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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hello, I Am A Republican And I Would Like My Party Back!

Travis Jackson, CC
It was less than twelve years ago that the party I grew up believing in seemed to be on the right track, resembling a much different version than the one we see today.

On Oct. 12, 2000, when George W. Bush was running as a Republican to become president of the United States, he was asked during a debate, "One of you is about to be elected the leader of the single most powerful nation of the world-- economically, financially, militarily, diplomatically, you name it. Have you formed any guiding principles for exercising this enormous power?"

Considering the foreign policy stance of most republicans today, the answer George W. Bush gives may surprise you. He says: "When it comes to foreign policy, that will be my guiding question. Is it in our nation's interests? Peace in the Middle East is in our nation's interests. Having a hemisphere that is free for trade and peaceful is in our nation's interests. Strong relations in Europe is in our nation's interests. I've thought a lot about what it means to be the President. I also understand an administration is not one person but an administration is dedicated citizens who are called by the President to serve the country, to serve a cause greater than self. And so I've thought about an administration of people who represent all America, but people who understand my compassionate and conservative philosophy."

He continues: "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that's why we've got to be humble, and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom...I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say this is the way it's got to be. We can help. And maybe it's just our difference in government, the way we view government. I mean I want to empower people. I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do. I just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, we do it this way, so should you."

With a humble foreign policy, no nation building, and a common sense approach to foreign affairs, G.W. won over the majority of the Republican party. 

And then...he forgot.

And then...we forgot.

Today we stand upon a precipice economically, and the Republican party that used to preach peace and humbleness, has become a party of pre-emptive war and nation building, touting regularly that peace is achieved through strength.  Many of today's popular "Republican voices" say that this is just "the conservative way!"   Opponents of this thought process are branded as "unpatriotic," and listeners are told that detractors of this philosophy "don't support the troops!"  This once proud party that believed in fiscal responsibility are damning our economy with their war rhetoric and propaganda, while reaching into the minds and hearts of their base and stealing their souls.  Slowly but surely, people are forgetting who they are and what conservatism truly means.  They have become zombies, slipping into line and marching to the drums of war.  Fear has replaced hope and the blood-lust for those they are told to fear has replaced common sense and dignity.

Fear is a natural consequence when one loses control.  In that instant, two things can happen:  A man can conquer his fear, learn from his mistakes, and become stronger for it, or that man can cower down, and become a slave to that fear he so desperately hates.  The men who lead this country have given in to fear.  The pundits and personalities on the news and radios are slaves to it.  The few voices of reason are drowned out by the chorus of desperate voices that cling to hate.  They flex their military might at will, spilling innocent blood in the name of security.  Little do they realize that the strength of our nation was never found in our military, but rather in our goodness, our spirit, our freedoms, and our prosperity.

I feel sorry for the many who follow so blindly, and who look to government and our military to care for them and to keep them safe.  Those who believe that "terrorists" are the real threat, do not truly understand what is really occurring in our country.  They have been brainwashed to go along, yet all the while their country falls apart around them.  Their focus being far off, considering what might be, makes them blind to the dangers right outside their home.

You would think the "conservative" party would have taken a step back and listened when, recently, Navy Admiral, Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated, "I've said many times that I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt, so I also believe we have every responsibility to help eliminate that threat."  Likewise, Ron Paul, the Congressman from Texas running in the Republican primary has stated on several occasions that we cannot afford this military adventurism overseas and that it would eventually bankrupt our nation.  Even while Americans and our leaders were still in a daze from 9/11, allowing fear to overtake them, he stood up and railed before Congress saying, "If we can’t or won’t define the enemy, the cost to fight such a war will be endless. How many American troops are we prepared to lose? How much money are we prepared to spend? How many innocent civilians, in our nation and others, are we willing to see killed? How many American civilians will we jeopardize? How much of our civil liberties are we prepared to give up? How much prosperity will we sacrifice?

That single voice of reason, the one that stands on principle and truth, is still being drowned out today.  We have a chance to elect a real leader in this country that has shown he is no slave to fear.  Instead, sadly, most Republicans continue to vote with hatred in their hearts.  They continue to be slaves to the same party that is laying the groundwork for war right outside their doorstep.

Ever since Congress passed the Patriot Act back in 2001, it seems the floodgates have been opened for more and more intrusions and abridgements of those fundamental liberties expressly protected in the Bill of Rights. From the Patriot Act, to the Military Commissions Act, to the NDAA (Indefinite Detention Act), and to now the Enemy Expatriation Act (EEA), big government Democrats AND Republicans in Washington, D.C., are clearly and unmistakingly declaring war on the American people.

This is where most of todays "Republican Conservatives" would stop and laugh about conspiracy theories and kookiness.  However, let's look at a few of the policies and legislation that's been passed since 9/11:

The Patriot Act has been talked about for many years.  It did more to destroy our Bill of Rights than all other pieces of legislation in American history combined.  It basically allows the government to be pre-emptive in going after "terrorist suspects," to the point they can violate our Constitutional rights at will.

The year 2009 brought us The Military Commisions Act (MCA) which effectively casts aside the Constitution and the principle of habeas corpus, protecting against unlawful and indefinite imprisonment. This also gave the president absolute power to designate enemy combatants, and to set his own definitions for torture.

Also in 2009, we saw an "official," secret report by Homeland Security called "The Missouri Papers" leaked to the press after they handed it down to law enforcement agencies in Missouri.  It warned that, supporters of Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin should be identified as potentially dangerous “militia members,” and Missouri State law enforcement officials were notified to be on guard. Beyond that, anyone that identified themselves as being pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, anti-Federal Reserve, Christians who believe in the return of Christ, and even returning Iraq War veterans were likewise targeted as potentially dangerous to Missouri State law enforcement personnel.

At the end of 2011, The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), otherwise known as the “Indefinite Detention Act,” was passed and signed into law by President Obama on New Years Eve of this year.   This legislation gives the U.S. government the power to use the military to arrest and detain American Citizens indefinitely without trial.

And now, Congress has been working to pass other laws, such as SOPA and PIPA that will regulate the internet, thus attacking free speech and free media; but the worst may be coming, a draconian bill designed to give the federal government the power to turn American citizens into enemies of the state for virtually any reason it deems necessary.

The bill is HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the Enemy Expatriation Act.  This bill sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA) would give the US government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship WITHOUT being convicted of being "hostile" against the United States.  In other words, you can be stripped of your nationality for "engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States."  Legally, the term "hostilities" means any conflict subject to the laws of war.  Considering the fact that the War on Terror is a little ambiguous and encompassing, ANY action could be labeled as supporting terrorism.

It is now or never.  

The Republican party must look inside itself and remember the true roots of conservatism.  They must look back into the not too distant past when we believed that a humble foreign policy was wise and part of the party platform.  We can no longer be zombies in this world of warfare.  The war is more about OUR hearts and minds than it is about some unnamed enemy.  It is time to look for the answers that our party has not given us.  It is time to seek the truth.  It is time to recognize that the dangers are not overseas in a far off land, but rather right here at home.  It is time to dig deep and stand together with the ONLY sane candidate in the room.  It is time to follow the example of a true leader and shake this fear and hate from our hearts and our party, and stand tall!  It is time to take responsibility for our part in this economic calamity, and finally recognize the dangers of these Big Government Republicans and what they represent - they have led our party astray for too long!  It is time to demand honest and principled leaders.  It is time to strangle this government leviathan that is reaching into our homes from Washington and wrapping its tentacles around every aspect of our lives.  It is time to take back our party.  It is time to fight for our country.  It is time to vote for Ron Paul! 

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