The Forgotten Voter

March 25th, 2010 at 6:00 am | 43 Comments |

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FrumForum is committed to building a conservatism that can win elections and govern responsibly. We received the following letter from someone who does not believe that the Republican Party understands his plight. Consider his story. What have the Republicans offered for people facing these challenges?

You see my family was destroyed financially when my mother was dying of lung disease. My father worked two full-time jobs for thirty years and owned his home yet died penniless and mortgaged to the hilt trying to pay her medical bills. I incurred much of his debt co-signing on that mortgage and my credit has suffered for years trying to help him. My college education was cut short as well.

Over the years the GOP has become too socially conservative for me. When it should have been working harder to grow the middle class and make things like education and re-training more affordable it chose to focus on things like immigration and wedge issues like gay marriage. I think the last straw for me was the Teri Schiavo case. They vilified this woman’s husband and even implied he was responsible for her condition. Yet no charges were filed against him. This is government staying out of peoples lives?!

I don’t blame Republicans for the economic down turn. I do blame them for trying to turn the rescue measures President Bush began and Obama inherited into a partisan game.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do think people should take responsibility for their lives and government can’t fix everything. But I believe government creates the environment for things to happen. Since the Reagan days the middle class has grown smaller and smaller. We allowed our manufacturing sector to disappear without developing anything else to take its place. There has been a disproportionate redistribution of wealth to the upper classes from the middle class. We all know the importance of getting an undergrad education yet our universities are becoming too expensive to attend.

Have the Republicans done anything to help these matters? Of course, troche but to be honest most of their efforts have been state mandates or token gestures. Pundits use the old fishing story. “If you give a man a fish he eats one night, medicine but if you teach him to fish he can eat his whole life.” Well that is true if he can afford the student loans to pay for fishing school!

So as you can see I’m not the best Republican material.

Thank you

Christopher Hyland

Recent Posts by Christopher Hyland



43 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    1994 was the last year Texas had a Democratic Governor. At that time, tuition and fees for the University of Texas at Austin were $1800/year.

    This year, it’s up to $9800/year.

    Over that time, the percentage of university revenue collected from tuition and fees (as opposed to contribution from the state general revenue fund) has tripled. A definite decision by the state government over that time to cost shift in order to avoid tax increases.

    But public universities are socialism, aren’t they?

  • Independent

    “FrumForum is committed to building a conservatism that can win elections and govern responsibly.” Yeah, let’s go with that.

    Maybe it would have been more instrcutive to ask White House Cmapaign Hack Robert Gibbs to write this article? It’d be about as relevant to “FrumForum is committed to building a conservatism that can win elections and govern responsibly.”

  • aDude

    There is a level of government that a majority of people desire. We have socialist highways, socialist fire departments, socialist public libraries, socialist primary and secondary education, a socialist Pentagon (really! We could have gone for mercenaries but chose socialism instead), and socialist income maintenance and health care for the elderly. We have these things because a majority of voters approve of them.

    We could, for example, eliminate public law enforcement and go to an every-man-for-himself model. That is, we could become Somalia. But you’re not going to find a majority of voters who would go along with that.

    So the issue (and therefore the political battle) is where to draw the lines. Should the government provide basic primary education for everyone? Secondary education? University education? Should there be government sponsored health insurance for catastrophic illness? For any illness?

    If one is looking for a pure non-socialist model, in reality that battle was lost long ago. The issue now is what is the most efficient model for a successful, universally prosperous future.

  • sinz54

    We allowed our manufacturing sector to disappear without developing anything else to take its place.
    That’s simply not true.

    First of all, our manufacturing sector has not disappeared. That’s an urban myth. Take a look at this chart:

    http://i41.tinypic.com/23svldy.jpg

    Our manufacturing sector has held constant at roughly 14% of U.S. GDP.

    What has happened, however, is that manufacturing employment has declined sharply. That is due to increased computerization and automation, which was inevitable no matter whether Dems or Repubs would have controlled the White House. (Only a pure socialist party would have insisted that a private company eschew automation just to keep more workers employed.)

    Thanks to computerization and automation, you don’t need as many workers to staff a factory anymore.

    And other industries have grown in recent decades, often from humble beginnings.

