Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Wandering through politics 

I tend to stay out of this area and tend to my education knitting, but fellow Northern Alliance member Mitch Berg has written a piece that hits me in the gut on his wandering from Republican to Libertarian and back.
The political party that you thought reflected your views, at least in most areas, betrays you in some other areas that also matter a lot to you.

I was there, about 12 years ago. George Bush had raised taxes. The GOP in Washington had abandoned the barricades on taxes, and sold a nice chunk of the Reagan Legacy down the river. Worse - to my politics, anyway - the GOP in Congress went along with wave after wave after wave of gun control legislation (even as they were perfectly happy to accept the money and votes of the millions of American gun owners).

So I left. I joined the Libertarian Party in 1994. I stayed until about 1999, when I realized that my best bet for a better America was to change a party I generally agree with, rather than try to convince Americans to come over to a party that I increasingly thought was wrong on other issues that mattered to me (which is a post for later in the week).
I guess he and I won't argue on NARN about gay marriage because it appears we agree (you'd get a bigger argument between the other Scholars and me over that, and you should hear that argument in my house!) but Mitch has migrated further back to the Republican party than I have probably because his round trip started earlier. I spoke with someone this morning who described himself as a "Durenberger Republican" and it was the Democrats around the table who nodded approvingly. It may say volumes about Durenberger but it also says a lot about the state of Minnesota's Republican party. My own Siddhartha journey began when I announced at a caucus my support for Jack Kemp and the first question asked was "Where does he stand on abortion?" I said I didn't know, and that whatever it was would not change my mind about supporting him. Nobody spoke to me the rest of the night.

I'll wait for Mitch's next segment before saying why I'm drifting back to the Republican party. And it is a slow drift some days.