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home : opinions : opinions August 19, 2014


11/21/2012 2:08:00 PM
Letter: Republicans must live in 21st century or fade into history
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Courtesy photo

Editor:

In response to Cal Thomas' latest editorial:

Oh, for crying out loud, Cal just repeats all the same Republican misinformation talking points, and once again trumpets "the sky is falling!" He's doing our conservative Arizonans a disservice.

Don't people get tired of doomsday predictions and seeing conspiracies everywhere? Can't they live in the real world and see the beauty of our diversity, instead of lamenting the loss of the "good ol' days" when whites dominated, Christian influence was everything, Civil Rights hadn't happened yet, and women were content to be homemakers?

Obama and the democrats won because they ran an effective campaign, and they appealed to a wide population base, not because of moochers wanting to live off the "gubment." Republicans lost because they ignored very big chunks of the American population and kept saying remarkably insensitive and stupid things like "legitimate rape," "47 percent want government handouts," and "God intended that rape-baby."

Can we please, please, get over this entitlement myth? Stop looking for the conspiracies, stop blaming atheists, liberals, Democrats, blacks, hispanics, Muslims, secularists, and others for anything and everything, and start living in the REAL America....an America that is far more diverse ethnically, politically, religiously, and socially than in the past?

Our differences shouldn't divide, they should make us stronger. Democrats have embraced the diversity, and the elections show the results. Conservatism can be a valuable point of view, offering a great deal on social, political, and economic issues, but not when it's tainted by intolerance, inflexibility, and a complete lack of empathy.

It's time for Republicans to either live in the 21st Century or fade into history. Republicans need to return to the compassionate conservatism of the GOP of old, and stop resisting the cultural shifts in our society.

Americans are becoming far more moderate and tolerant, and obviously our diversity is only going to increase, so if the Republicans can't change their image away from being the party of old rich white men thumping a Bible, they will continue to distance themselves from the majority of the American people.

James Carr

Prescott Valley


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: James Carr

@Jon & Judy

To start, my name is Mr. Carr, not Mr. Cal. Call me James.

Second, and as I've mentioned already, I'm not liberal. I'm a moderate Independent.

As for the rest of your comment, thank you for providing us a picture-perfect example of what my letter addresses. Conspiracies and blame-gaming...exactly the sort of thing that conservatives need to get away from....

You also seem to have completely overlooked that I spoke highly of a conservative point of view, as long as it isn't tainted by intolerance and wild conspiracy theories...precisely the sort of thing that was rampant through your comment.

Besides believing that the President is a Kenyan-born Islamist who committed voter fraud, that our hugely bloated military budget (bigger than the next dozen or so countries combined) is somehow not adequate to meet our soldiers' needs, and that higher taxes on the rich is a direct assault on your own income...what other conspiracies and wild theories do you believe in?

I'm guessing you also feel that Christianity is under attack, illegal immigrants (hispanics, of course) are largely composed of drug dealers and moochers, colleges are breeding grounds for atheism, homosexuality is unnatural, and that the media is "liberal."

It's time to get past this nonsense. If Republican politicians cater to people like you, then they will continue to lose elections, because the majority of Americans are far more tolerant, compassionate, and open-minded.

That's the second comment thus far that just makes wild assumptions about me, and completely fails to respond to any of the points I made in my letter. I call for conservatives to be more tolerant and empathic, and I get blasted for being a liberal...even though I'm not. Very weird.


Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: Jon & Judy Ladner

Dear Cal, It's very simple. Why don't you move to California and see for yourself the 50 year great liberal experiment in total bankrupt failure. Live here for a while and see your Democratic promises in total failure or put in the spin machine to produce their needed excuse for not working. Just caught the news with our maybe president (if he is legal) talking a lot and saying nothing. Our proof, is our latest SSI statement. We are a middle income senior couple and our taxes are going up. But I just listened to our Washington "hero" promising our tax bracket wouldn't go up. After checking this out with our local SSI office we are going to pay more. But our great leader just said we would not? Maybe the Teleprompter was malfunctioning or maybe just a simple case of double taxation. As far as running a better campaign ask the Soldiers, Marines, Airman and Sailors whose Proxy votes were NOT counted and other shady stateside "things" that went on. Who won the popular vote without that electoral tripe? Just like last time. I just retired from a job that allowed me to see unfiltered truth in the field where there is no time or room for "spin" or mistakes I'm glad I worked for a private contractor. We had a real budget for needed equipment. It's sad to have U.S. troops with a destroyed budget asking us for equipment. So please Mr. Cal don't try to feed me liberal horse manure. I don't recall seeing you in the "Green Zone" 4 years ago. Nor did I see you at Griffith Park L.A. or San Francisco in 1968 where these liberal ideas were being incubated. Please Cal, move to North Hollywood CA or any So-Cal suburb. One local Chief of police actually came on the news and (his words) told us to load our guns as his department could not provide the protection needed anymore. If you are going to talk the talk, walk the real walk. Go to the fair and see that bear if you have the courage. My wife and I are escaping to "free zone" Arizona next week! If you want to embrace liberal doctrine move to Calif. It's perfect for people like you. Thank God for people like Sheriff Joe!

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: James Carr

@sick and tired

I appreciate your tone and your words. Thank you. You make some solid points, and while I don't necessarily agree with some of them, I certainly value the discussion. That's so much healthier than screaming at each other, isn't it?

I choose to remain an Independent because I've seen too much groupthink in party members. It's the whole ingroup-outgroup thinking that frequently compels party members to cling to party loyalty, blindly accept most anything their politicians or biased news channels (Fox or MSNBC) tell them, and deny reality. I wish to remain objective as much as possible, so I steadfastly maintain my distance from either party.

Lately I've favored Democrats, but that could change if their political platform and candidates change. Frankly, Republicans, in my humble opinion, have drifted much too far to the extreme Right. Hell, the Texas Republican Party specifically mentioned in their platform this year that they were against critical thinking! That's absurd.

If they keep on this track, Independents like me will continue to choose the lesser of two evils, the Democrats, and hope for the best. They ain't perfect by a long shot, but at least they seem to be somewhat sincere in representing most Americans rather than the traditional conservative base.


Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: SICK AND TIRED

My apologies that I assumed that you were a Democrat, I don't believe that there is a true "independent", and since you referred to Republicans as "them", I filled in the gaps with what you stated in your piece.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist. What I am though is distrustful of all politicians. I personally don't believe that there is anyone willing to enter the circus of politics without being power hungry.
As to diversity, I acknowledge the diversity of our country and I am proud of the strides taken in it's embrace of all cultures. I do however believe that we have a very long way to go, as the constant reference of whites verses everyone else is not only offensive but is in itself racist. It is publicly unacceptable if I show pride in my heritage simply because I am of German/Irish decent, but I am forced to stand by while "Black" "Hispanic" and "Asian" History Month is perfectly acceptable. I belong to the largest race on the planet.......... the Human Race. If you think I should be apologetic because of the plight of minorities in American history, then everything fought for in our great experiment of a nation is in vain. I served in the military with all races and one thing I can tell you is that when bullets fly, every American is your closest brother, unless he or she is the very person shooting those bullets at you. My point is, when will diversity and acceptance be looked at as generally accepted and not a talking point. Just because a party leader doesn't stand on a soap box and champion the rights of race or gender, why is she or he evil? After all, aren't we all Americans? All equal? or are there some more equal than others?
As to my reference to economics This is the heart of diversity. To be more accepting and diverse means to let everyone to their own devises. My thought is that this also means that all Americans have the responsibility to make wise choices, not make it the government's job to take care of them if they don't. Diversity works both ways, freedom and equality is built upon responsibility and accountability. Without it there cannot be acceptance as there will only be those living and those paying for those that are living. This causes class separations and societal nonacceptance. For a party that champions "diversity" the Democrats sure refer to middle and upper class often. Diversity is merely the soapbox for which liberals spread their stereotypes and fear, and the electorate is too foolish to see what brand of soap is on the label. This country has not changed one bit from 1862, albeit a different rallying cry. Socialism is the order of the day when true diversity and acceptance are seen. Then what will be the point as not one American will have the freedom to live it and feel it.
Yes, I agree with you, something must happen if the Republican Party is to survive, but it is foolish to think that it is the voters that must change. Too many corrupt talking heads have hijacked both parties and it is time for all Americans to snap out of their daydreams, put down their I-phones and learn more about their country than news blurbs.


Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Article comment by: Discussion Not Emotion

In support of what Mr. Carr has said, check out the latest broadcast of Rick Joyner's show. The guest on the show was arguing that gays, liberals, and Islamists have formed an "unholy alliance" and are seeking ways to harm and oppress women everywhere.

Seriously.

This is rather common lately. Even Rick Santorum has started guest-writing on a website that just recently invited a prominent white supremacist to write a column about whites seceding from the US, as well as promoting the writings of the neverending birthers, Muslim Brotherhood conspiracists, and, of course, the "Christianity is under attack" alarmists.

I realize that both parties have their whackos, but the Right's whackos are alarmingly mainstream, and they have their own party within the party (Tea Party).

Republicans are struggling with trying to placate the whacko voters while at the same time distancing themselves from them, but I guarantee that if these lunatic conspiracists continue to support Republicans publicly, the Republican image will continue to be very unappealing to the American population.


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: Discussion Not Emotion

@SICK AND TIRED

Just a hint, for future reference:

When someone says that, for example, Christians in general have a problem with homosexuality,...that's a true statement, but it obviously doesn't apply to all Christians, and the person making the statement might not be saying that. Don't jump to conclusions and scream, "how dare you accuse all Christians of being homophobes!!!"

I get that group identification is powerful, but relax a bit. I think Mr. Carr was just suggesting that if Republicans want to get back to winning elections, they need to clean up their image...and he's right.


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: James Carr

@sick and tired

Where do I begin with your wall of text?

Well, first off, I'm a moderate Independent, not a Democrat. I have no political loyalty to either party. Prior to W. Bush, I voted either direction, depending on the candidate. You accuse me of stereotyping, but then YOU just assume I'm a Democrat because I offered constructive criticism to Republican politicians.

Second, my letter referred to Republican politicians and the Republican Party, and those Republicans in the rank and file that seem to believe the blame-game conspiracy theories...which clearly does not include moderate Republicans, the majority of the party.

I never made any comment at all about economic policies, so not sure why you ranted about that. I didn't blame anybody or anything... in fact I pointed out that Republicans need to stop doing exactly that, finding conspiracies and groups to blame for everything....so not sure why you think I was engaging in it.

In essence, I called for the Republican Party to embrace America's diversity, like the Democrats have. I asked them to try to represent ALL Americans, not just the white, male, evangelical, and elderly crowd that are their primary supporters. I'd like to point out that MANY Republican politicians and analysts have called for the VERY SAME THING. Do you feel the need to lash out at your own politicians? Or is it acceptable when they do it, but not when "outsiders" do it?

I didn't label Republicans as racist, I said the perception is that they don't adequately represent other American races, religions, cultures, or socioeconomic backgrounds. That isn't an accusation of racism or discrimination, my friend, but it does suggest the possibility, considering the dismal minority representation within the Republican Party.

All in all, you basically misread my letter as an attack rather than constructive criticism (and never seemed to notice that I encouraged and praised a conservative point of view) and put on me a mountain of assumptions and labels....the very thing you accused me of doing, because, frankly, I don't recall every suggesting that "you people" are "slugs" or that I'm better than anyone else.

Tone back the anger and listen to people in your own party, like David Frum, that are saying exactly the same thing that I am.