    High-tech, overnight shipping (FedEx), health care, are all industries that have grown enormously.

    Microsoft went from a small startup in the 1980s (smaller than Apple at the time) to today’s giant, employing 100,000 people.

    FedEx started in 1973, and now employs 280,000 people.

    The problem we are really facing, is that the advance of high tech and automation leaves fewer and fewer jobs for those without college educations. We haven’t figured out what to do with decent men and women who aren’t the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree, but who have strong backs and are willing to work hard.

    We used to have a lot more jobs for those types of folks than we do now.

    And for all their prattling about “jobs,” the Dems haven’t come up with any good answers either. Their best proposal, to build lots of new infrastructure, runs right up against all the environmental protection regulations which they themselves had enacted. It now takes 10 or 20 times longer to build a highway or a bridge or a dam than it ever did before, because you have to demonstrate that you didn’t disturb a single squirrel or leaf before being allowed to build anything.

  • ottovbvs

    ……Guys do get real……the primary goal of the Republican party is and always has been to advance and defend the interests of the business community and the wealthiest 5% of the country……sometimes of course that goal coincides with the national interest or the broader public good but when they are in conflict there’s no doubt about whose side the GOP is going to come down on……since this is clearly not a majority position we the reliance on stratagems like gods, guns and gays to keep the not over bright faithful in line

  • balconesfault

    So the issue (and therefore the political battle) is where to draw the lines.

    Exactly. I’ve been arguing for a long time that every program should be subject to a vigorous debate over costs and merits – not just new ones, but existing ones.

    But that debate should be between grown ups. An answer like “because it will help people” is not sufficient, particularly when spending is involved – there needs to be an answer as to why helping some particular segment of the population … or even the entire population … is important to our overall goals as a society. Goals that include not only the general welfare, but also the preservation of liberty.

    By the same token, “because it will force us to raise taxes”, or worse yet, “because it’s SOCIALISM”, should not be the trump cards that many people consider them to be. Responsible decision making is sometimes going to require we collect more money in taxes … and sometimes it’s going to mean having government interfere in the marketplace in an area where the unfettered free market creates a public ill that we decide needs remedied.

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Mar 25, 2010 at 9:30 am

    ……Much of your preamble about the switch to capital intensive manufacturing industries or high tech is true but as ever you destroy your cred by all the squirrelly talk aimed at attacking the democrats……you’re also completely wrong to pretend we’ve not lost huge swathes of more labor intensive manufacturing industries for everything from domestic furniture to steel……the auto parts industry in this country with which I’m very familiar has been devastated over the past 20 years…..it’s one of the major structural problems that the country faces

  • balconesfault

    otto: you’re also completely wrong to pretend we’ve not lost huge swathes of more labor intensive manufacturing industries for everything from domestic furniture to steel……the auto parts industry in this country with which I’m very familiar has been devastated over the past 20 years…..it’s one of the major structural problems that the country faces

    I suspect that’s because Sinz’s statistic hides the truth. If Ford builds a car from scrap in Detroit and pushes it out the door for $20K, it’s scored as $20K in manufactured goods in the GDP.

    If Ford assembles a car in Detroit with an engine built in China and a transmission built in Japan and pushes it out the door for $20K, it’s scored as $20K in manufactured goods in the GDP.

    But for obvious reasons, it took a lot less American workers to generate that “manufacturing” GDP.

  • ottovbvs

    balconesfault // Mar 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

    ……Exactly…..it’s where the value is added that’s important….are you an accountant?

  • Independent

    Thank you B’fault for highjacking yet another thread at FF and spinning it into an endless he said/she said quibble-fest of meaningless arcane information better reserved for the discard in the public toilets.

    Returning to the thread’s topic, FF claims that a reader’s heartrending personal story somehow captures a lesson plan for the GOP.

    It doesn’t. Not even close.

    A good lesson about the “forgotten voter” is found here; measured and sane:

    http://tinyurl.com/yjt8fd6

  • ottovbvs

    10 Independent // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:27 am

    “Returning to the thread’s topic, FF claims that a reader’s heartrending personal story somehow captures a lesson plan for the GOP.

    It doesn’t. Not even close.”

