Monday, October 13, 2008

Doubting My Right Faith

by Ali Akbar

As a biracial young Republican, I know scrutiny very well. I believe in a limited government, reasonable regulations, and moral mandates that would serve the greatest number.

We have a problem. A big problem.

I'm on the record as being a long time supporter of the nominee. I publicly endorsed him on my blog before he was carrying his own bags and have stood by donating time, funds, and any credibility that I carry since. I stood against most "Conservatives" who impressed the untested Mitt Romney on me as our Party's Savior. I told my friends, "just you watch." I believed in the Maverick.

The bailout vote crushed my confidence.

Senator McCain was not the only Conservative who voted for the passage of historic government intervention.

Yet, I still believe that McCain's presidency will usher in a new age of government reduction and fiscal responsibility. The difference between pre-bailout and now is: I'm entirely relying on faith. I want friends to be fair about this though, McCain is not the problem. Our Party is ineffective. The leaders in the House, the Senate, and even friends at the Republican National Committee do not share our burdens.

Where is the fiscal responsibility?

Where is bridge to minorities?

Where is earmark reform?

Why are we not taking advantage of the three states, one of those being Colorado, that have abortion-related initiatives on their ballots?

Where are the real surrogates?

Why do supporters have to beg for signs, materials, and come out of pocket to rally the grassroots?

My friends, the Party is reaping what it sowed.

Republicans, like myself, cannot be blamed alone. Conservatives are making headlines and patting themselves on the back by screaming, "the Party has left us! the Party has left us!"

Conservatives have not effectively articulated our message of lower taxes, smaller government, and a strong consistent foreign policy. We rant and rave, but have yet to reach out to independents, minority communities, and moderates. It wasn't until July or August when you saw Rush Limbaugh tone it down and realize that the far-right or the dedicated partisans were not going to win this election by simply flexing our muscles.

Let's get back to the basics. Our policies don't have to be longer, more detailed, or cater to this and that group. Our idea lays solely in personal responsibility. We find rest in the idea that the individual can empower him or herself. Government should not always have an answer.

Republicans and Conservatives, with a little help from the mainstream media, have turned this from a strategic election in which we could have easily seen a Republican President and a reduction in the size of government to an election that stands maybe 40% in our favor and only then on a national level.

This isn't just a "tough year," and should we lose let's punish ourselves and hold leaders accountable.

Where's our Party? More importantly, where's our movement?

We begin the discussion now. Come win, lose, or a draw stolen by ACORN and Speaker Nancy Pelosi - let's rebuild.

~Ali Akbar is a blogger and political moderator and host of the new online political radio show HipHopRepublican Radio


Paul Hue said...

For many of the reasons you cite, I've decided to vote Libertarian. If the republicans want my vote back, they know where to find me! A silly VP candidate, big gov bailout, and all those bloated budgets under Bush II have driven me away.

Anonymous said...

Ali I think you are a brave man, the GOP is run by old guys who would rather see the party die then move from there cusy seats.

Paul Hue said...

Ali: I used to be a devoted leftist. I also developed a crisis of confidence over that perspective. A very careful self-analysis and open mind, combined with further research and analysis of personal experiences led me to the libertarian perspective.

I expect that this sort of life journey is common among republicans, and I expect helps explain why republicans tend to be older.

Anonymous said...

Please do not waste your vote on the Libertarian candidate for President, or on John McCain for that matter. John McCain has traditionally (I'm looking at the record John) been against civil rights and women rights. I can not vote for a man who does not have a strong record on either of these things especially after 26 years of being in Washington. I also believe that he is a Treasonist due to his actions as a POW of the Vietcong. Barack Obama is the only logical choice in this country to move us forward into the new beyond!

Paul Hue said...

Anonymous: Please explain how McCain opposed civil rights for blacks and women.

Even if he did (which would be news to me), today blacks and women have full civil rights, and no movement exists to curtail them. Meanwhile, women, blacks, and all US citizens face the same problems and challenges, in general, as everybody else. These issues include a bankcrupt metro school system, an arduous and incomprehensible tax structure, and a government that is spending way too much money on way too many things.

Obama's positions are furthest from what I would consider to be most helpful to productive Americans of either gender or any "racial" group; the libertarians seem to have the best plans; and McCain is somewhere in the middle.

Anonymous said...


With a name like Ali Akbar, I'm surprised your Republican buddies haven't carted you off Guantanomo. I kid not because I find a problem with your name but because the GOP has made a great deal about Obama's Arab sounding name "Hussein."