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: SICK AND TIRED

Mr. Carr.
First let me congratulate you on completely stereotyping every registered Republican, that really proves your point as a progressive. What it also does is prove that your idea of diversity excludes everyone that has a different opinion than you. Rodney King, Al Sharpton and George Lopez were registered Democrats and have been recorded on camera making extremely racist comments, but because they were minorities, it's acceptable. Should we hold you responsible for their comments because you are a Democrat? That's right, no Democrat has ever said anything stupid or offensive. Just because I am a conservative does not mean I pine for days of old and wish slavery was re instituted, it means that I demand people take responsibility for their actions and their lives. It also means that I support the U.S. Constitution in that the government answers to me not do whatever government officials want and never have to answer for it. If you think I support any politician for any reason, you couldn't be more wrong. I support candidates that stand for less government. As long as there are people like you that want the government to be a great safety net for bad decisions, there will have to be government agencies to control our actions. It's simple mathematics, more government agencies means more taxes, more taxes means less consumer buying power, less consumer buying power means less economic activity, less economic activity means less jobs........ is the math really that difficult to understand? I failed Pre-algebra in high school and I know this. Another thing, since when did it become wrong to be a Republican? I have to confess, I hate politicians, ALL politicians, but the fact is we have to vote for the lesser of two morons. I choose the one that doesn't want to tax someone simply because they happened to make more money than me. I thought ALL men were created equal. Class separation in my opinion violates the bill of rights. You should go to a library and reread your history, this is not the first time the U.S. has had this debate. What's sad is that I never stepped foot in a college class room and I know this. I weep for the future as people like you that just want to blame people with different views than you, and call them racist, elitist, and close minded. By the way, as someone soooo open minded as you, you shouldn't judge me and my views as you don't know me or even qualify to lace up my work boots. You don't know anything about me or how I live. How dare you sir. Next time you want to judge a Republican, spit out the political new-speak you've been fed and sit down with one and have a conversation about your views, don't just slather your brain vomit and expect us all to see your views as the collective voice. Better yet, just keep thinking the way you do as you are of higher quality than the rest of us slugs, you know how to live my life better than I do, and I deeply regret that my life has impeded your political view from the cheap seats.


Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Article comment by: James Carr

@m m

I never said Christians are mindless or Republicans are ignorant. Not sure where you get that from. I was referring to the perception the majority of Americans (Christians included) have of the Republican party as a whole.

And, yes, SOME Republicans this election year said some remarkably ignorant things, and it hurt the party, as the elections demonstrated.

I agree, it's time to work together. That was one of my two points in this letter...Republicans need to start embracing American diversity, and our differences should be a strength, not a reason for division. As an independent, I'd much rather have reasonable choices on BOTH sides of the political spectrum, but the Republicans have drifted so far to the right that moderate Republicans are having second thoughts about the party.

....and if you even remotely consider the microchips myth as a possibility, you're buying into the conspiracies...


Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: m m

Why do the donks think they are so right, and christians are mindless,and republicans are ignorant, etc...... im am neigther, but I have enough common sense to know that a nation divided can not stand. Freedom is a mixture of both sides working together, yin & yang. What happened to agree to disagree. Or hey, lets try and solve problems, and work on our messed up nation? The point is take your big oppinions, and put them to good productive use. As far as I am concerned both parties are behaveing badly. Oh and if Obama care really does include micro chipping people, thats just creepy. It almost makes me want to believe those crazy conspiracy thinkers.

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Discussion Not Emotion

@Pot Kettle

Um....your point being?

Mr. Carr seems to be urging Republicans to start embracing America's diversity rather than cling to traditional sacred cows in Republican party political platforms.

Not sure what you're trying to say with some vague comment about Democrats....


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Pot Kettle

Yes, we all know democrats never put anyone down and ALWAYS see the glass as half full. LOL

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Article comment by: Susan Thompson

Thank you Mr. Carr for submitting your letter. I agree with you 100%!



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