Where The Right Went Wrong (and how the GOP can become grand again)

I identify as a conservative Republican. I’ve always voted Republican. OK, stop. Right here is our first teachable moment. The Right went wrong by telling voters like me we’re not conservative enough just because we don’t swoon for The Tea Party.

Republicans like me prefer diplomacy and compromise. We look askance at sensational Glenn Beckism. To women like me, the Tea Party is a squally pack of overreacting toddlers. I should know, I’ve mothered five toddlers.

Mistake #2: Instead of ignoring these temper-tantrums, Republicans listened to these melodramatic toddlers wailing about impending-socialism-end-of-the-free-world-I-want-my-AK47-NOW!-yada-yada.

#3. And then? THEN Republicans gave into the caterwauling and ELECTED a bunch of these Tea Partying Toddlers!

Frankly, this is a damn embarrassment. And I’m convinced it lost us the election.

This is what happened to the GOP: it went all fundamentalist. It lost its ability to compromise. It favored perfect ideology over good enough practicality.

I keep myself calm by telling myself the GOP has been hijacked by a pack of drunk toddlers. We need to round up those staggering Tea Partiers, give them a hot bath, a few snuggles and then put them to bed. AND NOT ALLOW THEM TO GET BACK UP.

Not even for a cup of water.

Not even for just-one-more-bedtime-kiss.

Because here’s the truth: our world has changed. We Republicans can keep throwing fits or we can evolve. Oooooh, I said the “E” word! Ack! What’s next? Evolution?! RUN FOR THE HILLLLLLS!

Ahem. Pulling myself together, now. Here’s how the GOP can become grand again:

  1. Understand that reducing abortion means providing FREE healthcare for pregnant women and their children.
  2. Worry about the immediate perils of the current heterosexual divorce rate rather than the perils of same-sex marriage.
  3. Stop acting like gun ownership is a divine right conferred upon us by God Himself.
  4. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  5. Stop bitching about “bad” science re: global warming.
  6. Read more books.
  7. Watch less cable TV.
  8. Eat dinner at home with our families.
  9. Talk with our kids.
  10. Listen to Mozart instead of Limbaugh.
  11. Call out mega-church pastors for their spiteful tweets about our President.
  12. Pray for President Obama.
  13. Refrain from leaving disagreeable comments on EE’s blog.
  14. Because she will delete you.
  15. Which is pretty much like being put to bed without a goodnight kiss.
  16. Not that EE would kiss you because
  17. She’s more of a hugger.
  18. She even hugs trees.
  19. No, really.
  20. Trees are nice.

EE, 2016!

  • http://www.mymusingcorner.wordpress.com/ Lana

    haha! Thankfully I agree with you and so will be spared EE’s wrath. Great post.

  • JessieLeigh

    If this is your platform? I’m voting for you.

    I do expect a hug, though. :)

  • Kristen

    Girl, I love you! I so could have written this post. ((HUGS)) from this right-coaster, true conservative mama.

  • Amber

    Agree with you 100% except, in my experience, it is very easy already to achieve #1. It’s called Medicaid. I used it with my first pregnancy and the twins that resulted from it. It was an extremely high-risk pregnancy, I had in-utero surgery, saw tons of specialists, C-section, babies in NICU, etc. And I didn’t pay a dime. It would have sent us into financial ruin, we never would have recovered, and Medicaid covered 100%. It’s already here, it’s already in place, and it’s really easy to access!

    • Susanne

      Yah. ^^^ Cuban women have free healthcare and the avg. Cuban woman has like 3 abortions before she’s 30 yrs old. Curbing abortions is about changing societies views on life.

  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    Good stuff Elizabeth! Doubtful that the people who need to hear your message will pay attention though.

  • Anonymous

    This is good stuff, for the most part. I definitely agree with 4,6,7 (although I’d change it to less TV, period), 8, 9, and 10. Oh, and 12.
    As for the first one: The GOP definitely supports this, but I don’t know if they see it as the government’s job to do it. They would probably say it’s for the private sector to do it, if we want it to be free. But I could TOTALLY be wrong (hope I am). 2, eh. I mean, you’re probably right, again, but to some constituencies this is a big thing. The gun thing–yeah, that’s not going to happen, probably. We definitely need to get on the environment boat–I mean, TR was a Republican, come on!

