Saturday, August 21, 2010
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
As I watch the events unfold on the mainland, I a young republican of conservative thinking, a believer of democracy, and a believer of free markets and globalization wonder if the voting republicans in the mainland even remember their past. So many have hit the streets to protest the Arizona Immigration law, and to protest the center for religious faiths that is proposed to be built 3 blocks away from ground zero in New York, and I wonder… have they forgotten the history of the Republican Party the great GOP?
The GOP was born out of the old Whig party, right before the Civil War. The Republican Party was opposed to slavery, and favored free market, free labor, and free men’s ideology. The first republican president, Abraham Lincoln, abolished slavery, fought a civil war to preserve the United States of America, and after his assassination in 1865 it was President Ulysses S. Grant (a republican) whom signed the first civil rights acts, and fought the Ku Klux Klan. How then can certain radical groups within the republican dare to call themselves republicans? The Tea Party for starters is filled with hate and fear of the unknown. Yet it was the civil rights laws signed by Grant that were the backbone and inspiration for the civil Rights Act of 1964 signed into law by Lyndon Johnson a Democrat.
The United States of America was founded upon the liberal beliefs of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness regardless of race or nationality. There were literally hundreds of different cultures and nationalities that came to the United States fleeing from religious persecution, and ethnic persecution. So a federation based upon the values that we strive to maintain, as Lincoln himself said, is under the direct attack of those whom claim to preserve those values and principles. A house divided against itself cannot stand, as Lincoln would have said, is precisely what we have within the Republican Party. Certainly the GOP should not be an exclusive party, but an inclusive party.
Right wing conservatives must let our lives be dictated by the principles and values set forth by Constitution of the United States, which is the Law of the Land formulated by our forefathers. Republicans are liberals, because the Constitution we strive to defend is liberal. Aren’t we called neoliberals? Then we need to start remembering what those values are. Values, might I add, that were brought here by “illegal” immigrants from Europe, or have we forgotten that the lands we call home were settled by indigenous peoples and cultures?
Yes we live in different times, and yes an immigration policy must be adopted federally. We, as republicans, must be the ones to strive to defend the borders that we call home but not from immigrants who come to the United States looking for jobs that in any case, are not filled by U.S. Citizens. No, it is the crime lords and men that take advantage of these people’s needs that are the guilty party. We must start a grassroots movement to begin to recapture the values and ideals set forth by the constitution. A movement of the people, by the people for the people to let our leaders know we want a Real Change We Can Believe In. Immigrants are not criminals, criminals are those that take advantage of them: the coyotes, the drug lords. Yes, an immigration reform must be made by the federal government in Washington were it gives opportunity for those “illegal” or undocumented immigrants have an opportunity to stay. Not a nationwide sanction of their illegality, but on a case by case merit. An act of Congress to allow for within a certain time frame the immigrants to legalize they’re statuses, opt for visas from their embassies, etc. or to return to their homelands if they cannot. But we need to give them a chance, if not we are acting as hypocrites, as our country is based on an immigrant culture.
Why are we so threatened by other religions? Putting my personal beliefs aside, all religions without exception should be allowed to worship freely. The Muslim centre proposed for 3 blocks from Ground Zero in New York is an example of the intolerance of our society; the same intolerance our forefathers fled from Europe to avoid. We have become what we fled from, intolerants. Our intolerance is what blinds us from the truth of our beliefs.
I believe in the GOP and the ideals it was founded upon, not upon the ideals the Tea Party and Glenn Beck wish to impose upon all Americans, and certainly I do not believe in their ignorance of my islands status. But that I’ll leave for another essay.