The GOP's Civil War: 3 Kinds of Republicans

1
Sign Up for Free eNewsletter ››
  • Fighting for the Soul of the GOP
By John J. Kirkwood, CP Op-Ed Contributor
April 25, 2014|5:20 pm

Reading from The Wall Street Journal, John McCain famously referred to tea-party supporters as hobbits. I'm not sure that a troll calling me a hobbit is an insult, but to build from the metaphor, it took a union of elves, dwarves, and men to slay the dragon and stay the war. I'll leave it to the reader to sort out just who is who.

I must begin with an admission: I am a proud Republican. I wasn't always able to say that and in the chance that you may stop reading at this point, allow me to qualify that statement by first saying that John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Myth McConnell and John Boehner are a constant source of agita. My feelings toward them verge on loathing. Now let me draw out the distinction.

There are three basic categories of Republicans: Party, Platform, and Independents. Let's start with the "Party" Republican. The "Party" Republican is like the annoying frat boy; he wears his jersey and is only consumed with winning positions of power. He's a team player when it is to his benefit. The team mascot here is not the elephant, it's the RINO. The "Party" Republican won't fight for every Republican nor will he stand for the Party's principles. As a matter of fact, he'll sabotage Republicans that threaten the status quo and his position, and principles are not something to emulate as much as they are obstacles to overcome. There will be times when the "Party" Republican will even work with Democrats against "Platform" Republicans. (See Mark Kirk in Illinois and the Pennsylvanian Republican Party in the last gubernatorial election.)

The "Party" Republican will only stand for "the pursuit of happiness," and in that way, he's no Republican at all – he's a Whig. He will embrace terms like "fiscal conservative" because he doesn't have the testicular fortitude to stand for the Life and Liberty of the unborn. He will mock the idea of a "one-issue" voter, completely ignoring the fact that the Republican Party was born on one issue - and it wasn't the flat tax.

Now let's describe the Independent. The "Independent" Republican is a new phenomenon. He was born out of frustration of seeing the "Party" Republicans ruin the label. Hypocrisy, corruption, and the "old-boy" network have this Republican too embarrassed to continue to carry the name, so although he votes "for and with" Republicans over 90% of the time, he won't admit to it in public. It's like the Christian who stops going to church and bitches about "organized religion;" they still believe in God, but they can't stand his followers. "Independent" Republicans don't want to be in the team picture with the frat boys.

Then there is the "Platform" Republican, of which, I include myself. I was never a "Party" Republican because I grew up watching what these types tried to do to Ronald Reagan. After Bush the senior, I became an "Independent" Republican and probably would still be one if I didn't start to meditate on the founding of the Party and the Party's platform. When you read the party platform and know the party's history, what's not to love?

Follow us Get CP eNewsletter ››

The Republican Party was founded on the principles annunciated in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

They realized that "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" were not to be pitted against one another but must be equally honored and ultimately extended to the black man. The Republican enshrined in its platform the most beautiful reflection of what America should be if we took our founding documents seriously. It still does.
Listen to how the platform describes two issues that "Party" Republicans are trying to hide from today -The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life and Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage:

"Faithful to the "self-evident" truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed" . . . "The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children."

The Republican Platform, like The U.S. Constitution and The Declaration of Independence, is a document worth fighting for and standing behind. Pretenders that call themselves "Republicans" and "Americans," but abandon the principles that make one such, should not determine our legacy or our children's destiny. Because lesser men actively oppose these documents is no reason for the faithful to abandon the cause.

A most depressing thing it is to read the current Republican platform and then survey the men and women who are supposedly representing it. The difference between the two platforms is that The Republican Platform is a brilliant reflection of our founding documents while the Democrat platform is straight out of the pit of hell. The problem is that there are so few Republicans who honor their platform while the Democrats stand by theirs almost to the letter. In this way, the Democrat politician is more faithful to his charter than is the Republican.

If the "Party" Republicans succeed in pushing the "Independents" and the "Platform" Republicans from the party and they abandon the platform - that will be the day they become the New Whig Party. That will be the hour that I take my allegiance elsewhere. Until then, I will fight. And I will shout from the rooftops that the "Platform" Republican is the true Republican. Time to take our party back!

A wise man once said that "To view true Christianity, one must nearly ignore all Christians." In light of today's "Republicans," I would paraphrase that and say, "To view true Republicanism, one must nearly ignore all Republicans."

I love my party not because I love Boehner, Graham, and McCain; but in spite of them. I love my party because its platform is beautiful and honorable and deserves a vigorous defense.

I ask you, do you hate America because Barack Obama and the left have desecrated the nation with foolish and corrupt leadership or do you still love America for what she was, what our Founder's intended her to be, and what you hope to reclaim one day for your children and children's children?

It's tempting to walk away from a disaster, I know; but I ask you to simply read our founding documents once more, to live by them, and to demand it of those that represent you.

Don't 'We the People' owe it to God and country? Don't we owe it to our fathers and our sons, to fight for the right to live free?

John Kirkwood is the pastor of Grace Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville, Arkansas. He is also the host of "In the Arena." You can follow John on Twitter @uncommonshow.
 

Videos that May Interest You

FAITH [Christian Short Film]

Advertisement