Have you ever stood in front of one of those funhouse mirrors? They make you look like you are too thin or too fat, or all twisted out of shape, but then you look down, and you know you look nothing like that. This is what has happened to my political beliefs. My beliefs haven't changed much at all since I was about 16. I have loosened my opinion about guns and hunting, but that is the product of being exposed to people who have respect for both. But I am pretty sure the NRA won't be sending me an invitation any time soon. Other than that though, I am fiscally conservative, and socially liberal--but fairly conservative on the issue of welfare. But watching the Republican party has turned my views into a funhouse version of themselves. I believe the same things, but when when I look back at them, they seem twisted and contorted into a more liberal version of themselves. They don't stand on their own and make sense. They are bouyed by a Conservative Right who has begun to so twist their own party's beliefs into a warped liberal-conservative pile of mush that what they stand for no longer seems clear. A friend of mine (a Republican, but not of the Religious Right) said this to me:
"It seems as though the primary representatives of the party have forgotten that our goal should be a government that is barely noticed by its citizens, but feared and respected by the rest of the world."
The truth in that statement, and the extraordinary way the Republican party has ignored this part of their platform blows me away. "A government that is barely noticed by its citizens." That is exactly the point of the Republican view on small government. Yet when was the last time the Bush Administration was barely noticed? They are in everything. They can't keep their hands out of it. Why in the world are we spending tax dollars to learn if there is a problem with steriods in baseball? Why in the world are we spending MORE tax dollars to intervine in Terry Shiavo's life when, not only did she tell several people (not just her husband) that she would never want to live like this, but the case has been seen 20 times and decided the same way 20 times. And WHY in the world is the federal goverment trying to usurp the power of the state? States Rights are a big issue in the Republican party who has traditionally believed that states should have extensive power over their citizen. In many cases, more power than the national government. Yet, the Religious Conservative Neo Funhouse Republicans want to take away this right in the Schiavo case, the gay marriage issue, and education.
I am at a loss right now. I cannot figure out what is happening to the Republican party. I cannot understand their complete abandonment of parts of their core platform.
And neither can Andrew Sullivan. He wrote an article about just this issue.