My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Why I Am A Republican, part V

Over the past week, I have attempted to explain why I am the political creature that I am. I have tried to track my genesis from a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool Moderate Independent into the partisan Republican that I now am. However, I noticed in the process that most of my reasons were actually why I WASN'T a Democrat. So tonight, I will begin to take a more affirmative approach to my belief system.

And it all begins with the Myers-Briggs Personality Test.

Ever taken it? It's one of about a million little "personality tests" out there that asks a series of questions (for example: rank the following--tree, leaf, forest, root) and extrapolates from your answers many things about your personality. The Myers-Briggs is one of the better ones out there, used by businesses and leadership academies to assess a person's strengths and potential weaknesses.

And, no, it wasn't in "Cosmo"

I had to take the test as part of a class I was taking about four years ago. And, to be honest, I don't remember much about it--I think I am an "INTJ", though I can't tell you exactly what each initial stands for.

But the one takeaway I got from this assessment was one that struck pretty close to home, and also goes to explaining why I am a Republican. There was a line in the explanation of this personality type that went something like this: "an INTJ will ruthlessly apply to every decision the question 'does it work?'"

And that does fit me, it seems to me. And that is why I am a Republican--because Republican ideals work.

What is THE core Republican ideal--the one from which the name of the party derives? That the governed are far better suited to make more decisions in their lives than the government. Therefore, government should be limited in size, limited in scope of jurisdiction, and have clearly and easily defined limits on what it can and can not be responsible for. And what, exactly, is the government responsible for?

" . . . .to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"

The greatest President ever understood better than any President before or since the deep meaning of "a more perfect union." On this day in which we remember Abraham Lincoln's birthday, let us remember that he believed so strongly in a more perfect union that he was willing to split the Union in two to be able to remake it more perfectly. Let us remember that he knew that a union divided against itself, between owners and slaves, COULD not stand. Let us also remember that he believed so strongly in the correctness of his beliefs that he came to Washington for his inauguration through threats to his life, stayed in his job through the death of a child, the madness of his beloved wife, and his own deep, deep depression, fully expected to lose re-election (in fact, wrote his concession speech just three weeks prior to the election), and eventually was repaid for his troubles with an assassin's bullet.

In more recent history, we see that the ideal of a more perfect union was enacted by the REPUBLICANS in the Congress, who forced the Civil Rights Act through over the filibuster of the southern Democrats, and the obstruction of a southern Democratic governor to extend that vision to everyone. And then, more recently, it has been only Republicans tying to prevent the pendulum from swinging too far from where they were in the 60s, and trying to limit or end race-based decision-making like Affirmative Action. In the America of James Madison and Abe Lincoln, a person gets what they deserved based on their merits; only the Republicans stand for that right now.

I know there are those out there that say that discrimination is still a problem. And, to a degree, I do not disagree with that. But if discrimination against non-whites is a problem, why are Asians not considered a protected class any more? Their history is tragic as any minority: brought as slaves to build the railroads, subjected to horrible discrimination, and even systematically rounded up and incarcerated just 60 years ago based strictly on their ethnicity. So why are Affirmative Action programs not extended to them? Why are test scores not disaggregated to show the "achievement gap" between whites and Asians?

Simple: the Asians have been successful. The only "achievement gap" that pertains to Asians is the one in which they dance circles around every ethnicity in educational tests. They don't demand special breaks because they don't need them: they simply earn what they want, and don't make excuses.

Is there still discrimination? Almost certainly. Does Affirmative Action do anything to solve it? Almost certainly not--in fact, I think it AA may contribute to divisions between the races.

I think Lincoln would find it unconscienable that we have decided to give special considerations to people based strictly on their skin tone and their lack of success. Is America better as a "melting pot," in which all become a part of the fabric of the nation working together, or is America better as a salad, in which all remain separate and act accordingly?

Which model makes a "more perfect union"? Which Party stands for that model?

But just as importantly, do you actually believe that a larger federal government, with increased regulation and confiscatory policies would contribute to that union? Or do you believe that a more perfect union is the responsibility of individual citizens doing their share to improve their lots in life, and by raising the standard for everyone around them?

That gets to the Republican ideal: a larger government tends to drive home the imperfections of the union, to highlight them, to make them worse, and to create bureaucracies to address them without ever making them better. And ask yourself, (this most recent Congress notwithstanding) which party's ideals WORK to achieve a better union?

Clearly, my answer is the Republican Party.

Tomorrow: establishing Justice and Ensuring Domestic Tranquility. Here's a surpise: they are the same thing!


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