Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

In Case You Were Wondering………..

Over the past year or so I have spent a lot of time in conversations (online or personal) with individuals who align themselves with Conservatism and/or the Republican Party.  Obviously not all of these individuals have the exact same set of beliefs in regard to their political world view.  However, one admirable quality that really jumps out and grabs me is how strongly they believe what they believe and how vocal they are about those beliefs.  Another thing that really jumps out at me is how (crazy, insane, ignorant, stupid, confused, unspiritual, unchristian) some of them think others are that don’t believe as they do.  For some reason, some of the Conservatives I come in contact with have an extremely difficult time accepting that someone else might think differently than they do.  What I have concluded over the past year or so is that generally speaking, many of those who align themselves with the political right can’t understand why I don’t identify with them politically.

I am now a registered Independent.  There are so many reasons why I no longer identify myself as a Republican.  In my mind, any one of the reasons I am about to give was enough for me to leave the party I identified with since I voted for the first time in the first group of 18 year-olds to vote in 1972.  What I have discovered is that my decision to leave the Party is one that has been made countless times over the past 10 years by others who lost faith in the Republican Party.  In reality, I did not change my political world view.  The party moved away from me.

There are many reasons why individuals would align themselves with a given political party. I am going to spend quite a bit of time explaining some of the reasons that myself and others have for not  supporting the Republican Party and their candidates.  I believe that many of these reasons I am about to illustrate are contributing factors to the overwhelming increase in new voters who decline to register as Republicans.  Some of these reasons are more important to me than others. My belief is that for most of us, our votes are influenced by a combination of reasons. We are not all single-issue voters.

So Conservatives and Republicans, if you wonder why people don’t follow you politically, here is one reason that others may give as to why they do not align themselves with the Republican Party.

Reason #1 – The Republican Party has evolved from the party that worked diligently to conserve the environment to one that does its best to insure its destruction.

I have always leaned towards protection of our environment.  It is difficult for one who has lived the life I have lived as an outdoorsman with a degree in Biology not to have the desire to protect our environment and the organisms that depend upon it.  The Republican Party used to be the political party that best represented my beliefs in regard to conservation.  Republicans were instrumental in setting aside large areas in what has become our National Park system.  Republican efforts to develop our National Park system were monumental and came during a time when preserving large areas from the ravages of human encroachment were absolutely critical to their survival.

There is no legitimate excuse for destruction of our environment. (By the way this includes job creation).  We are completely dependent upon our air, water, and land for our very survival.  Pollute the atmosphere and you destroy the planet.  Pollute our water and you decrease the length and quality of our lives. Destruction of species results in a loss in the interconnections between living things that are crucial to the survival of others.  Pollute our land and you destroy its’ ability to sustain our population.  The impact that our species has had on our environment is beyond catastrophic.  Those of us who align with the Christian faith believe our world was created by God for our enjoyment.  Others may believe differently about how the planet was created but believe just as strongly in our responsibility to maintain it.  The truth is, our environment is taking monumental and destructive hits as a result of the activities that we think are crucial to our everyday lives.

One general tenant of Conservative political dogma is the belief that government should not encroach upon personal liberty.  Government regulation of human activity is anathema to personal freedom.  Their belief in the value of free, unrestrained financial and industrial markets is, without question, a major cornerstone of Conservative political world view.

Unfortunately, our world is filled with individuals who run corporations whose main concern is profit.  Profit that comes at the expense of our environment is at best short-sighted, and at worst destructive to our physical environment and our very lives.  The documented instances of corporate greed that have produced a polluted environment and thus reduced the quality and length of human life are legion.  The by-products of corporate activity have destroyed the land, the water, and the very air we breathe.

I believe in the same markets that Conservatives believe in.  However, my beliefs are influenced by the need to protect the environment.   I am not so enamored with completely free and unregulated markets that it somehow overcomes my basic belief that the environment should be protected.  Not so the vast majority of Conservatives.

I believe that government regulations should be in place in ways that not only protect our physical environment but also our financial environment.  The idea that “everything will be fine if the market is left to its own devices” has proven to be destructive of our environment in ways that will destroy it and reduce the quality and length of our lives.  Conservatives deny this at their own peril.   Unfortunately, it places those of us who believe differently in peril also.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created for the purpose of protecting us from the damage that comes from unscrupulous individuals and corporations.  If we could trust mankind to treat the environment with the respect that it deserves we would never have to have an EPA.  However, people and corporations can’t be trusted to act in ways that are of benefit to our environment.  On the contrary, many destroy our land, our air, our water and reduce the quality of our lives.  So when I hear all the bloviating from Conservatives about getting rid of the “job killing” EPA it makes it very easy for me to vote in ways that ensure that there is someone out there looking out for the environment.  As a general rule, that someone will not belong to the Republican Party.

When given the choice, I chose regulation in ways that protect our environment.  If individuals and corporations didn’t contribute to environmental destruction, I might think differently.  Unfortunately they do, and so regulations that hit them in their financial bottom line for their pollution of our air, water, and land are required to keep protect the rest of us from the byproducts of their greed.

This is the first in a series of articles illustrating many of the reasons why the Republican Party candidates are having difficulty convincing the majority of the electorate to cast their vote in their direction.  This is not necessarily the most important in the eyes of many, but I believe it is a contributing factor.  Your comments are always welcome, regardless of your political orientation.  If you believe differently, let us know why.


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