I’m So Confused

Every year, apparently because I like to torture myself, I evaluate the political landscape and try to confirm that I’m registered with the party that best fits my ideals.

This year, the decision has been particularly painful, and so, being a generous cuss, I figured I’d share that pain with the readers of the Pioneer.

Let’s look at the four most popular political parties:

A vote for the Green Party is like a vote for the Easter Bunny — a neat concept, but entirely fantastical. Next!

Libertarianism confuses profit-motive for morality, which, to me, is like gargling with lava1; and it, too, is a wasted vote (see: Bunny, Easter). Next!

Just like that, we’re back to the same old, creaky couple: the Donkey and the Elephant. I’ve danced with the Donkey2 and it’s always the same: timid promise-makers who can’t decide whether to serve the American people or to serve their own corporate interests. (Say, Mrs. Clinton, any regrets about those Goldman Sachs speeches?) Democrats, you’re on time-out until you can figure out how to say no to greed.

That leaves me with the GOP, the party of Lincoln, of fiscal responsibility, gun rights, and good morals (among other things). It’s been a while since the GOP’s been under my consideration, but given the barren landscape, I reckon they deserve another chance.

My main requirement for a political party is simple: Have a coherent, consistent message. There are other requirements, of course, but without coherence and consistency, we’re never going to make it past the first date.

Let’s start with the Party-of-Lincoln test: Let’s say someone told Honest Abe that we’re still arguing about the Confederate Flag 150 years after the top of his head was blown off by a Confederate sympathizer. “Mr. Lincoln, in today’s America, people still proudly display a symbol that represents folks who loved slavery so much that, rather than give up their chattel, they started a war that killed more Americans than every single other US war combined. Meanwhile, according to our current president — a Republican — believes that if a person expresses his First-Amendment right of free expression by kneeling in favor of racial equality, he’s an unpatriotic, military-hating traitor.”

Wait! Wait, Mr. Lincoln! Where are you going? And why are you sticking your finger down your throat?

I find it unlikely that Abraham Lincoln would join the “Party of Lincoln” today. Verdict: inconsistent.

Gun rights: I’m familiar with the Second Amendment (let’s say it together, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”). But I’ve yet to meet anyone who belongs to well-regulated militia, or even a poorly-regulated militia.

I’m no strict originalist constitutionalist, but I can read, and I’m clearly missing something. Until someone can explain to me how the “well-regulated” portion of the Second Amendment became irrelevant, I will consider the Republican Party’s stance on gun control to be incoherent and inconsistent.

Fiscal responsibility: How fiscally responsible are massive corporate tax cuts that leave the country with a 1.5 trillion dollar debt? I thought trillion dollar debts belonged to undisciplined Democrats. But wait, with their tax breaks, the ultra-rich are going to shower that wealth upon the rest of the country? Let’s give a wolf a steak and see if it shares it with a sheep.

Verdict: incoherent, inconsistent, inconceivable.

How about morality? Within the laws of this country, isn’t it illegal to obstruct justice, collaborate with a foreign entity to win an election, grope women, directly profit off of the Office of the President? And within the Christian faith, aren’t vanity, lying, pride, lying, sloth, lying, gluttony, lying, and adultery considered sins? Apparently, those things only matter if you aren’t Donald Trump.

Verdict: I don’t even know where to start.

Dear reader, space has limited me to these select few of the GOP’s internal contradictions. If someone could please help me to resolve these issues (and no, “At least Trump isn’t that nasty [you know who]” isn’t going to do the trick), I’ll gladly register as a Republican, and then I’ll eat a stovepipe hat.

1Since this topic is important to me, I may elaborate upon it in a future article.

2Now there’s a phrase I’ve never typed before.

Hill is a Liberty School graduate who has returned to southern Yuma County. He has had two novels published, and a third is about to hit the shelves.