Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Republican And Unsatisfied

Busy times call for idle measures. Therefore I will let my essay from school do the talking today. What political party do you support?


“I pulled up a PDF of the Republican Party Platform, circa 2008. It was 60 or so pages. The one for the Democratic Party was not much shorter. Therefore, considering the instructions to write a brief essay, I limit myself to two issues: abortion, same-sex marriage. I will detail my reasons for each when I come to them. What I will say now is that I am not completely satisfied with either party’s views, because they do not look at it from a philosophical perspective. I find this to be vitally important in politics. Philosophy asks questions about humans, and the world in which they live. Politics is the practical application of the answers. The two must interact. Since no parties face this seriously, and I must make a stand with someone who may reasonably make an impact on my country, I hereby endorse the Republican Party, and will compare it only with the Democratic Party.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats endorse education- as well they must, or the public would tear them to pieces. I might be among the first to lay hands on them if they ever endorsed otherwise. Education shapes the minds of a country’s citizens, and therefore the country. I do not like either of the two parties’ goals about it. However, the Democrats’ annoys me more. Their 2008 party platform does not even define what an education is. The closest definition I could find read, “The Democratic Party firmly believes that graduation from a quality public school and the opportunity to succeed in college must be the birthright of every child–not the privilege of the few” (Democratic National 18). They speak of how American youth must be trained to do well in the post-modern economy, and how declining test scores are hurting America so much (Democratic National 18). Reading this rhetoric, I get the impression that the Democratic Party believes education is a means to good socioeconomic status. I cannot accept this definition. Education is the shaping of the whole person, not job training.

The Republican Party comes closer to that ideal. When they come to education in their 2008 platform, the first sentence reads, “Education is a parental right, a state and local responsibility, and a national strategic interest” (The Committee 43). That is not much better, but it more explicit in defining terms. That carried my favor even before I read the following: “It is through education that we ensure the transmission of a culture, a set of values we hold in common. It has prepared generations for responsible citizenship in a free society, and it must continue to do so” (The Committee 43). The Republicans are thinking about deeper and ultimately more important things than dollar bills. I would prefer that they look even farther than social values, but this at least I can accept.
I am much more firm about the next issue: same-sex couples. The American verdict about this is an American verdict about sexual morality, and what a family is. My verdict is that men cannot copulate with men, and women cannot copulate with women. If this is accepted, there is nothing wrong with men copulating with sheep, or women copulating with oak trees. Same-sex couples are unacceptable. Therefore I rejected the Democratic Party when I read, “We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections” (Democratic National 52). I am not advocating persecution or violence against them, but I refuse to support their choice.

The Republicans agree with me. “Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it” (The Comittee 53). I fully endorse such a measure. The Republicans are clearly unwilling to allow this sin to gain any more ground on American morality. Whether or not they are willing to reclaim any ground is unclear, and I doubt highly that they have the political courage to do so. Nevertheless, we stand together on this issue.

There are several more issues I could compare between platforms, but the task description was a brief essay. Three pages are already pushing it, I wager. Therefore, I conclude with repetition. The Republican Party is far from the perfect party. They have slung mud at the Democratic Party, to a point that disgusts me, and they are philosophically stunted. Nevertheless, they fit closer to my views than the Democrats. In all likelihood, my voice will not do much here and now unless I side with the donkey or the elephant. I will endure the elephant for now.”

Works Cited

The Comittee on Arrangements for the 2008 Republican National Convention. 2008 Republican Platform. Ed. Bill Gribbin. 2008. PDF file.

Democratic National Convention Committee. The 2008 Democratic National Platform: Renewing America’s Promise. 2008. PDF file.

P.S. If I messed up the citations, notify me and I'll correct them.


  1. I was raised a Democrat. As they drifted further & further away from what they used to stand for into the far-left mess they are today I eventaully had to leave. I am a Republican, but not blindly so. You are right, they are no where near perfect either. But they are better on issues like education & abortion. But, if they ever bailed on pro-life then they would lose me as well.

  2. If you are not completely satisfied with either party, why settle? There is not a requirement for you to stand behind any party at all. In fact, from a philosopher's point of view, it really is best not to stand behind any party at all, because party politics at its heart is the antithesis philosophical thinking. I might suggest rethinking your strategy, potentially going independent, or deciding to back candidates on a case by case basis, where you can accurately judge each candidates argument, and use your God given rationality to decide which candidates values, ideals, and position best fit your own.

  3. Sean: Keep in mind that the platform was written and approved by a handful of people and is by no means an absolutist document. You don't have to agree with everything on a party's platform in order to identify with that party. I am a registered Republican because it allows me to vote in the primaries and because the two major parties have the resources to get things done.

  4. @Al: Same here on the pro-life issue. If the Republicans go pro-choice, I'm no longer with them.

    @Anonymous: So I thought at first. With more reflection, I decided I wanted to take a political stance that had a chance of doing something. The Republicans, like Patrick says, have the chance to accomplish something, practically. It will not be perfect, but it will be something. And I will not vote blindly. Wherever the Republicans step too far, I will break from them.

    @Patrick: I should have borne that in mind. And as I have said, I will vote discerningly. Thank you all for reading.

  5. Sean..when I was your age, the Vietnam War had just ended and I was mad at both parties for years. It took Ronald Reagan to bring me back to some political sanity. Absolutely loved the man. We could use a few more of those kind of cowboys. Great post.