Reagan-Appointed Federal Judge Richard Posner Says Republican Party Is “Goofy”

How many Republicans need to denounce the current Republican Party before the average Republican will wake up? I think there are millions of good people in this country who are life-long Republicans and they will always support and vote for Republicans, but I think these good people are just a bit blinded by that life-long allegiance to party. While I can’t claim to be immune from bias or group-think, life-long allegiance to one political party is something I’ll never be able to claim for myself.

The Republican Party has become a party of extremism. I’m tired of people saying things like “both sides do it.” Bullshit! Both parties might play some of the same political games, but one party, the Republican Party, is increasingly likely to require a purity test for admission, a test for which many of its past heroes, like Ronald Reagan, would fail. Luckily there are some Republicans who recognize what the rest of us recognize, that the Republican Party has gone mad. One such Republican is Reagan-appointed Federal Judge Richard Posner. In an interview with NPR Posner says, “I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.”

Amen to that brother.

And with that, I think it’s about time I give my readers a summary of my political journey.

I started out as a centrist, or so that’s what I thought years ago before I really thought much about politics, government and social issues. Even though I considered myself a centrist, I did tend to support Republicans. Again, this was at a time when I was not engaged in politics. The reason I supported Republicans is because most of my family are Republicans. This of course is a common scenario as many people go along with the political views of their family, especially if they aren’t engaged in the issues. This began to change about 6 or 7 years ago when I started paying attention to politics. It didn’t take long to see that I could no longer in good conscience support Republicans. Once I started to learn about the issues and where liberals and conservatives stand on these issues it became clear that not only was I not a Republican – I wasn’t even a centrist – I was a liberal!

To be fair, it’s not like I didn’t know I was more socially liberal. What changed at that point was that I shed away the nonsense of conservative positions on national security (especially war) as well as conservative fiscal policy (which isn’t about spending less so much as it’s about spending less on people perceived to be freeloaders). I remember saying to myself that the Bush administration was going to do more to get me to vote for a Democratic candidate next election than anything else could.

Having said all of this, one thing that hasn’t changed since my “right-leaning centrist’ days is that I despise the idea of political parties. I think political parties create divisions between otherwise similar people. Therefore, I do not consider myself to be a Democrat even though at this point in time it’s hard for me to imagine not voting for a Democratic candidate given how far off the rails the Republican Party is. So my apparent support of the Democratic Party is due in no small part to the current state of the Republican Party. My despise of political parties does make it difficult for me when it comes to supporting candidates and the Democratic Party outright. I have contributed to the Obama campaign in the current election as well as in 2008, but I have not and will not contribute to general Democratic Party funds. I know, it’s a bit of a fine line, if there’s any line at all.

This brings us back to Judge Posner. I don’t know where his political story starts and where he finds himself now, but it is always refreshing to hear a Republican or conservative call out the modern Republican Party for what it is, “a bunch of crackpots.”

You can read the entire NPR article here: Federal Judge Richard Posner: The GOP Has Made Me Less Conservative

In closing , I’d like to remind everyone that there was a time when liberals served within the Republican Party. That means it was possible at one time to be liberal and support a party other than the Democratic Party. In 2012, liberals (at least this liberal) feel like there is no party representing a liberal perspective.

dks

image by Mario Piperni

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