IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY GOING THE WAY OF THE WHIGS?
By Dr. Patrick Jonston
January 27, 2007
Political parties are not permanent. A political party is a framework for implementing ideas in government, but the framework is no more stable than the ideas that energize its supporters. The Republican and Democratic parties certainly appear permanent to the political landscape, like the Twin Towers soaring into the blue sky on a concrete foundation twenty feet thick, but the shifting winds of public opinion can bring them down much faster than they were erected. Just ask the Whigs.
Actually, you can't ask the Whigs because there aren't any around. Have you ever wondered what happened to the Whigs and the Tories, the primary political parties at our nation's birth? To put it simply, the public's political priorities evolved and the political parties did not. When the old political party could not satisfy the public's new mandates, the old party was buried.
The past decade, we have entered a transition in politics that will soon bring about a prominent shift in the political spectrum. If the Republican Party doesn't return to principled conservatism, the party faithful will hold a graveside service for the GOP within two decades, and none of the new leaders will even attend. The two primary parties may have enacted libraries of laws to insulate their political power from third party challenges, and they may have monopolized the public discussion between their political candidates in their carefully crafted political debates, but they do not have a monopoly on the minds of the people.
Political pragmatists of both parties keep as the apple of their eye that fragile edge that will give them the slim majority the next election will require. Keeping that majority prompts the Republican leaders to throw that rhetorical bone every four years to Christian conservatives, but it also motivates them to reach for the moderates on issue after issue, betraying the promises that put the right in their back pocket. Much to the dismay of the GOP pragmatists, there is a shift in the ideology of Christian conservatives, and a new voting bloc of discontented Christians is emerging who are sick and tired of being deceived every four years. They stayed home in November, and just look at the shift in Congress. The Republican Party cannot take for granted the votes of conservative, pro-family, pro-life voters anymore.
The GOP cannot deny the bell that tolls for them any more than they can deny the circumstances of their own inception. Have you ever wondered how the Republican Party came into prominence? When the primary parties could not satisfy the growing contingency that were bound by conscience to pray and labor for the abolishment of slavery, the Republican Party was birthed. The reality of slavery stirred the consciences of some Whigs, some Northern Democrats, and "free-soilers" who opposed the spreading of slavery into the West, and these joined forces to fight the powerful political force of slave-traders and slave-owners, who practically owned the political machinery in the North and the South. The primary parties at the time did debate slavery and both sides admitted that slavery was evil, but a necessary evil.
The lines of debate were drawn over how to best regulate slavery, with one side wanting more regulation than the other. It could be argued that the Republican Party was not really anti-slavery, but just wanted to regulate slavery more than the prominent political parties of the time. Regardless, the moral mandate became so strong that a critical mass of conscientious voters fled the major parties and supported a minor party that more accurately reflected the growing opposition to slavery. Early Republicans risked political obscurity for the sake of more strongly opposing slavery, but their consciences would rest easy with no less.
In the past eight years, the false dichotomy of the two-party system has been and will continue to be exposed to the public. For all who have eyes to see and ears to hear, the political contest between Republican and Democrat is fake and insincere. This goes against everything the media is telling America, but I implore you to weigh actions, not rhetoric. It is easy to prove that the differences between what the Republican leaders do and what the Democratic leaders do are insubstantial. In political action and practical ideology, they are merging.
The wheels of the media are spinning at an all-time high to reinforce the notion that the political fate of our nation rests with the winner of the Republican vs. Democrat contest, but the authentic battle line for our nation's future rests on a battle line that is much further to the right. The priorities of Christian conservatives are shifting, and though the rhetorical bone is still tossed to faithful conservatives every four years like the flavored dog-bone I toss to my mut on rainy nights to keep him from barking, more and more are discontent with the new promises because the wounds of the old promises recently broken are still festering. We are not content to sit next at the Republican power table when homosexual activists and abortionists relax comfortably beside us. The Party of Lincoln is history. The Party of Reagan is history. The same circumstances that brought about the emergent Republican Party 170 years ago is bringing about its demise.
