Swelling The Ranks With An Important Addition...

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Wed May 14 23:37:13 MDT 2003

 From democrat to independent to republican
Larry Elder 

May 15, 2003 | 
Print | 


         Nobel laureate economist 
Friedman, in a Reason magazine interview, called himself both a Republican 
and a libertarian, "I am a Republican with a capital 'R,' " he said, "and a 
libertarian with a small 'l.' I have a party membership as a Republican, 
not because they have any principles. But because that's the way I am the 
most useful and have the most influence. My philosophy is clearly libertarian."

         Despite the influence of my Democratic mother, I voted for Ronald 
Reagan in 1980, and again in 1984, because he campaigned against high 
taxes, supported limited government, while advancing a tough-minded defense 
in calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire." His successor, George 
Bush-41, for whom I also voted, raised taxes, passed the Clean Air Act, 
passed the Americans With Disabilities Act, re-regulated cable, and railed 
against falling oil prices.

         I felt double-crossed.

         My disillusionment with the GOP caused me to register as "Decline 
to State," which, in California, means independent. Fiscally conservative, 
but socially liberal on many issues, I support a government that stays out 
of my wallet and out of my bedroom. The Founding Fathers envisioned a 
federal government that trusts its people with their money and freedom, 
outlining this limited, non-intrusive federal government in Article 1, 
Section 8 of the Constitution, leaving the other powers to people 
themselves or to the states.

         The Republican Party, even under George W. Bush's confidence, 
character and vision, expanded failed programs like the Department of 
Education's Title I, expanded Clinton's "volunteer" AmeriCorps, passed 
protectionist legislation for steel and lumber, passed our nation's largest 
farm subsidy bill, used taxpayer money for faith-based initiatives, and 
increased the budget beyond that which is necessary for the war on terror 
and the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. On the other hand, most 
Libertarians opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a position I find 
increasingly naive and simplistic in a world of mobile biological labs and 
radiological bombs capable of being carried in suitcases by our nation's 

         Sept. 11, 2001, reminds us that self-defense remains job No. 1, 
and that enemies who hate America cannot simply be sat down and persuaded 
that non-imperialistic Americans seek only to live in harmony and peace. 
President George W. Bush deserves applause for the tremendous job in moving 
public opinion to support not only the war against terrorism, but the 
military strike against Iraq.

         In President Bush, Americans see a man who says what he means, and 
means what he says. Certainly, politics generally enters the equation, and 
compromises, however unpleasant, must occur, given the constant 
indoctrination of "the center" by our educational system, our mainstream 
media and Hollywood.

         We need a judiciary that refuses to bend to political pressure in 
areas such as "affirmative action" when the University of Michigan defends 
its program by calling diversity "a compelling state interest"?! The attack 
on competent, presumably conservative judges like Priscilla Owen, Miguel 
Estrada and Charles Pickering demonstrates the importance of electing 
sincere, limited-government Republicans who believe in states' rights, and 
who reject the notion that the "right to privacy" exists in the "penumbras" 
of the Constitution. We need Republicans who understand that giving people 
their hard-earned money back, or better yet, not taking it in the first 
place, jumpstarts the economy.

         Recall former Democratic President John F. Kennedy, in urging a 
tax cut, " . . . It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high 
today and tax revenues are too low -- and the soundest way to raise 
revenues in the long run is to cut rates now. . . . Only full employment 
can balance the budget -- and tax reduction can pave the way to full 
employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budgetary 
deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which will 
bring a budgetary surplus."

         So, after much soul-searching, on Friday, May 9, 2003, I filed to 
change my voter registration to the Republican Party. Not because I find 
the party pure -- indeed, many Republicans like Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., 
George Voinovich, R-Ohio, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, talk the talk but 
fail to walk the walk. Yet, because of my Republican friends such as 
Congressman David Dreier, R-Calif., writer-director-producer Lionel 
Chetwynd, and many others, I have a greater understanding of the day-to-day 
difficulty of moving intransigent Democrats, and some Republicans, in the 
right direction. I can exercise greater effectiveness cajoling, pushing and 
advocating on the inside, than nagging as an independent from the outside.

         So, to my fellow Republicans: Fight the good fight, explain to the 
American people the importance of limited government, low taxation, strong 
self-defense, and trust them to have the maturity and common sense to 
govern their own personal and financial lives.

         Make no mistake: My libertarian principles remain unchanged. But 
as writer <http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/decter.html>Midge Decter once 
said, "There comes a time to join the side you're on."

Count me in.

©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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