A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
It was a decision I had wrestled with since, at least, 2004. It was, for me, a gut-wrenching decision. And it was long overdue.
At this point, allow me to assure you that I remain a CONSERVATIVE, albeit, a conservative without a political party. I am a social, fiscal, religious, political, and, well, you name it -- and I am that type of conservative. I have mentioned before that I believe I entered the world hard-wired as a conservative. It seems to be my nature.
Having registered the first time as a republican on my 21st birthday, I have been active in the life of the party for well over fifty years. And after the GOP -- once again -- demonstrated its unparalleled talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on November 6th, I decided enough is enough. My patience has simply run out. Half a century is, I believe, long enough for the party to get itself together, if there was any chance at all that it would. Job, I am NOT.
I am a political junkie and junkies of all kinds must eventually face up to their problem and correct it, or they spiral into oblivion -- or cease to exist. Since neither of those options was attractive to me, I chose to confront my problem -- head-on -- and correct it, or, at least, do what I could to extract myself from the seemingly ceaseless downward spiral of the Republican Party.
I take issue with those reports in the press as well as comments by other opinion writers concerning the war within the Republican Party. So far as I have been able to determine, the "war" between the liberal/moderate faction and the conservative faction of the GOP simply does not exist. It has been my observation over the years that it is extremely difficult to engage in a fight when the other pugilist refuses to do combat.
Don't misunderstand now. The conservative faction within the GOP would love a fight to determine the leadership and direction of the party. However, the blue-bloods and the country club set in the hierarchy of the party refuses to come out and fight. They smugly sit tight -- holding the reins of power -- and deny the reality around them, the reality that the GOP is dying on the vine, withering up and about to blow away.
The high "muckity-mucks" of the party have insisted on offering up candidates for national office that have roughly the chance of a snowball in hell -- in the middle of August -- of winning in a no-holds-barred mud-slinging, in your face, roll-in-the-gutter, dog fight of which the democrats are past masters.
That leaves the conservatives in the party absolutely frustrated, angry, depressed, disappointed, and bewildered.
And they do it every election.
You can rest assured, even today, that come the 2016 presidential campaign, the GOP will field a list of limp "warmed-over" candidates, whose only hope of victory is the off-chance that the democrats will field an even worse group of candidates. That almost never happens.
Even when the dems run out a less than acceptable candidate, they actually fight like hell, go to the wall, get toe to toe, eyeball to eyeball, roll in the mud and gore, and hope that plain ole force-of-will pushes their candidate across the finish line to victory. More often than I care to remember -- it has worked.
I am now, and always have been, a conservative republican -- NOT a republican conservative. I'm conservative FIRST.
Look. As many conservatives as there are in the United States, one would think a viable Conservative Party could be crafted which could challenge the current Democratic and Republican Parties. Oh, there are a host of conservative political parties in existence around the fringes of the political playing field of America.
Yes, I am aware that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have, over time, made it as difficult as possible for the formation of a conservative party that could present a viable challenge to their hold on power. Just getting a new party on the ballot in most states is darn near impossible.
America is in shambles and neither of the political parties in power seem to really be concerned about it. While America races toward the precipice they are busy playing games of "gotcha."
It is said that we deserve the government we get. Honestly, I can't say that I disagree with that sentiment. See, we American voters brought all these "troubles" upon ourselves. It is we who voted the charlatans into office and it is we who rewarded their bad behavior with additional time in office to wreak even more havoc on our once fair land. Yes, I am saying it, flat out. If you want to see the cause of the problems in America today -- you have only to look in the nearest mirror. And yes, I accept my share of the blame, as well.
Unfortunately, in life there is no "redo" button or "undo" button, for that matter. Everything we do has consequences -- especially elections.
Democracy is a wonderful thing. It is also an extremely dangerous thing. Of all the bad forms of government on earth democracy is quite likely the least bad. But it is still bad. For a democracy to work optimally, it must be populated by moral, educated, and, I would add, "God-fearing" people. America's constitution and America's government were both designed for a moral people. Compromise the people's morality, compromise the people's education, and compromise the people's belief in and reliance upon their God, and that democracy WILL fail. It will turn on the people and devour them and their nation.
We are seeing the scenario described in the preceding paragraph play out in America today. All three, morality, education and faith have ALL been compromised in America and we now find ourselves in an adversarial relationship with our own government.
My friend, Alan Caruba, said recently that America committed suicide on November 6th,2012. I believe he was correct in that assessment. That's what all those secession petitions are about. For the thousands upon thousands of Americans signing those petitions, there are millions more who share the belief that our constitutional representative republic has failed and they want a chance to start over on a smaller scale beginning with their own state(s) many of whom, I would expect, would adopt the original US Constitution for their "new" country.
It is said that state sovereignty died at Appomattox, Virginia in April of 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army to U. S. Grant of the Union Army. That may well be true, but I believe the sovereignty of the American individual remains and more and more of my fellow citizens are discovering their personal sovereignty is now under attack from a government they feel has betrayed them and their constitution.
I would not be too hasty in ridiculing the efforts of those petitioners as history may record them as the opening salvos of another struggle for freedom within America. Only time will tell.
After considering all the above, I felt I had no choice, if I wished to be true to myself and my core beliefs, but to emerge from the trees so I could, indeed, survey the forest. And the forest, I must say, is foreboding.
So, I begin anew, in the early winter months of my life, as an Independent voter.
© J. D. Longstreet