No more is the Democratic party for safe and legal abortion and the Republican Party for the abolishment of abortion. George W. Bush has been the pro-life community's hope, but has funded more abortions at taxpayer expense, both here and overseas, than any previous president. He publicly opposed South Dakota's state-wide ban on abortion because it did not include exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother. According to his distorted reasoning, all the children killed for other reasons must die because the law didn't allow for the killing of those conceived by rape or incest. By pre-1992 Right-to-Life standards, George W. Bush would be classified as a "pro-abortion" candidate because of his justification of abortion in cases of rape, incest, and maternal health (but don't worry, Right-to-Life has changed its definitions in order to endorse Bush as a "pro-life" candidate). Bush's Supreme Court appointee, Samuel Alito, when he was a Federal judge of a lower court, overturned New Hampshire's wildly popular Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, calling it "unconstitutional" and citing Roe v. Wade approvingly in the process.
Never mind that the state and Federal partial birth abortion bans will not save a single life because it allows other late term abortion procedures. Never mind that the Constitution says that the government should not deprive one of life or liberty without due process. Never mind that the Supreme Lawgiver says "Thou shalt not murder" - Sam Alito subjugates divine law to the Supreme Court's dictates and rules infanticide a constitutional right. The prominent parties have drawn the line of the abortion debate over how much it is to be regulated - a growing contingency that is prioritizing the end of the Abortion Holocaust will not accept these terms anymore. No more is the Democratic Party for gay rights and the Republican Party for traditional marriage. It's not the liberal Democrats foisting gay marriage on society.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court that declared gay marriage to be a constitutional right were all Republican appointees. The majority of the present Supreme Court which declared sodomy a constitutional right were Republican appointees. George W. Bush has appointed open homosexual activists to his administration and to ambassadorships at a rate that makes Bill Clinton look like a homophobe! He openly endorses homosexual domestic partnerships or civil unions, which gives homosexual couples the same rights as married couples. V.P. Dick Cheney has openly campaigned with his lesbian daughter for gay marriage. This Republican administration, with a Republican majority in the Senate and the House, has continued funding of sex-ed and contraceptive programs that endorse homosexual behaviors. For the first time in our nation's history, leaders in Bush's administration (Colin Powel and Condi Rice) have openly acknowledged the lovers of homosexual appointees at swearing-in ceremonies. Mrs. Rice even called the parents of a gay ambassador's lover his "in-laws." The prominent political parties have drawn the line of the debate over gay rights over the preservation of "traditional marriage" - a growing contingency that considers homosexuality a sin that should not be countenanced by government will not accept the false dichotomy anymore.
No more is the Democratic Party for involving the military in U.N. affairs and the Republican Party for military that is sovereign and reserved for national defense. The media spinsters continue to reinforce the impression that the Democrats would not have invaded Iraq, but the fact remains that George W. Bush received Congressional approval for waging his "war on terror" before he began to bomb and invade Iraq. The fact remains that the same Democrats who oppose Bush for invading Iraq on specious grounds would have justified the same invasion if we had U.N. approval first. The Republicans rebut the Democratic criticism: Saddam Hussein violated U.N. resolutions over and over and over again, certainly giving the world the impression that he had weapons of mass destruction, and if the U.N. isn't going to act to keep the United States safe from terrorist dictators, then we must act unilaterally.
The whole debate makes it painfully evident that both parties justify American military deployment to enforce United Nations resolutions and an imperialistic attitude to foreign policy that places American forces in hundreds of countries around the world. The Democrat's remedy for the Republican's Iraq debacle is more of what ails us. But a growing contingency of Americans are refusing to accept the expenditure of billions of tax-dollars and the sacrifice of their sons and daughters to enforce U.N. resolutions or spread democracy overseas. I have two brothers in the Marine Corps - Shannon, 35-year-old husband and father of three, and my baby-brother Matthew, 27 years of age. I wouldn't give one of their pinky-fingers for democracy in Iraq!
