I am guilty of not always being rational. I have made irrational choices when it comes to everything from men to a shoes. I once thought it was necessary to bake Red Velvet cupcakes at midnight. I have had my irrational moments.
Your weakness may not be midnight cupcakes — but you are probably guilty of your own irrational moments. This is human.
But despite our momentary lapses, another huge part of our humanity is our attraction to that which is rational. That which is clean. That which offers the most elegant solution to our problem.
The modern Republican Party is not elegant. It may sometimes be “refined” or “tasteful” – which, according to Webster is one possible definition of “elegance” — but it is not the most meaningful (for this discussion) definition of the word elegance, which is: “restrained beauty, scientific precision and simplicity.”
Simple. Restrained. Beautiful. This, to me , is what we should be as “Rational Republicans.”
Where We Go Wrong
Quite frankly, the Republican party is all too often a contradiction. We offer little elegance, and as a result we miss the opportunity to show the world the beautiful and restrained simplicity of our ideals.
What do I mean? It’s simple really:
We say we believe in a limited government. We say that each of us should have the liberty to create our own success; that we should not be limited in our ability to create such success.
We say we believe in self-regulation. Whether in the market or in our own lives. We say we believe the government should not excessively legislate what we can and cannot do in our homes. We say we believe in the individual. That humanity doesn’t need a “nanny state” to take care of it.
And then in the same breath we advocate for the role of intrusive government in our lives. We suddenly want the government in the homes of others, dictating what they can and cannot do (or whom they can & cannot marry) and legislating morality.
We also seemingly have no problem with those that would spend our treasure (and therefore increase the burden on each of us and limit our ability to create success) in ways that do not immediately promote the safety and security of our country. We also say we want budget cuts — but we have our own sacred cows of defense and certain subsidies that cannot be slaughtered.
This contradiction destroys the elegance of our ideas. Less government, less intrusion. More liberty, more individual freedom.
It also destroys the juxtaposition. We are the party of liberty. The party that values the individual and that believes in him. We are the party of the American Dream. We believe you can create your own success… and we want you to reap the rewards of that success. We trust you to make your own decisions in life, and we don’t want to be your babysitter.
But What About Morality?
Now, there are those among you (perhaps even the majority) who would say that there is a moral right and a moral wrong. That you have to take a stand.
To you, I say: you are right. 100%.
I would also say, the venue isn’t government. You cannot have it both ways. You can’t deny the right of the left to turn our government into their own pet advocacy machine and at the same time excitedly await your turn to use it to advocate your own pet policies. This is a circle that creates more regulations and an ever larger and more intrusive government.
I am sorry. I know this may be unpopular with some. But it is the truth.
A Real Opportunity
A rational platform scraped clean of contradictions will be more appealing. End of story.
Our story is the more beautiful one: Humanity is capable of creating. Capable of building , innovating, engineering the world around us. The majority of us are individually capable of creating success and making choices that are right for us. We are also capable of tremendous generosity. We are capable of creating the best possible quality of life for those lucky enough to live within our shores.
Their story is ugly: Humanity is capable only of destroying. We need a large government to hold us back and regulate our every decision. The majority of us are incapable of making the right choices. We need a few educated elites to lead the way towards our collective success. The only way to ensure that this country doesn’t collapse is to prop it up with regulations and the all-knowing, all powerful central government.
What a message, eh?
But if we cloud that up our simple, beautiful, story and confuse it with theirs by introducing hot-button moral issues and our pet projects for regulation, subsidies, and pork — then who sees the real difference between us? Do we even understand our own story any more? Or is our story now just a variation of theirs? That it is we who know best. That it is the Republican style of intrusion, advocacy, and regulation that is better for the collective?
I welcome your thoughts, your comments, and your disagreements in the comment section below. I also welcome your cupcake recipes.