    • KatR

      Number one ain’t gonna happen unless the government does it. I find it interesting that a good number of Christians believe in the total depravity of man, but somehow think that the better angels of peoples natures are going to kick in when it comes to caring for the disadvantaged on a large scale. If churches were willing/capable of providing free healthcare to pregnant women and children nationwide, they would be doing it now.

      • Anonymous

        I’m just stating what the GOP generally believes, not that I agree with it. And people ARE doing it: http://www.marysshelterva.com for example (I hope that link is right….fingers crossed). One of the bedrock GOP beliefs is that the government shouldn’t have its hands in everything, and that includes health care.

        • KatR

          Ah, ok. Yes, in theory, that is what the GOP says it believes.

          • Anonymous

            Precisely. :)

  • Anonymous

    If you feel this way, why do you still vote Republican? What aspects of the party do you like?

  • Stephanie

    I used to be Republican. I can’t be anymore, because my husband and I are in unions, and Republicans want to destroy unions. Which makes me really sad, because I’m pretty conservative at heart.
    Also, I really hate how many Republicans deny global warming. Even if it isn’t true, why not take care of our planet? What harm is going green REALLY going to do? I just do not understand the fearful hatred of anything that smacks of compassion and kindness, which is what being green is: being kind to our planet.

  • shusheshe

    Thank you for reminding me that there ARE reasonable Republicans out there. re:11 There were actually people tweeting about how they wish Obama was assassinated during his inauguration.

    • pleschke

      I actually pray on a fairly regular basis that President Obama is not assassinated because of people like that. Scary, hateful stuff.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1664722259 Debra Neufeld

      That’s horrible, but I can point out liberals doing the same thing. There are hate-filled people on both sides of the aisle, but for some reason it’s only those on the right that get any press. I can post some twitchy links if you’d like to see some on the left. Here’s the difference between you and me, though, I don’t assume that a few bad apples means that everyone on the left is like that.

      • ar

        Just once, I want to see a self-identified conservative respond to the hatred and death threats directed at this president by saying “that’s wrong” and stopping. The “someone else did it once, too!” thing….well, that puts you right back in the toddler world that EE writes about here. When a student in my classroom some years ago explained how he could shoot George W. Bush, I explained to him that saying that could result in legal action against him. I did not say, “oh, you shouldn’t say that, but people threatened Clinton, too”.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1664722259 Debra Neufeld

          Oh my, if someone in my presence said that about any president, I would read them the riot act and tell them what you said, but perhaps in a harsher manner. What I’m reacting to is what I see often: people trying to discredit an entire movement based on a few bad apples. It’s stereotyping, and it’s very, very frustrating. My point is that stereotyping is wrong, and I don’t do it. Let’s talk about the issues instead of trying to demonize a political movement. I don’t engage in demonizing liberals and I can ask others not to demonize tea partiers. That’s not a tantrum.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1664722259 Debra Neufeld

          What I mean, is, I don’t condone that behavior, but please, for the love of Pete, stop trying to paint every tea partier as some sort of hate-filled person who wants to be violent! This person makes it sound like EE is the only Republican she knows that doesn’t want to kill the president. Seriously?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1664722259 Debra Neufeld

    The GOP did not elect Tea Partiers – they were beyond pissed that tea party people primaried incumbants and won and then for the most part went on to win the generals. I am a Tea Party person, and I would love to enlighten you on why I am and how these tantrums are well-founded. I’m also an INFP, so I like compromise as much as you, trust me, but there are some things like corporatism that I will not compromise on with anyone. Let me know if you want to discuss this further, I’d be happy to oblige!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1664722259 Debra Neufeld

      Further, and I’ve had this discussion with liberals, there is a difference between thinking something should not be done full-stop versus thinking that the Feds need to let the states do it – i.e. healthcare for women. Many tea partiers are 10th amendment people and recognize that the FEDS get way too involved in things that the 10th amendment says are states issues. That is the thrust of the Tea Party movement, and beyond abortion, most don’t give a hoot about any other social issues (i.e. gay marriage).

  • http://twitter.com/portofbyblos Tara S

    Damn, those are just good rules for life, even without political revitalization in mind. ….Even the hugging trees. I do that when nobody is looking.

  • Susanne

    I consider myself very sympathetic to the Tea Party and I actually agree with all of these points. Don’t put the Tea Party in a little box. We’re mostly concerned about the debt and the financial future of our children. I’m a mom to a slew of kids, too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1664722259 Debra Neufeld

      Amen! Fiscal conservatives – nothing to be ashamed of that.

  • pleschke

    Amen, sister. I am an independent, precisely because of many of the things you write about here. There is NO way a Republican is going to win any time soon unless the GOP chooses to stop catering to the far right. I’m only surprised you didn’t use the phrase “time out” once in this post!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/cristalle.watson.7 Cristalle Watson

    I really enjoyed this rant and the comparison to toddlers! Though I am curious about one thing — from what you’ve said here and elsewhere on the blog, your stances on many issues (gay marriage, climate change, etc) seem to align far more closely with traditionally “liberal” values and not “conservative” ones. On what basis do you self-identify as a Republican? Just curious.

  • Crystal

    Thank you thank you! As a woman who defines herself as conservative, but loathes the tea party, I couldn’t agree with you more! Compromise is the foundation of any successful government, especially a democracy! Why doesn’t the tea party start worrying about their own marriages instead of mine, or my gay friends! EE 2016! =)

  • Mia

    I’m one of those crazy, bleeding heart liberal socialists and I’d vote for you EE! Love your common sense. High five!

  • Kelly

    Love your blog but you don’t sound too conservative. In short: Obama care will increase abortions. Same sex marriage diminishes the value of heterosexual marriage. Gun ownership is as much a right as it is for you to say what you want(maybe even more important). Bad science is costing the country’s economy billions. Pastors should be able to call out evil without fear of gov’t bureaucrats. We should pray for Obama to change his mind. I agree on almost everything else, I don’t expect a hug though. Just my opinion. Thanks

  • http://www.kellyjyoungblood.com/ Kelly J Youngblood

    I’ve never identified with a political party; I’ve always considered myself independent. Some ways I lean left, some ways I lean right. I LOVED this. If only more conservative republicans thought as you do they would attract more people to them.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    Great post (although as a former Republican that turned Democrat after the response to 9/11, my affirmation may not necessarily be helpful)

  • http://twitter.com/AccidentalDevo Abby Norman

    I have become increasingly liberal in part because of the rhetoric the Tea Party spews about poverty being the fault of the poor. But practical solutions to minimize abortion. You could get me voting republican again. EE 2016!

  • Brian Sullivan

    They should listen to Rush instead of Rush. (IOW: Prog-rock vs. rocks in the head!)

    • Kristen

      Prog-rock for the win!!

  • Anonymous

    Yes. I love your list.

  • http://twitter.com/DandelionHaven Kateri

    I’m almost tempted to post this on facebook and break my ‘no politics’ rule. :) I could get behind all this.

  • Aprille

    I love this post. I feel like my husband and I are one of the only people that have made the connection between ultraconservativism and fundamentalism. My mom has jumped on the ultra-right political wagon and gotten involved with politics and is all like “i gotta buy a gun before they take it away” and my husband even told her something along the lines that she has just traded one form of fundamentalism and self-righteousness for another. I hate all these unfounded-figure memes that people are sharing on FB these days and I agree with this a lot, and definitely agree that’s why the republicans lost the election. I wish that they had come up with a better more willing to see the other side candidate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Kopp/1191344953 Heather Kopp

    This is so classic EE. I’m not a Republican, but I agree with every word. You are so amazing. I hope some big outlet picks this up.

  • Beth

    Brilliant and well said Elizabeth. Thanks for taking the time to write on this topic. I got a good laugh out of it. I am surprised at the number of conservative republican christians who are afraid of having their rights to buy assault weapons and high capacity magazines taken away.

  • caley

    So, can you tell me why you still vote Republican? What parts of the GOP platform do you agree with? I’m not seeing any reasons you like the GOP??