15 February 2008

Why I'm A Moderate Republican

I like rhinos. If I were in a scrap and needed somebody to have my back, well I feel pretty confident a rhino could cover me. But you drop that "H" and confidence drops along side it. And when my more conservative Republican friends call me a "RINO" I know what they're saying: "You're a Republican In Name Only and you don't have my back."

The problem with being a moderate Republican is that we come in all flavors with the possible exception of non-fat French vanilla. There are moderates who are conservative on fiscal issues, security/defense and education but moderate on social issues (hand in the air). There are moderates who are a tad liberal when is comes to spending but staunchly conservative everywhere else (Hello, Mr. President). In fact, you could look at virtually any issue and find Republicans with a moderate leaning on that specific topic while maintaining mostly core conservative roots. Yes, of course, there are also some real RINOs who lean to the liberal every chance they get.

Now, I happen to be a social moderate because I think the GOP was founded on reduced government intervention, which means that we don't send Uncle Sam peeking into wombs or bedrooms . . . kind of a creepy image if Uncle Sam is still sporting a goatee and that star spangled top hat. It's not about morality. It's about the government's role in our lives. But regardless of where you're moderate, the beauty of Republicanism is that there's room for all of us.

The Dems claim to be the party of diversity and will happily point to their current Presidential nominees as proof -- a woman and an African American man. Oh, sure they look different; she resembles a rabid warthog suffering from anal seepage and he's, well, sort of cute once you get past the ears (um, at least that's what my wife says). But when judging true diversity we need to peel away the shallow measurements of skin and gender. (Please, as tempting as it is, no comments that we should try it literally with these two. That would be wrong.) What are they like on the inside? How ideologically diverse are they? I have little doubt that if anybody could figure out what Obama actually stands for, the answer would be clear. They both want to turn this country into the People's Republic of America. Not a very diverse party when it comes down to it. I mean, when is the last time we saw a prominent Democrat who was pro-life? Who wanted to lower taxes? Who didn't champion excessive gun control?

Now look at the crop of Republicans who recently took a run at the nomination. Ron Paul is against the war, Rudi Giuliani is pro-choice and supports gay marriage, John McCain has his campaign finance reform, Mit Romney raised taxes and Mike Huckabee has a really funny name. Now THAT is diversity! THAT is the Republican Party. THAT is America.