    ……This from someone I’ve just learned who gets his healthcare from the most socialized system in the world…..the VA…..whilst continually ranting against increasing middle class healthcare security…..time to change your identity again Indy

  • PogueMahone

    aDude wrote: “Should the government provide basic primary education for everyone? Secondary education? University education?”

    Short answer: YES

    However, with conditions.
    I’m sure you’ve heard someone in your lifetime telling you that if you don’t pay for it, you won’t appreciate it. That’s only one reason why socialism doesn’t work.
    Children should be given access to decent free public education – that’s a no-brainer. But they should also be given free access to higher education assuming that they show proficiency at the end of their secondary schooling. The problem is that some if not most students wouldn’t appreciate it, fail, then end up wasting tax payer money. The colleges would be swamped trying to educate young people who simply wouldn’t give a damn. This wouldn’t work.

    I had to pay for my own college education out of my own pocket; this gave me a much greater appreciation for it and caused me to try and succeed. I know that if someone just handed me an education, I simply would have treated it as a free handout with the knowledge that if I failed, I could simply repeat it.

    I have a modest proposal.
    Public universities should offer free education to ANYONE who can show they have the proficient knowledge to be able to perform. But … and this is a big one … if they fail to carry a 3.0 average, they then become responsible for the bill. Give each student one half semester to show that they are carrying the required 3.0. If they are not, then start billing them… every week… demanding payment in CASH. This demand would wake them up and encourage them to study. They’ll be thinking, “Hey! If I bring up my average, I can keep this money for I-Pods and such.” This would also weed out those who are simply not interested and/or those who do not have the ability to perform.

    Yes it would cost a lot of money. But think of the end results – a much greater pool of educated people entering the workforce. This would no doubt increase the medium income and increase the state’s tax revenue, thereby paying for the education.

    Like I stated, this is a modest proposal and I’m sure that there would be many kinks to iron out and flaws to be addressed. But it’s a start.

    Cheers.

  • balconesfault

    Pogue – I’m not sure I agree with the particulars of your proposal – but I like the thrust. It’s always dangerous to use certain metrics because you have students who will game the metrics (example deleted for brevity). But your proposal … or as another idea, college grants be awarded as forgivable loans, with forgiveness being contingent on accepting a position in a post-graduate community service program, in the military, or in some other designated state or federal program … has merit.

    It’s to our benefit as a society that more students receive education – but there’s no reason they shouldn’t have to earn it in one way (good grades) or another (post-college service).

  • ottovbvs

    balconesfault // Mar 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

    …….the problem is that education has gone up in cost with as much disregard for real inflation as healthcare……..it’s bad in state colleges but awful in private ones……I’m bound to say this is one of those cases where “feeding the beast” has had bad outcomes…..the ability of parents/students to pay (assisted by the state) has driven up prices……thank god my three are long out of it but the full cost for their grad and post grad education at good schools is approaching a million bucks….it’s mind boggling…..ultimately this is another area where the govt is going to have step in just as they will with the healthcare delivery system if they really want to control cost.

  • LFC

    PogueMahone said… Public universities should offer free education to ANYONE who can show they have the proficient knowledge to be able to perform. But … and this is a big one … if they fail to carry a 3.0 average, they then become responsible for the bill.

    I have a brother in Georgia, and this is pretty much how it works down there. I think they might get one “grace semester” where if they slip below 3.0, they can recover before getting hit with the bill, but generally I think it’s very close to your proposal.

    Of course, you still have to make the cut to get in to any given school in the first place, as is proper. No slacking off in high school and expecting an instant admission to a high quality, competitive, and in-demand school.

  • balconesfault

    it’s bad in state colleges but awful in private ones

    Oh yeah. My alma mater was $8K-12K/year during my 4 years back in the late 70′s/early 80′s (3/4 of which came from financial aid and loans, given the income of my miltary retiree/Catholic HS teacher dad at the time) … it’s now $48K/year for my nephew to attend.

    Ironically, for about 2% of its total endowment per year it could provide free tuition for every one of the 6000 undergrads, so with a well managed portfolio it could continue to grow the endowment and operate tuition free.

    Yet they still come back to me each year for my annual giving check ;)

  • franco 2

    Anecdotal information from a political ignoramus. Obamas approval rating drops daily. Democrats are losing in opinion polls and in elections. Republican generic numbers are up, A because the Democrats are revealing themselves as socialists to Independents, and B Because conservatives are somewhat reassured by solid GOP opposition to socialist Democrat plans.

