Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The politics of regret

So I've been thinking a lot these days about where I fall on the political spectrum, and where I go from here.

Up until recently, I've considered myself a Log Cabin Republican-- I identify as bisexual, am socially liberal, but I consider myself fiscally conservative. I had hopes that the good things about the Republican party (emphasis on small government, limited taxation, a strong military, and individual responsibility) could be somehow reclaimed from the far Right. I voted for Bush the first time with a clear thought that I was doing the right thing; I voted for him the second time with great trepidation, and only after agonizing over the matter at length. My decision was tipped by the consideration that I felt he would be the leader most likely to see the Iraq war through in a strong and efficient matter, rather than letting our soldiers linger and twist in the wind.

Oh, how wrong I was.

It's a bitter pill to swallow, but I admit my grave error. The more research I do, the more I read, and the more events in Washington unfold, the clearer it becomes to me that Bush has utterly abandoned the core Republican values in favor of theocracy, making government more intrusive and spending insane amounts of money on all the wrong things. He has lied time and again, thus completely invalidating my original understanding of him as a man of integrity, albeit one with which I did not completely agree. Our soldiers are stuck in a no-win situation (cf the body-armor travesty) while Bush kowtows to people (Dobson et al.) who would cheerfully burn the likes of me at a stake.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. My eyes are open, but what now? The Disgruntled Chemist recently wondered if there was hope to be had in the Green Party. It's a good question, akin to my dilemma regarding the Log Cabin Republicans. I think, on the whole, that I was also wrong in thinking that there was any place for a moderate Republican voice in Washington right now. At best, the LCR's are going to get a little lip service from BushCo., but let's face it-- how much weight can any LGBT-aligned group carry with the homophobes?

There's also the question of numbers, and that applies to the Green Party as well. Odds are against getting an acceptable Republican candidate to vote for in any given election, and those that are moderate are, at present, politically hamstrung. A vote for Green might only drain votes from the Democrats, thus putting more unacceptable Republicans in office, which strikes me as condition-critical right now. But, as noted everywhere, the Democrats right now are pretty damn spineless.

It's a heck of a quandary, and I've got to figure out where to make camp in short order. But something has to be done.

So, hate me if you will for waking up late, but at least I'm there now.

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