Monday, March 4, 2013

An Open Letter To the Republican Party

I almost never blog about politics, but we are living in perilous times when all that is needed for evil to threaten the liberties that we Americans take for granted to come to an end is for good people who put the good of the country and all its citizens first and foremost to continue to say and do nothing about the extremism that is shackling our Country. And as you will see if you bother to read all the way though this blog piece, I'm not just talking about one political party or the other. There is more than enough blame for all to share.

One might ask, how does that have anything to do with homosexual and bisexual people. The answer is that it has everything to do with it. America is just now beginning to take the rights of gay Americans seriously. But if America is overtaken by extremist politics and viewpoints, those citizens with little power, including racial minorities, immigrants, and those who are sexually different will be the first to be assaulted.

I have not always been a Republican. As a young man I was a supporter of LBJ, and I actually voted for Bill Clinton; not once, but twice. I don't actually regret either stance. I've come to believe that the old saying, "If you are young and not liberal, then you have no heart; but if you are old and not conservative, then you have no brain," is entirely true. As I aged, I got smarter and more realistic about the world, just as one is supposed to do.

As a moderate Republican who believes that neither the Republican Party nor any other arm of the Federal government should be making laws about what goes on in our bedrooms or insist that their religious beliefs should trump mine concerning reproductive rights, I felt Mitt Romney could and should defeat President Obama in last November's national election. I was wrong on the "could" part of that feeling. I remain convinced the country would have been better off had the "should" part of my feeling prevailed.

I'm not fearful for myself over Obama's political goals. I an old man who may well be dead before his second term ends in 2016. I am, however, very fearful for my kids and my grandkids who are going to continue to live in a country that bears almost no resemblance to the country in which I grew up in the 50's and early 60's.

The founding fathers never meant for government to be a guarantor of and provider of equality among the people of the United States. Instead,
they meant  the government to see to it that everyone  has an equal chance at equality, not in absolute terms, but under the law. Because the right to happiness and its pursuit is inalienable, we as individuals must take full responsibility to work hard at achieving our own happiness. Many people don't realize that. They sit and wait for the government to deliver it wrapped up in a bow.

President Obama and the Democrat Party have perverted the wisdom of the founding fathers and are trying their best to make the Federal Government the arbiter of equality through taking full responsibility for everyone's happiness. If one group has failed to achieve for whatever reason, the Democrats are willing to help through the redistribution of income. In other words those of us who have worked hard all our lives and achieved the American Dream will be required to share our hard earned wealth; and yes, our privileges with those who have never taken advantage of any opportunity or worked hard at anything in their whole lives to achieve their own piece of the American Dream. 

I was astounded, during the Democrat National Convention last summer to hear Official

Delegates say that to a television pollster, no American Corporation should be allowed to make a profit. How did we get to the point where people who are so utterly stupid can hold an official position in a major party representing the interests of thousands, if not millions of Americans? How could anyone raised and educated in America not understand that corporate profits are the backbone of the American economy and that these profits accrue not just to big corporations but also to Americans of every race and every economic circumstance? How could we get to a place where the most powerful person in the world is consciously and purposefully turning the country over to the left wing nuts who see the American Dream as one in which America is a mediocre country filled with mediocre people saddled with mediocre lives courtesy of the Federal Government?

But it is not just the Democrat Party which has idiots and uneducated imbeciles within their ranks. The Republican Party has, over the last few years, all but turned itself over to their own right wing nut cases. In the last few years, we have seen so called Republican candidates for the highest state and national offices who lack any qualification for these offices. All too often these right wing nut jobs espouse ideas and concepts that could only be described as stupid. Many of their political ideas have their root in fundamental religious beliefs which are subscribed to by only a small minority of Americans. Jack Wu of Kansas is a case in point.

The following is from a February 2010 blog in the Huffington Post.

Jack Wu believes public education is “preparing its students to be liars, crooks, thieves, murderers, and perverts,” which is one of the reasons he's running for a chance to overhaul the system from the inside.