    Next letter I hope will have more credibility than the opinion of one simple-minded voter.

  • PogueMahone

    Balconesfault, I like your response. I’ve thought about forgivable loans but I don’t think that it would provide the incentive for folks of all ages to enter into college.
    I don’t think that if you were to tell a potential student, one who is reluctant due to financial concerns, that their loan would be forgiven if they eventually join the military, do post-grad work for some public charitable interest, or other government program, that it would make them more likely to attempt a college education. Maybe for some people it would, I don’t know.

    I’m more interested in putting asses in seats in the classroom from the start. Make it easy for someone to, with just a SS number and an aptitude test, to walk into a classroom and start learning.

    Just a quick example… I have a friend who is intelligent but lacks the confidence to enroll in school. He could do it – I know he could. But when I tell him that he first has to take a test, then talk to the student loan people*, get a loan, go to school and stay there, because if he doesn’t, he’ll have to start paying back the loan right away, he is very discouraged by this.
    If I told him that all he had to do was take a simple test, and if he passes, buy a few books and go to class, I think he would react with “yeah, why not? wtf, right?”
    Personally, I believe that he would surprise himself as to his ability, do well, and continue on.

    I’m just throwing out ideas here and I appreciate any and all who take the time to read my humble opinions and respond to them.

    Cheers.

    *My friend has some deadbeat-dad status, so I don’t know if he could qualify for student loans. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good guy – he’s just a little lost. And the pay he gets now working as a EMT barely gets him by in the first place. I think that if he were to graduate and start making $30k +, he would man-up to his responsibilities.

  • mlindroo

    > Republican generic numbers are up,
    > A because the Democrats are revealing themselves as socialists to Independents, and
    > B Because conservatives are somewhat reassured by solid GOP opposition to socialist Democrat plans.

    Somehow, I think the current state of the economy (record high unemployment in particular) has far more to do with declining support for the governing party…

    MARCU$

  • balconesfault

    Pogue – for older students, the biggest cost of education isn’t the tuition … but the opportunity cost.

    Also, teens are mobile, easily traveling around to become part of a college community. Older people usually have other encumberances on their ability to move around for education.

    Perhaps the best idea is a strengthening of the community college network. As they’ve been starved for revenues in the last decades, a lot of their traditional functions have been picked up by the University of Phoenix and their counterparts. Which is not a bad thing, but I’ve heard too many cases where someone has dropped $20K at one of those schools and found the skills they came out with still didn’t help them on the job market.

  • balconesfault

    The latest WSJ Poll on the subject (no doubt reflecting their heavily liberal bias…)

    “What is your preference for the outcome of this year’s congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?”
    March 11, 13-14, 2010.
    Democrats 45%
    Republicans 42%
    Unsure 13%

  • Independent

    ottoBS: “This from someone I’ve just learned who gets his healthcare from the most socialized system in the world…..the VA…..whilst continually ranting against increasing middle class healthcare security…..time to change your identity again Indy”.

    You really do have to get better intel in your stalking games, ottoBS. No need to change any identity –except, unless, your TeaBagged and you get banned a few times.

    But hey, like him, I guess you could just pick a name with a number and start the count-down to banning again.

  • ottovbvs

    balconesfault // Mar 25, 2010 at 11:43 am

    ……Two of my kids got some scholarship money…..basically because I believe the universities concerned want to maintain their batting averages by admitting very bright kids but otherwise it was down to me……but I do believe their appetites are being fed in just the same way employer’s health insurance has fed the healthcare industry……effective demand always drives up prices

  • ottovbvs

    Independent // Mar 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    …..Your new identity Tartuffe….the Hypocrite

  • Independent

    B’fault at #21, thanks for staying on the thread’s topic for a chnage –we all know the Herculean effort it must present for you –and we appreciate it.

    The WSJ poll you cite is an interesting one.

    The farLeft’s minions of apologists at MSNBC do indeed spin it exactly the way you try here –good Democrat ditch digger that you are– they put it this way: “Chuck Todd: New NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll “Very Good News For The President”
    based on the one data point you promote.

