reducing the scope of those policies.

Did anyone notice a conspicuous omission in the tallying of delegates at the RNC? At first, I thought they were only mentioning the votes for the candidate that had won a majority in a particular state. But when Iowa’s delegate gave a very clear majority to Ron Paul, the moderator did not even mention Ron Paul’s name from the stage. In fact, no official representative mentioned Ron Paul’s name even though he won an overwhelming majority of delegates in six states, a handful of delegates in other states, and probably would have won more delegates if the GOP in those states didn’t have “winner-take-all” policies. You may hate Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy, drugs, homosexuality, or whatever. But you must at least feel some concern when a very significant dissenting voice in the Republican Party is treated like he does not exist. I thought we were better than this.

You think I’m reading too much into things? How about this: When there was a vote on adopting new rules for the Republican Party, it was not clear whether the affirmatives outweighed the negatives. The crowd was just about equally loud on both sides. Yet the Chairman of the RNC went right along as if no dissenting voices existed, not bothering to do a hand count to make sure the opinion of the delegates was being accurately represented. It was as if they already knew what they were going to do. It made the whole thing feel like a sham.

We all knew Romney was going to get the bid, so why not allow the voice of the dissenting states and the dissenting delegates to have their full weight? Why even bother to appoint delegates? To have primaries? If the GOP establishment is going to do whatever it pleases in the end no matter what, why even pretend “We the People” even matter at all? I’ll tell you why: Because we’ll submit more easily if we believe in the illusion that we can effect a change. I faintly remember Reagan calling the Soviet Union an Evil Empire for things like this.

I find it ironic that the live stream of the RNC on YouTube had a quote above the comment area for most of the convention that read:

Compared with Democrats, many Republicans believe in a more robust version of federalism with greater limitations placed upon federal power and a larger role reserved for the States.

Nice try. Diversity of opinion is necessary for true federalism, and it’s obvious that, in the Republican Party, the “States” have no larger role in anything. They aren’t even allowed to have a voice if their opinion differs from the “National” perspective, whatever that is. And if this is the way Republicans deal with their own party, what should we expect from a Romney presidency? I am so very disappointed right now. Not that Ron Paul lost. I already knew that was going to happen. I am disappointed that the Republican Party has lost, no matter who wins in November. If we value solidarity and unanimity over freedom, transparency, and truth, how are we fundamentally different from the totalitarians we criticize?