Wu is a Republican candidate for the Kansas Board of Education and an attendee of Fred Phelps' controversial Westboro Baptist Church, a far-right congregation best known for its anti-gay protests and picketing of military funerals. Wu writes that he moved from California to the "evil city of Topeka and this perverse state of Kansas” after "seeing the light of the Westboro Baptist Church.” He also believes evolution is "Satanic lies," which has added particular significance to his upstart candidacy.

Kansas is set to play a pivotal role in creating national education policy as one of 26 states working with the National Research Council to develop science standards for a large portion of the country. Wu's 4th District opponent, Democratic incumbent Carolyn Campbell, supports the teaching of evolution and natural selection, as does the majority of the state's board. But with five seats on the ballot this fall, Kansas' support for commonly accepted scientific principles could hang in the balance.

The Kansas City Star recently interviewed Wu, who explained a bit of his worldview:
“The truth matters more than the opinion of other men and women,” said Wu, clutching his green cloth-bound King James Bible during a recent interview on the grounds of state Capitol about a block away from the Kansas Department of Education’s offices.

“The Bible says if you’re hated by other people for taking a stance that’s not popular, it’s like a sign you’re chosen by God, almost,” added Wu, who describes himself as a reality television fan who works as a self-employed computer programmer and designer of video games.

He's also claimed that Harry Potter promotes witchcraft and likened Christmas trees to pagan idols.

Wu has said he is running for State Board of Education "to throw out the crap that teachers are feeding their students and replace it with healthy good for the soul knowledge from the holy scriptures."

But the nature of his candidacy has largely failed to draw support. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R), who makes a habit of supporting Republican candidates in the state, opted not to back Wu. According to the Lawrence World-Journal, Wu responded by claiming that he was happy not to receive Brownback's blessing.

“The poor governor needs to obey the commandments of God and stop being a vile Catholic,” Wu said, according to the World-Journal, reportedly noting the Catholic Church's problems with child abuse.

Democratic operatives and non-partisan educators say they're taking Wu's candidacy seriously, but the Star reports that he had only received $5 in contributions through July, the most recent reporting period.


Kansas has never been seen as a state where scientific fact and common sense are always revered over religious ignorance, but I am happy to report that Wu was too much for Kansas. He lost to his Democrat opponent by a wide margin.

I would like to say that it is now no secret to anyone that the Republican Party must change if it is to survive, but that cannot be said. Some of the most radical right wing nuts are still contending that the Party is suffering not from right wing idiocy, but from its failure to embrace even further the right wing agenda.

The strength of America has always been its abundant natural resources, its population which is made up largely of the best and brightest from around the world and its embrace of the political moderate middle. Now, both parties are trying to out do each other in seeing who can most quickly bring America and Americans to the furtherest extremes, both left and right. 

The fact is that an America which embraces either the right wing extremes or the left wing extremes will not long endure. All one has to do is look back at 1930's and 1940's Germany to see what happens when a moderate country comes to be dominated by extremists.

I am still convinced that the great majority of Americans are not extremists. A country of extremists would not be embracing the changes now taking place in America regarding the bringing of full civil rights and acceptance to gay men and women. Although many Americans think otherwise, the growing acceptance of gays as deserving of the equality under the law all Americans deserve is not an extremist position. It is a moderate position.

In spite of President Obama's current control of the levers of power in the Democrat Party, I am not concerned for the long term about the Democrats. Obama is the most extreme President ever to hold the office of the President of the United States. And the fact is he was elected not because of his extreme ideas, but in spite of them. Once he has served his second term and is barred from holding the office again by the U.S. Constitution, the Democrat Party will return to a much more moderate stance.

I am not so optimistic about the Republican Party. Too many of those in powerful positions in the Party seem quite content to continue or even step up their embrace of extreme positions. If that is indeed the case, the Party is doomed.

To survive and be a viable Party again, the Republican Party must embrace its moderate center. It must stop seeing itself as the spokesman for the Christian right wingers. It must embrace, as American has always ultimately embraced, its immigrants, even those who are illegal though generally law abiding people willing to work hard. It must figure out a way to educate Americans to the value of Capitalism once again and bring all Americans back to a common embrace of the power of Capitalism to benefit people of all economic conditions. It must bring people back to the view that America is a land in which a mix of hard work and education will bring enormous benefits which far outstrip those that can be bestowed upon them by a government which would rather hand them a margin of success that would make them and every one else in the country comfortably mediocre.