    Here’s what the WSJ actually said, though:

    1) “health-care overhaul remains unpopular with a broad swath of the public”;
    2) “opinions have solidified around the health-care legislation, with 48% calling it a “bad idea” and 36% viewing it as a “good idea”";
    3) “the survey found a 21-point enthusiasm gap between the parties, with 67% of Republicans saying they are very interested in the November elections, compared with 46% of Democrats”;
    4) “health-care debate has been a drag for Mr. Obama’s numbers, it also has been an anchor for Congress, which now has an anemic 17% approval rating”
    5) “(50%) would vote to replace every member of Congress, including their own representative, the survey found”;
    6) “(36%) of voters said they would be less likely to support their member of Congress if he or she voted for the bill”;
    7) more bad news: “… country’s direction (question showed) nearly six in 10 saying it is on the wrong track”;

    And the killer point we’ve repeated to you: “As an issue, handling of the economy has favored the Democrats in the past four election cycles. But now, by a 10-point margin, registered voters with the highest interest in the November elections said they believe the GOP is better at dealing with the economy.”

    That would be like a GOPer hearing the voters now trust the Democrats over the GOP on taxes, the natl deficit, natl security or the WOT and keeping Americans safe at home.

    Hey, B’fault, you stick with the farLeft apologist’s talking point from MSNBC. If it gives you comfort in the dark days of Democrat Depressions, it’s worth it to all of us here at FF that you grab that FrumBot lifevest of mental stability.

  • Independent

    ottoBS at #24… ankle biting is not prohibited at FF. You’re free to engage in it all day long, if you wish.

    It just makes you look petty and unappreciative of the education we’ve been handing you thread after thread –and the debate tips you continue to ignore while losing discussion after discussion, point by point, issue after issue.

    Sigh.

  • TerryF98

    So “Independent”

    You are not Gay.
    You are not an Ex Marine.
    You are not from Michigan.

    Is that right?

  • Chekote

    the primary goal of the Republican party is and always has been to advance and defend the interests of the business community and the wealthiest 5% of the country……

    With every post you become more and more a caricature.

  • Carney

    The letter-writer complains that immigration and “gay marriage” are irrelevant to struggling middle class families, and that the Terri Schiavo case was an example of government over-reach. As George Will would say, well.

    What social catastrophe is ruining and blighting more blue collar and middle class families, and threatening the well-being of more children, than the collapse of marriage and the inevitably following rise of illegitimacy? Trashing a multi-millennial, central pillar of Western society – the common-sense definition of marriage as one man-one woman – and opening the floodgates to all sorts of random gatherings and groupings as being equivalent to marriage introduces even more chaos and breakdown, further frays the social fabric, and makes even rarer the stable, healthy arrangement that is unquestionably best for children and the survival and health of the middle class: one man, married to one woman, who are faithful to each other for life and have children only within that union. Thus, “gay marriage”, far from merely being a so-called “wedge issue”, is of profound importance for pragmatic reasons alone.

    Similarly, the well-being of the middle and working class are gravely threatened by immigration, both legal and illegal. Not only employment, but violent crime, the tax burden, the cost of health care, the quality of public schools, the value of homes, the spread of infectious disease, and many many other pragmatic, kitchen-table issues are directly harmed by immigration as it is currently being imposed on us, even if you have no interest in the fiscal health of states and localities, the problem of national cohesion and identity, and other serious issues.

    Finally, the core purpose of government is to protect the life and safety of the innocent from those who seek to attack and kill us, or failing that, to punish such attackers. If it fails in this endeavor, nothing else matters. Regardless of her IQ or alertness level, Terri Schiavo was an innocent helpless human being in need of round the clock, compassionate health care. Unfortunately, she had a faithless betrayer of a husband who had tired of her, had taken up with another woman, and who had designs on the substantial sum of money set aside exclusively for her care. His stingy refusal to permit those funds to be used for her well being, and his relentless, remorseless attempts to have her killed were grotesque in their cruelty and selfishness, extending even insisting on denying permission to have her teeth cleaned or to have easily treatable infections cleared up with antibiotics. When the case became widely known he dug in his heels and made murdering his wife a matter of “principle”, suckering in a wide array of braying jackasses. Those who made the attempt to have the government serve its primary purpose of protecting the innocent from those who seek to do us harm were heroes, and the fitful and eventually unsuccessful efforts of various levels of government in this regard were, far from being an intrusion, again, a reflection of the most important reason for government in the first place. I’m sure all murderers regard the cops and the judicial system as annoying “meddlers”.

