Until recently, I was a conservative Republican.
[I'm waiting for your laughter to die down]
Many Iranians when learning I was a Republican would say crazy shit like, "How could you vote for George Bush?" They thought that if you join a party you necessarily have to blindly vote for the party's candidate.
After I explained to my bisavad brethren the way voting actually works, I would continue to say that actually since I joined, I have never voted for a single Republican candidate. Including Reagan. Why?
Quite simply because like most Independents, Democrats, Greens, and Libertarians, I never thought that the Republican candidate was either qualified, nor possessed the personality for the job.
You see I am- I mean was, a Lincoln Republican. You remember Lincoln don't you. He was the one who freed the slaves.
I always thought that less government and taxes, was better than more, that a conservative approach, meaning, let's think about things and their consequences before we act rashly, was better and cheaper than, let's try a bunch of government programs, then raise taxes and see what happens.
I have always been pro-choice, because I thought that to simply make abortion illegal is actually a radical liberal idea whose impact was unproven. Changing something before you know what will happen is not conservative. It's liberal. doing it out of passion or faith, radical.
I don't buy that welfare as it now exists, works, but I don't support privatizing every single thing either. I like to think about it and discuss it good and hard first. That's conservative. Safe. Cheap or fiscally responosible.
So was my opinion of the beginning of the war. I supported the US removing Saddam. Only because the US put and kept Saddam in power unreasonably, and it made sense for those responsible to clean up their mess. That's conservative. You screw up? You fix it. Like everyone else, I never thought we'd be here.
Funny that those who claim to be conservatives, even neo-conservatives, are far from my definition. They exhibit and push their radical ideas, and implement them liberally without forethought.
Then they took over the Republican party. I attended the usual meetings as a party member, and each time as I voiced opposition to the radically liberal and unproven theories and ideas and policies the party seemed to be supporting, I noted that my voice was being less and less heard. Eventually I was shunned, and encouraged to leave these meetings, if I refused to accept their answers.
So now, like most Iranians, I find myself at a real quandary. The Republicans are dominated by religious fundamentalist, idealogue, hypocrites. So that won't work. The Democrats are run by naive, idea and spine less sellouts, whose only goal is to settle political grudges started by Newt Gingrich, and unseat any Republican they can at every turn. The Green party is hilariously principled. And the Libertarians are so hands off, you sort of get the feeling that they just don't care about anything, really.
So, I end up in the undecided majority, or the Independent ranks. We don't get to caucus, we don't get primaries, and we certainly don't get any attention from the candidates.
I will miss the bitching about the stupidity of US foreign policy in the Middle East and how the heads of my fellow Republicans looked as if they would explode, as I proved it to them with facts and history.
But at least I can still vote. Wait, Independents can vote right?