Americans will willingly sacrifice our lives to defend our nation and to protect home and hearth from invaders, but not to spread democracy to a people unwilling to die for it themselves, and certainly not for an illegitimate United Nations, whose Marxist, socialist, and terrorist leaders aren't worthy of one drop of blood of our sons and daughters, much less 3,000 American lives.
No more is the Democratic Party for unrestrained illegal immigration and the Republican Party for protecting our borders and enforcing immigration law. Until we had a Republican presidential administration with a Republican majority in the Senate and the House, the Republican Party has never had such a grand opportunity to match its "protect our borders" rhetoric with practical legislation to enforce immigration law. But for seven years now, the wheat of sincerity has separated from the chaff of deceptive rhetoric and we can clearly see that the Republican Party doesn't want to protect our borders any more than the Democrats do. They don't want to end illegal immigration. They don't want to enforce immigration laws and prosecute those who hire illegal aliens. They don't want to deport those who violate our laws by entering our nation illegally.
Many GOP leaders are openly declaring that enforcing immigration laws is impossible, and all hopes for doing so should be abandoned (as if violating the law is changing it.) George W. Bush's remedy for illegal immigration is to offer what amounts to amnesty to millions of illegals – instead of enforcing the law and deporting them, we give them an I.D. card and let them stay. After the airline hijackings, the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks, and the Baltimore sniper shootings, the anthrax scare, the waves of crime perpetrated by illegal aliens, and the financial burden illegal aliens are to the healthcare system of border states, you'd think that our nation's leaders would want to protect our nation from invaders, if for no other reason for self-interest. But rather than perform their constitutional duties to prosecute law-breaking immigrants, they revoke our constitutional freedoms with their Patriot Act usurpations. Illegal immigration is certainly on the list of things to be debated during the campaign season's artificial contests, but a growing contingency rests uneasy with the endless debating of means when the end pursued still perpetuates lawlessness, sacrifices our liberties, and threatens our national security.
No more is the Democratic Party for state-control of education and the Republican Party for privatizing education. The party of Reagan labored to completely dismantle the Department of Education, but the leaders of today's Republican Party have increased Federal control of education more than any previous presidential administration. George W. Bush boasted cooperation with Ted Kennedy, one of the most liberal icons of the Senate, with his "No Child Left Behind" plan for public education, which greatly increased Federal control of education.
Funding for public education in the United States is at an all-time high, yet our performance in science and math continues to be at the bottom of the list of industrialized nations, thanks in part to the prevalence of liberal philosophies of education that prioritize self-esteem over mastery. Moreover, under George W. Bush's plan for public education, the public school system continues to advocate practical atheism through the teaching of dogmatic atheistic macroevolution as fact, sex education continues to justify and teach extra-marital sexual immorality, and administrators, teachers, and students are continuing to be silenced from expressing religious belief on school grounds. It is not enough that lies are taught to children at taxpayer expense, the truth must be banned so as to preserve the monopoly of the lie over the minds of the children. A growing contingency of conservatives are fed up with the failure of the Federal government to prepare our children for the future, and would like to see a separation of school and state and parents assume the God-given role that the Feds have usurped.
No more is the Democratic Party for the centralization of government power in D.C. and the Republican Party for a decentralized government. Non-military government spending has grown astronomically since G.W. Bush came to power. With the Bush's Medicare drug bill, the Republican Party became responsible for the largest expansion of the welfare state since the days of Lyndon Johnson. Taxpayers are forced, through confiscatory taxation and coercive government force, to fund bee research in Arizona, N.I.H. studies of the sexual habits of prostitutes, a cowgirl museum in Texas, a billion dollar bridge in Alaska to nowhere, and on and on, ad infinitum. Thomas Jefferson said, "To compel a man to furnish contributions of funds for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical."
The Republicans have joined in the Democratic orgy of deficit spending and taxpayer exploitation in order to appease constituents and increase their chances of re-election. More and more conservatives are asking themselves, with conservatives like these, who needs liberals? There is a growing contingency of Christian conservatives who are looking for leaders who will actually keep their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution (including the Tenth Amendment, which limits the Federal government to constitutionally-authorizing spending and obligations specifically granted to them in the Constitution).
