Monday, September 01, 2008

Unity and the Hurricane

I knew a pick like Sarah Palin would wake up and excite the evangelicals, but as I surf around the blogs I see that even the hadcore Libertarians are sitting up and taking notice. Meet Adam Bernay:

Adam Bernay is a longtime Libertarian Republican activist, dating back to the mid-1990s. He has been involved with the Republican Liberty Caucus, particularly in California, in numerous capacities, since about that time. He also serves as a GOP Precinct Committeeman in Fresno. Mr. Bernay is also a certified practicing Rabbi of the Messianic Jewish Faith.

Adam had this to say about the Republican party yesterday:

I was just getting ready to leave politics. My hand was on doorknob, it was starting to turn. I had felt in my gut, it was time to go. time to make like a newborn and head out, as my brother (the paramedic and Army medic) would say.

I have grown more and more disgusted with the Republican Party over the past four to six years. I was all for them in 2001 and 2002; I saw a group of national and state Republicans who really seemed ready to lead us away from big government, towards energy independence, and more generally in a self-reliant direction. Sure, George W. Bush has campaigned on a taxpayer-funded prescription plan for Medicare, but there was a lot of good stuff he’d campaigned on as well.


So, in this election cycle, as I saw the circular firing squad take out decent candidates, bad candidates, and party unity; as I saw Bob Barr become The Guy and then The Nominee in the Libertarian Party; and I saw more and more big government rhetoric coming out of party leaders like Mike Huckabee… well, I was about to quote Reagan: “I didn’t leave the party; the party left me.” I was about to re-register Libertarian Party; I had already been openly declaring support for Bob Barr.

And I know I am not alone. I have spoken to many disaffected Republicans and former Republicans who have been saying the exact same things, these past few weeks and months.

Then came the news last Friday morning that liberartarian-leaning Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was going to become McCain’s vice presidential nominee, and I stopped. And I watched. Their speeches that morning, and the speeches that followed, first in Pennsylvania, and then yesterday in Missouri, were brilliant, and they made me pause in my planned bolt out the door to the Libertarian Party. Pause, mind you. Not stop. The Republican Party basically has one week to stop me and bring me back. Though, So far, so good.

I am just amazed that we have a Vice Presidential nominee that is appealing to the evangelical wing of the party AND the Libertarian wing. I never saw that one coming.

I've seen a lot gloating and hateful comments from Democrats regarding the Hurricane and the convention. But I think this may turn out to be a blessing as well.

There was no way we could compete with the the over the top bells and whistles show the Democrats put on last week. Now we don't have to. We have the opportunity to show leadership in the face of a crisis. McCain did exactly right thing. Here is his first statement:

“We must redirect our efforts from the really celebratory event of the nomination of president and vice president of our party to acting as all Americans. We’ll change our program and I’ll be announcing details of it in the next few hours. But there’s very little doubt that we have to go from a party event to a call to the nation for action, action to help our fellow citizens in this time of tragedy and disaster, action in the form of volunteering, donations, reaching out our hands and our hearts and our wallets to the people who are under such great threat from this great natural disaster. I pledge that tomorrow night, and if necessary, throughout our convention if necessary, to act as Americans not Republians, because America needs us now no matter whether we are Republican or Democrat.’’

I think the American people would rather see "a call for action" to help Americans in this disaster than a big party anyway. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part but to me it illustrates which party is more ready to lead.