Republicans are VERY different from Democrats.
I've spent months listening to people like Glenn Beck say there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. For awhile, I bought it and came to the point of wanting to change parties. I heard rumors that Libertarians had taken over the Tea Party movement, I heard Republican friends I've known for years talk about joining the Independent Party. (Yeah--that's the answer. Join the ranks of those who can't pick a side.) I wasn't quite sure what to do, because no other party quite matched up to what I believe in. Simply put, I believe in the Constitution.
I've been to the Tea Parties. The ones I attended were full of people from all political persuasions. They were racially diverse, peaceful and respectful--all contrary to what the mainstream media would have you believe. If my research is correct, third parties don't win elections. If Libertarians took over anything this year, it could be argued it was CPAC, not the Tea Parties.
Don't get me wrong, there are those in the Republican party, such as former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter (who became a Democrat last April--big shocker there), that deserve the tongue lashing they receive from Republicans for going against the very principles on which our party stands, or at least used to stand. There are certainly Republicans, like Senator John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who anger many of us in the conservative wing of our party when they vote as moderates the vast majority of the time. But to assert that there's absolutely no difference between the two parties is simply irresponsible, at the very least. Bill Bennett said it best, when he wrote his review on Beck's CPAC 2010 speech.
...for him [Glenn Beck] to continue to say that he does not hear the Republican party admit its failings or problems is to ignore some of the loudest and brightest lights in the party...
Bennett goes on to highlight some of the "best and brightest" in the Republican party who have, indeed, been working night and day to correct the mistakes the party has made. They've been offering the solutions America needs, if anyone would care to listen...President Obama proved yesterday that he certainly doesn't.
For all the great things Bennett said in his article, I would disagree with his assertion that Senator McCain has seen the light and recognizes that "our party has lost it's way". He may have made the statement multiple times, but he's done virtually nothing to prove he means it. If he had gone after President Obama with the tactics he's using on his opponent in AZ, J.D. Hayworth, we'd likely have a much different political climate today.
Rush Limbaugh highlighted the National Journal Magazine yesterday on his radio show. They did their annual study on who were the most liberal, conservative and moderate leaders in the House and Senate in 2009. Their findings were incredibly fascinating, based purely on votes, not opinions.
The 10 most liberal Senators were found to be Democrats.
Shocking, I know.
The 10 most centrist were found to be Democrats as well, and the 10 most conservative were...get ready for this...Republican. Who knew? Only Republicans were found to be conservative, yet all liberals were found to be only Democrats.
To most of us who are actively involved in politics in one form or another, this data comes as no surprise. The question many on the right have been asking-- what are we going to do about our party?--is easily answered.
Take it back.
How? By first recognizing those who do take a stand for what's right, and making sure that we help others join their ranks in the November elections. The Democrats in our party posing as Republicans? Expose them and get rid of them when their number is up for re-election, but don't punish those who are doing the right thing. Leaders like Congressman John Boehner (R-OH), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MINN), Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and others have proven they do have the backbone to do what is right, and are speaking on our behalf. Until mid January, Republicans were impotent. Limbaugh pointed out Monday that it is the American people who have stopped cap and trade. It was you, and me, and others like us who have, until now, stopped Obama's health care bill from passing. It's because we are determined to take back our country that these efforts by the left have been unsuccessful. We can succeed...each of us doing our part. Thomas Sowell once said "the right person in the right place at the right time can change everything" in an article he wrote on the late William F. Buckley and the Conservative movement. Boy was he ever right.
Does our party have some bad eggs? You bet we do...but it certainly does not warrant the blanket statements being made by Glenn Beck and others that there's no difference at all between the parties.
...there is a difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. To ignore these differences, or propagate the myth that they don’t exist, is not only discouraging, it is dangerous.
There is a night and day difference between Republicans like the "best and brightest" I have highlighted above, and the Democrat party. To continue to denigrate those in Washington who aren't like the rest, who do have a shred of character, is to dishearten them. They've been fighting an uphill battle, and taking all things into consideration, I'd say they've been hugely successful in, at the very least, putting up roadblocks at every turn to try and stop this takeover. They have, along with their constituents, refused to play into the "bi-partisan" game, and they should be praised for it.
On the contrary, those who are actively participating in the undermining of our freedoms and the destruction of this country need to be held accountable. The "silent form of socialism" President Ronald Reagan once spoke of is silent no more...and we'd better wake up and stop it before it's too late.
**This post can also be viewed at Smart Girl Nation online magazine for Smart Girl Politics.