No more is the Democratic Party for religious pluralism in government and the Republican Party for acknowledging the God of the Bible and implementing Christian principles in public policy. My eyes were first opened to this when G.W. Bush bowed and bowed before a Shinto shrine in Japan soon after assuming the presidency, an act which many faithful Japanese Christians were persecuted for refusing to do. Soon after 9/11, President Bush invited a Muslim to lead in prayer at a White House event, and he has continued to describe Islam as a religion of peace, in spite of the fact that one of the pillars of Islam which secures paradise for the faithful Muslim is holy jihad against Jews and Christians. George W. Bush has openly advocated a heresy called universalism - that non-Christians can be heaven-bound without faith in Christ. As the Republican Party has widened its borders to accept idolaters, homosexuals, abortionists, socialists, liberal educators, and businesses that exploit illegal immigration labor, it has abandoned its grassroots supporters and the God of the Bible, without whose blessing it would have never come to be. A growing contingency of Christians will not accept the state-sponsored denial of the lordship of Jesus Christ over every area of life as the "lesser of two evils."
Not only by action, but even by loosening rhetoric is the Republican Party opting for tolerance to liberal ideas in the ever-widening Big Tent. Reaching to moderates may increase votes as long as the right thinks you are the lesser of two evils, but the borders can only get so wide before the center begins to buckle. More and more pro-life, pro-Constitution, pro-family voters are coming to the realization that the one that kisses your cheek and cries "Hail Master!" but betrays your cause for thirty pieces of silver is not the lesser of two evils. A critical mass of conscientious voters will soon reach the point that they will risk political obscurity to support a new political framework that carries their ideas, rather than a party that gives them the golden rhetoric and grand promises, yet follows it up with betrayal after betrayal.
Two years ago, I would have told you that the Constitution Party stood the best chance to step into the spotlight and fill the void that the Republican Party has left with its chronic betrayal of Christian conservatives. But the Constitution Party's leadership has come to justify abortion in cases of rape, incest, maternal health, and fetal handicap, and almost a dozen state affiliates have left the Constitution Party in the past two years as a result.
I do not know from where the leaders of the new contingency will come; they may come from an emerging third party, from the Republican Party, or the leader may be independent of any particular political party. It may be that we will be so fed up with the Federal over-reaching and the tyranny, that conservatives will abandon any hope of change at the Federal level and will instead labor for these changes at the state level, even defying tyrannical Federal mandates to the point of secession. The primary political parties have so insulated themselves from third-party challenges and the media has been so successful at limiting the political debate to the two primary parties that, in my opinion, state-level political action and open defiance of Federal tyranny is the best chance to restore the Republic to our Christian, constitutional roots. Regardless, mark my words: there is a growing force of Christian conservatives who won't rest content with the "lesser of two evils" anymore, and the tremendous vacuum of leadership will not remain for long. Then crank up the hearse and load up the Grand Ole' Party faithful for the lonely drive to Arlington.
© 2007 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved
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Patrick Johnston and his wife Elizabeth reside in Zanesville, Ohio, with their six young home-schooled children. Patrick is a family practice physician and founder of the Association of Pro-life Physicians, which is dedicated to restoring a remnant of physicians in our communities who are convinced that life begins at conception and who will not commit nor refer for abortions (ProLifePhysicians.org).
the Alliance to Reform Education Funding to fight public school levies
and promote Christian home-schooling (StopSchoolLevies.org).
He founded the Coalition for Justice for All to pursue justice for Ohio's
pre-born and to provide photo-documentary evidence on-line at StopColumbusKilling.net
of the abortionists and their accomplices at the abortion clinics of Columbus,
Ohio. Dr. Johnston is committed to revival in the church, and the restoration
of Biblical law and constitutional government in America.
Actually, you can't ask the Whigs because there aren't any around. Have you ever wondered what happened to the Whigs and the Tories, the primary political parties at our nation's birth?