The GOP from a slightly different angle.

I was born and raised in a medium sized Texas county to a staunch Republican family that farmed and ranched. I voted for H.W. 41 and again for his 2nd term. My hometown shed its Dixicrat past and became primarily GOP as Bill Clements rose in popularity and the state power structure switched to the Republicans with business leaders and Chamber of Commerce members following the power and money. Smart ideas, intelligent leaders, balanced/ing budgets and a Goldwater/Buckley pragmatism was the motto of the GOP at this time. My father was the GOP county chairman and Reagan was throwing it down on Gorbachev, things worked and except for the oil bust (which was required to break the Soviets cash flow, but it hurt nonetheless) we felt that being Rebublican was the only way to go. Then in the late 80’s, a new strain of the right rose in the grass roots. Social conservatives who had been lost in the woods after being disillusioned with the Dix/Democratic party after the Civil Rights era stances that it took in the 60’s, found itself attaching itself to the GOP. The principles in this new movement slowly took over the county machinery and began working a specific sectarian agenda into local politics. Library books came under question, local college professors came underfire for teaching logic and reason. Eventually the economic conservatives in the county were completely out of power.

This new strain of conservatism was then and is now intolerant of new ideas, logic, reason, facts and data. It is more dogmatic and fundamental than its direct ancestor Buckley eschewed. It holds a disdain for science, learning and academia.  It calls citizens with anything more than a B.A. elites or intellectuals (as an epithet).  I tend to agree with David Brooks in his recent article that the GOP is loosing its talent as it drives folks with intelligence and ideas into the libertarian and democratic parties.  They do this by pitting Joe six-pack against 'elitists'.  Well after 25 years of attracting Joe to the GOP they have been successful at the cost of driving away the Poindexters and Remingintons. Part or all of the GOP in the last 12-15 years have taken positions that on the surface were not what educated folks would call considered:

Family Planning, Abortion, Schiavo, etc.. – Govt. getting between doctor and patient, legislating end of life issues fro a theologic viewpoint.

Climate change/Global Warming, Conservation and Energy Policy – Govt. ignoring or actively censoring scientific findings.

Recent events with tainted food, toys and consumerables – Govt. ignoring or censoring data of findings in favor of business regardless of saftey concerns.

LGBT rights and issues- Overt discrimination when every major medical association states you are born with these issues and are not choices. Jeeez, why would any one choose that rough road.

There are other examples but it belabors my point. I’m a husband, a father, a physican/scientist, a Christian, a gun owner, a horse owner, and have a balanced family budget. I make over that “$250k” that is being thrown around. I’m a 12th generation patriot whose direct descendant founded Providence Plantation and a dues paying SAR. I did not vote for W because he was an (R) but because I watched him butcher the office of Gov. of TX first hand (and that’s hard in TX because the office of Gov. has been relatively powerless since the Reconstruction).

Common convention states I should be voting for McCain….but his pick of Gov. Palin scares the bijeebus out of me. Here is a person who seriously thinks the world is ~ 7000 years old and is going to end on any given Tues at 3:45 pm. She thinks that the Founders were wrong about separating church and state (the Fouders had just watched the Catholics and the Protestants kill each other for 150 years). She does not just relate to Joe 6pk, but really IS Joe 6pk. All of the grown up conservative pundits are groaning over this pick and for good reason: It’s a harbringer of the split the GOP underwent in my home county, happening on a nationwide scale.

I, then my parents, then my sister and her family (this year) eventually left the Republican party as it was clear they had actually left us. I admit since I departed and began calling myself a Democrat I am taking more positions to the left than I did before, but generally use reason,logic and real data in my decision making processes. I am required to suspend these to return to the GOP in its current formation. This country cannot stay competitive with Europe, China and India if we can’t teach our kids basic science, molecular biology and astrophysics. We here in TX watched a GOP Congress unfund the Waxahachie SuperConductor SuperCollider, and now the EU last month fired their brand spankin new SC/SC with our brain power that followed the funding to Europe.

I’m open to hearing what the reasoned Republicans have to say and still visit the NRO and the Standard 2-3 times/week. But the GOP is running college educated individuals, suburbia and professionals off in droves as it allows the social fundamentalists to hold significant sway in its power structure. I think it will be good for the GOP to take some time off and restructure, coming back stronger and more viable as a rival to the Democratic party, because as we all know- power corrupts, its only a matter of time before I will be so fed up with them that the GOP will start looking good again.