City of Roses
Hey Ringo, glad to see you joining in here, yay!
I don't really agree with you in that the GOP is more of the inclusion party, for I still believe the Democrats are a little better at inclusion efforts than Republicans, and I'll state some examples why I believe that in a moment, but the bottom line here is I believe both these parties are too corporately-influenced and both are making a limited effort in standing up for the "little guy".
I explained what I believe is wrong with the Democrats and why I'm not one, so now I'll say what I believe is wrong especially with the GOP.
Frankly, I believe the GOP has just abandoned its roots in recent memory. I myself agree with many traditional conservative values, such as small government and state rights. That's what the GOP stood for in previous generations.
I was watching "NOW" last night, for instance, where David Brancaccio interviewed former Republican Governor of New Jersey and former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman, and she was arguing how she believed the GOP has done just that, side-stepping from their core roots recently. One interesting point she made was how a significant part of the environmental revolution was actually a Republican revolution, such as Theodore Roosevelt calling for a national park system and Richard Nixon calling for the EPA, and now she feels the current administration is retrograding those sorts of achievements now.
There's a number of recent events I've seen which I believe the Democrats have had more of the right idea and the GOP the wrong idea for the "little guy". The minimum wage increase, for example, which all 49 NO votes came from the GOP, something which 4 in 5 Americans want. Or the bill on cloture, which the GOP and some Democrats backed up, which I believe is siding with the corporate credit-card companies and running against low-income workers and single mothers and such. Or Nelson's "Sense of the Senate" amendment where he believed Congress should reject any Social Security reform plan that involves cutting benefits, which the GOP Senate rejected.
It's things like that that convince me that the GOP is more distant from the Middle American little guy or gal than many often believe. That they just seem to side with the corporate world more than they do the general American interest.
THAT'S exactly why I'm an independent, who realizes I must be self-reliant and do the best I can until there's some changes made either with our rigid two-party system or within the parties themselves.
I've come to many crossroads with others like myself at KBOO community radio, which is a model for the programming and the filling of needs that other media does not, giving all kinds of diverse groups a voice, providing a safe haven for unpopular, controversial or neglected perspectives, and that anyone, whether you're white, black, Asian, Native American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander, whether you're a religious believer, agnostic or atheist, no matter what your political affliation is, no matter what kind of music you love, the community runs its whole programming line-up. And when we've just completed our latest pledge drive here and seen unprecedented numbers and contributions coming in to keep the station running, that really tells me we NEED this outlet.
Sometimes KBOO is perceived as a hippy station. And while its true that this stations name came from call letters referencing a popular strain of marijuana called "Berkeley Boo" when the station was put on the air in 1968, I believe it has a little something for everyone in the community. Obviously most of our pledges come from those who either like the music or share those progressive political interests, but I've taken about seven pledges from those who say they're Republicans and they may not agree with the evening news we broadcast (The Evening News features daily commentaries from Jim Hightower, Amy Goodman and Mumia) they say they believe it is extremely important to have this alternative megaphone alive and believe the other side of the story must be heard and that's why they contribute, and among the seven I got a few compliments on our station being tolerant and disciplined when dissenting.
And politics is just a small part of the line-up. Most of the programming is music. There's so much music you don't hear anywhere else, including The Yiddish Hour, Dr. Zonk's Stereophone Obscura, Persian Prime, and African music. There's also spoken arts programs, youth programs, gay, lesbian, woman and ethnic study programs, and all kinds of specials.
I don't get paid a penny working for KBOO, but I love working there because I believe it's a great way in setting an example for the little guys and gals in my community. It may not make everything better, but it does provide solace to those like myself!
The bottom line here is, I don't even think just saying you're a liberal or conservative does justice of who you really are or what you believe. I believe this administration in particular has really made me more liberal than I really am. I believe there's a lot of conservative spirit and values in me as well, for I'd really like to see a return to small government and a firm focus on state rights and decisions rather than federal decisions.
Some say I just have a biased grudge against the GOP entirely and that I'll never vote for a Republican president. My response is, "How would you know that?". If the GOP continues to wander from its roots, then that'll be true in the end, but if they do return to their roots and they nominate a traditional conservative candidate and the Democrats decide to nominate someone like Lieberman, I'd vote Republican in that instance, unless of course a third party candidate who I agreed with more actually had a chance.
Labels just don't make justice of all we really are. I believe I'm both liberal and conservative in heart.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"