When in doubt, the GOP sleaze use "Hussein" to ramp up the xenophobic fear. Doesn't that cause you a moment of disquietude? Do you reflect on that?

As a biracial American, does it bother you that McCain's staff has no African-Americans in positions of authority?

Does it bother you that Sarah Palin refused to hire any people of color for her administration.

Does it bother you that Palin was the first governor in recent memory to not sign a Juneteenth Day proclamation?

It's great that you are for small government but can you look at the GOP and say that the GOP is for small government given it's actions in the last 8 years? Warrantless wiretaps? Secret gulag prisons? Torture? Placing mentally ill prisoners on trial for crimes they obviously could not have committed? Creation of a horrific debt so huge and crippling that we've caused the destabilization of our NATO allies.

Seriously, what does it say that Iceland, a European country, has to run to RUSSIA! for financial bailout? What strings might be attached to that deal? Hmm? Could the Russians get the right to open a port for their ships?

Look at how the GOP resorts to using the Southern Strategy against Obama: scary black man! Is he really American? Connecting him to Franklyn Raines even though Raines said he only met Obama at a dinner party! But McCain says Raines was an Obama financial backer.

There's a pattern to the GOP. When in doubt inject race and make the brown people scary and bad:

Rush Limbaugh calls Obama an Arab and not black. Hmmm? First what's wrong with being Arab? I think Republicans John Sununu would take issue with that. But not black? Oh, come on. Obama's father was from a Kenyan tribe. He had more African features than 90% of African-Americans!

Seriously, does Obama look any less "black" than Will Smith, Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, and other clearly African-American men. Who, like 90% of all African-Americans have European ancestry!

What I'm really trying to say is that it bothers me a lot when someone like Limbaugh who has a LONG history of anti-black racism decides who can and can't call himself African-American. White people historically created the One Drop Rule.

The labeled us negores, nigras, niggers, colored and we finally called ourselves black and African-American. The latest label was to get away from skin color and embrace the reality that most "black" Americans don't have black skin. The name refers geography. It also allows a people to exist with relationship to another.

What does it mean to be white if there is no black or yellow or red people? Instead, African-Americans define themselves through history and relationship to the earth, and two of it's continents.

You call yourself biracial. That's great. You have the right to define yourself as you see fit.

But people in the GOP, how many of them see that? How many of them wish to define you the same way they define Obama, another biracial man with a "funny" name?

It's great that you think that the government should enforce some kind of morality. But the question is whose morality? The Mormon faith's morality? Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, etc.? If morality is faith-based, is that based on community standards of a town or state or nation? Does majority rule? What becomes of the minority? If you lived in a town dominated by Scientologists, would you submit to their customs as laws?

In India, Hindu extremists are forcing Christians to convert on pain of death.

Isn't secularism a better way to operate?

Paul Hue said...

Anony: All of what you categorize as the "southern strategy" is just what the republicans for the past several cycles have done to all democrat candidates: Clinton, Gore, Kerry. It has nothing to do with "race". Remember, as one of countless examples, how the repos associated Kerry with the French, as one of many ways that they portrayed him as "other".

I get confused by your objection to Limbaugh calling Obama "Arab". It seems that if Rush calls him "black" you will accuse him of constructing a "scary black guy", but if Rush calls him "Arab" then Rush is being just as racist but from a different angle. Which is it? The US is, many voters believe, at war with a group of Arabs just as 50 years ago the US was at war against German, Italian, and Japanese armies. Fifty years ago, Germans, Italians, and Japanese had a publicity problem in the US, just as Arabs do now, and for the same reason.

Meanwhile, Obama is promoting his christian status and Kansas roots to connect with voters. Therefore, of course his political opponent would counter that, regardless of his "race". If Obama stresses that his people are from Kansas, well, of course his opponent will stress that some of his people are not only from well outside of Kansas, but associated with a foreign land at war with our nation. And if Obama stresses his christian roots, of course his opponent will stress Obama's root with a religion associated with that war against the US.

Every US politician over the past decades has taken it as a given that they should stress their christian background, and every US politician since the founding of this country has stressed his or her "heartland of the US" roots. And every political opponent has attempted to undermine these connections? Do you really think that if Cat Stevens ran for office, using his birth name, that his opponents would not stress his Islamic name and connections, including all the time and money he has directed to Arab nations and organizations?

Finally, I am certain that Republicans care less about a fellow republican's racial categorization then do democrats, especially BLACK democrats! After all, liberals can't even figure out what name to call their opponents without first categorizing them.

Ali said...

Anon and all - I would encourage you to call into our next show and ask these questions in a Q&A format.