  • balconesfault

    What social catastrophe is ruining and blighting more blue collar and middle class families, and threatening the well-being of more children, than the collapse of marriage and the inevitably following rise of illegitimacy?

    Free trade policies that force American laborers to compete with $5/day workforces in Pakistan, China, and Thailand … and even well educated high tech $20/day workforces in Bangalore … at the same time the investment class that has most profited from this outsourcing of labor works to push the tax burden needed to sustain our government and military downward on those blue collar and middle class families by fighting for cuts in the top marginal tax rates, estate taxes, and capitol gains taxes.

    A far greater problem for the middle class and blue collar workers … particularly since a lot more marriages have collapsed because of financial strains than jobs have been exported overseas because of divorce statistics.

  • ottovbvs

    28 Chekote // Mar 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    ” With every post you become more and more a caricature.”

    …….Actually this is exactly what my pa and grandpa thought and why they always made large contributions to the GOP when the hat came around…..unlike you they weren’t under any illusions about where their interests lay!

  • ottovbvs

    Independent // Mar 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm
    (aka Healthcare Hypocrite)

    ……..He rants against socialized medicine for month…..then whoa!!….it’s revealed he’s a recipient of socialized medicine at its most socialized…..just when you think you’ve plumbed the depths with these people, they surprise you yet again…..he’ll be telling us he’s against gays in the military next

  • ottovbvs

    Independent // Mar 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    ……I see they pulled my comment pointing out your healthcare hypocrisy and somewhat spotty record in the Nostradamus department

  • Independent

    ottoBS pines: “I see they pulled my comment pointing out your healthcare hypocrisy and somewhat spotty record in the Nostradamus department”

    I’m not sure about that –but you are, along with TeaBagged now known as TerryF98, one of the constant commenters who violates the FF Comment Policy with personal attacks.

    I told you earlier that I don’t do VA. My family doesn’t do the VA. My father didn’t do the VA. What part of that explanation don’t you fathom?

    Just because you got a lie from TeaBagged and have repeated it as if it’s some indictment of opposition to health care, doesn’t make it so or true.

    In your world, granted, perception might be reality. In my world, where truth and honor dominate, reality is our perception.

  • ottovbvs

    ….actually they didn’t pull it they switched the batting order…..so you’re not eligible for VA?….given your previous track record with it’s complete committment to truth can you give me one could reason why I should believe you

  • Independent

    ottoBS: you’ve now carried this nonsense of a lie well beyond a dozen comments in at least three threads at the instructions of your mentor, TeaBagged, TerryF99 or TerryF98 ot TeaBag or TeaBagger or TeaPartier…

    I’ve asked and answered it twice. Review the threads –there is no deception or diversion except in the limited confines of the FrumBot echo chamber you and TeaBagged habit.

  • Independent

    Returning to the thread’s topic, despite otto’s BS, FF claims that a reader’s heartrending personal story somehow captures a lesson plan for the GOP.

    It doesn’t. Not even close.

    A good lesson about the “forgotten voter” is found here; measured and sane:

    http://tinyurl.com/yjt8fd6

  • They are all bums

    Carney,

    Your letter is a perfect example of why the republican party is on the skids. The sheer hypocrisy is staggering. You have distorted the Terri Schiavo case and slandered her husband. The doctors told him for years that she would never recover. Her sad condition lasted almost 15 years with no improvement. By the way, the husband transferred his authority over the matter to the court years before she died. The courts determined that Terri would not wish to continue life-prolonging measures. At the end of the day it is none of your business or the goverments in any event. If the right to life is important, and we all agree it is, why is the death of thousands of innocent women and children OK in Iraq? I never hear the right to life crowd expressing any concern for them, or adopting any of the thousands of unwanted babies out there. I think you tipped your hand with your concerns about immigration, “the problem of national cohesion and identity” Sounds like you need to be all white to be alright. I don’t support gay marriage, but once again, its not my business what other adults do in the privacy of their home. Let the voters make these decisions. It is worth noting however that the divorce rate has hovered at 50% or better for years and it has nothing to do with gays. The republican party needs to do more than be against things. They need to start figuring out ways to help people, instead of spending all their time telling people how to live their lives. Christopher Hyland’s letter describes how alot of us are feeling. Moderate republicans are being run out of the party. Frum is spot on regarding the republican’s blowing a chance to make the health care bill better.