I believe in  American Exceptionalism, not in American Mediocrity. For those who are not politically and morally blinded, American Exceptionalism cannot be denied. American Exceptionalism does not mean that America is without faults or problems. It does not mean that we don't have the need to reform areas of our public and private character. What it does mean is that it was American Exceptionalism that allowed a band of rag tag Americans to defeat a far superior professional British army in the Revolutionary War. It was American Exceptionalism that made America the defender and savior of democracy in World War II. 

It was American Exceptionalism that allowed Americans to be not only the first; but also, the only men to ever walk on the moon thus far. And to embrace American Exceptionalism is not to deny the exceptional people that can be found in the other countries of the world. Our exceptionalism springs from our willingness to embrace and give opportunity to immigrants from around the world.

All one has to do is consider people like Steve Jobs and Apple, Inc. Steve jobs was of Syrian ancestry. Is there anyone who believes that Jobs would have changed all of mankind with the iPhone, the Mac, and the iPad had he been raised in Syria? Jobs touched the life of every American and a huge percentage of the rest of the world population because of the reality of American Exceptionalism which allowed him the freedom and the opportunity to pursue his dreams in a way no other country could or would.

I believe in the benefits of hard work and the self-striving for a better life while protected from strife and assault by a powerful central government. The Republican Party has traditionally seen the Federal government in that role - the keeper of peace and the provider of equal opportunity. Unfortunately, the Party has come to see itself more as the defender of the rich at the expense of the poor. It has come to see itself as the promoter and defender of right wing Christian values which are not the values of the majority of Americans. It has come to see itself as the defender of low tax rates which prevent the government from keeping up with the demands of inflationary forces as well as the legitimate demands of an ever increasing growth in population which depends on government's legitimate role in keeping the peace and providing and maintaining an infrastructure that supports American ingenuity. It has become the Party which is more interested in creating rules and laws to benefit the richest among us while ignoring the need for rules and laws to help the poorest among us have the chance to build their own wealth and achieve their own dreams.

I married at age 18 and started out with nothing much more than the clothes on my back and the will to make a better life for myself and my family. I was not only able to do that, but to do it to an extent I never envisioned. I'm not sure my young grandchildren are going to have that kind of chance when they become young adults.

It's high time that both Parties, and in particular the Republican Party, gets back to playing the role it has historically played in the lives of Americans. Most black Americans have no idea that it was the Republican Party which brought the Civil Rights victories in the mid and late 1960's over the most obstructive tactics of the Democrats who stood in school doors to prevent integration and used force to beat up blacks who tried to be served at lunch counters. Most black Americans have no idea that it was the Republican Party which moved heaven and earth to bring the Emancipation Proclamation into reality against Democrat resistance. Republicans have stood still and let the Democrat Party steal for themselves its most significant accomplishments. All that must change or America itself is imperiled.

I believe there are good men and women in both parties who are earnestly willing to work in bipartisan ways for the good of the country over their own self interest. The problem is that these men and women are and have been over the last decade or so, willing to let the extremists in both parties speak for them,  immobilize them and disempower them. It's time that changes.

Jack Scott


  1. I cannot agree more, the current state we are in by begining to redistribute wealth is starting to sounds like the begining of a downward spiral, if someone does nothing to get something, it gives us no reason to work to get the same thing, so we are left with lazy people who do not want work and are entitled to everything.

    1. Thanks TJ for your comment. I appreciate it and I appreciate your allowing me to post a somewhat off topic post although, I believe, an important one.

      Jack Scott

  2. Jack, I strongly support your veiws. You have written an excellant peice and I wish that it was more readily available to the public. I to am concerned about my children and grandchildren. I can only hope that a new republican party grows out of the present turmoil. I honestly think Obama may actually harm the democratic party in the future.

    1. Thanks Cary, I appreciate your comment. Fear for the lives our grandchildren will live is something we hold in common.

      The world is so different from the one I grew up in. I would like to see the pendulum swing the other way for a while.

      Jack Scott


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott