Friday, June 21, 2024

I'm going to the Picnic.

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by Rod Williams, June 21, 2024- Tomorrow I am going to the Nashville Republican Party picnic. I barely feel like a Republican anymore, but I am going to go. While I don't feel much like a Republican anymore, I could never be a Democrat, unless the Democrat Party changes considerably, which I doubt will happen. 

However, when it comes to national defense and the international order, both parties have changed and my position is closer to that of the Dems than the Repubs, and that is an important issue to me. 

For all of my life, the Republican Party was for standing up to tyrants, promoting strong alliances, and defending democracy around the world. Now, not so much. While foreign policy was mostly bipartisan, those for appeasement at any price and all-we-are-saying-is-give-peace-a-chance were Democrats. Now, it the Democrat Party that is for supporting democracy and for American leadership in the world while the Republican Party that has turned isolationist.

Not all Republicans of course, but the isolationist and appeasers are now the Republicans. I am really as surprised that Democrats could become the party of a robust foreign policy as I am that Republican could become the party of isolationism and appeasement. Times change and people switch sides. Anyway, that is probably the number one thing pushing me away from the Republican camp. When Congressman Mark Green voted against aid to Ukraine, that pushed me further toward leaving the Party. He was a person I admired; not so much anymore.

If on other issues, Republicans were much stronger than Dems, then my identity as a Republican would not be so weakened. Even on defense, neither party is addressing our dwindling weak navy. On this crucial issue, neither party is advocating what needs to be done. 

On other issues, neither party is showing leadership. Republicans are no better than Dems on addressing entitlements, or the national debt. Republicans are much worse than Dems when it comes to free trade and tariffs. Trump has advocated an across-the-board policy of increased tariffs. These would be paid for by Americans. A tariff is a sales tax paid for by the consumer. Not only would this be inflationary and a regressive tax on American consumers, but we could expect retaliatory tariffs. This is a recipe for a worldwide depression. Dems are the party of sanity on this issue.  

I am not so sure I even trust Republicans more than Democrats when it comes to immigration. Congress was on the verge of passing a bi-partisan bill to address illegal immigration until Trump told them not to do so. He wanted the issue more than he wanted a solution to the issue.

I am in closer agreement with Republicans than Democrats on the social issues. I am pro-life. I oppose DEI indoctrination and ESG investing and cancel culture and wokeness and the silliness of the use of language to promote transgenderism and all things woke. However, even here, I find that often Repubs are using these issues to gin up anger than really address an issue. After all, how big of a problem is drag queen public library story hour? How often has it really happened? And, when it comes to telling a bar that they must make sure there is a restroom for men-only and one for women-only, I tend to think that is none of the government's business. 

I see no circumstance under which I could vote for Donald Trump. I think Trump is an idiot, uninformed, and a liar, and a dictator wannabe. His policies of weaking our alliances, betraying Ukraine, appeasement, opposition to free trade, and proposing massive tariffs would be an absolute disaster. Also, he is not a very nice person. 

So, after all I have said, why am I going to the Nashville GOP picnic? Despite my view that the Party has lost its way, did an about face on long held positions, fails to address crucial issues, and has basically become a Trump cult, I know a lot of Republicans and while I sometimes get confronted and challenged for my anti-Trump views, most Republicans are still cordial and friendly. Even some of the leaders of the Trump movement are friendly to me and are nice people. We were friends before Trump and worked on the same causes and campaigns. I don't feel personally ostracized. And despite thinking they are wrong; I still like these people. 

Also, I would like to see Courtney Johnston defeat Andy Ogles and I want to see them each speak, and I want to see the interaction of those two candidates and camps. Also, despite no longer caring for Marsha Blackburn, I want to see what she has to say. 

While I am almost out the door, I am hanging around hoping Trumpism does not extend beyond Trump. I still think the Party will return to its conservative roots, sanity and normalcy and will abandon Trump populism after Trump leaves the stage. While I won't vote for Tump, at this point I am still a Republican. In November, I will vote for a Republican for President, but it won't be Trump. I may vote for Liz Cheney, or maybe Chris Christie, or maybe Rod Williams.

So, while just barely still a Republican, I still am one. So, I am going to go to the picnic. For $15 you can get good barbeque and the fixings and good ice cream. There is that. What a bargain!

If you go, say hi. I will be the one not wearing a red MAGA cap. 

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