  • allenreston

    Bravo, and thanks for your concise, on-target analysis of just what’s wrong with the Republican Party. The strategy of obstructionism, fear mongering and pig-headedness of the party enacted simply to pander to the ultra-conservative base has and continues to alienate a crucial bloc of voters…independents such as myself.

    Pandering to the Tea Party to the extent of urging them to even more radical behavior from the balcony of the House, shows independents that the GOP has lost its way. GOP leaders who proclaim patriotism and love of country while showing no willingness to compromise or act constructively is hurting the party. They, however, cannot see or refuse to acknowledge that their current strategy is appealing only only those who do not think for themselves but who rather react emotionally to the tactics of fear and polarization.

    The GOP has some viable and worthwhile core principles. It is a shame that they are rendered moot by the foolish policies of its leadership. What we as independents see is only a foolish, even unpatriotic, digging in of the heels….without offering any viable solutions or the new direction we crave.

  • ncbill

    Carney is simply wrong on the Schiavo case.

    Therapy continued for 4 years after her collapse – she never showed any signs of improvement, so it was eventually discontinued.

    She certainly received plenty of antibiotics – even her parents complained about the number of hospital bracelets they’d find on her when they visited.

    And it was the parents’ idea that their son-in-law “date” other women.

    They readily admit they actively encouraged him to do so, well before he had any other relationships, in hopes he would “move on” and relinquish guardianship.

    Because it was their idea in the first place, it was not considered a conflict of interest by the courts later in litigation.

    Ultimately, the parents’ position was that the feeding tube could NEVER come out, even if they knew beyond a doubt that were her wish, as the final guardian ad litem noted in his December 2003 report.

    That’s an understandable position, but legally indefensible (adults get to decide their own fate, and feeding tubes are considered the same as ventilators under the law).

  • mpolito

    It is implicit in this post that this voter once voted Republican and no longer does. But reading the post makes me wonder: when, if ever, has this fellow voted Republican? Attacking “the Reagan days” indicates that he did not support the Gipper even when he carried 49 states. If he could not bring himself to vote Republican then, how exactly are we to attract him now? Some voters are just never going to vote for us. Welcome to politics.

  • sinz54

    balconesfault: Free trade policies that force American laborers to compete with $5/day workforces in Pakistan, China, and Thailand
    Nobody is “forcing” them to compete.

    Competition with foreign nations is inevitable.

    What are you going to do, restrict the sale of foreign goods in America, driving up the price of goods generally and hurt the working poor?

    I shop in Wal-Mart–occasionally. Most of the shoppers I see there are clearly poor or working-class. They go to Wal-Mart to buy all those Asian imported goods at rock-bottom prices because that’s what they can afford.

    The law of comparative advantage still holds. If both nations focus on what they do best and trade those goods to each other, they both benefit.

    Those working poor folks who shop at Wal-Mart have more disposable income–which they can save and invest for their future.

    Which they wouldn’t have if you liberals restricted the sale of foreign goods and even forced Wal-Mart out of business.

    You might cheer.
    But then, you’re probably more affluent than the folks who shop there.

  • sinz54

    Carney: What social catastrophe is ruining and blighting more blue collar and middle class families, and threatening the well-being of more children, than the collapse of marriage and the inevitably following rise of illegitimacy?
    Unlike you and “balconesfault,”

    I don’t believe we’re suffering any social catastrophes.

    America came through the biggest financial crisis in 60 years fairly well. I know something of the economic history of the 19th century–and the calamities to society caused by the various financial panics and depressions were much worse.

    Today, if the economy can turn itself around, I think that despite all our problems, America is in fairly good shape.

    There’s always room for improvement, of course.
    But let’s stop the hand-wringing and the declinism.
    I continue to believe America’s future is bright.