The Loss Of Liberty In Partisan Politics

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Texas’ old-school Republican Party criticizes gay and lesbian sex as “dangerous” and says some bedroom behavior ought to be a crime.

But in a change that reflects not only divided generations but also divided factions, the state’s Young Republicans voted unanimously last weekend to discourage labels and support “liberty and privacy” for all Americans.

I know what you’re thinking. No, the Texas Young Republican Federation delegates, meeting in Tyler for their annual convention, did not favor or even debate gay marriage.

“I don’t think the party ought to discuss sex in the party platform at all,” said Brian Bodine, 28, a Dallas graduate student who co-wrote the resolution, which was revised in floor debate at the meeting of about 30 delegates under age 40.

“The vast majority of Young Republicans believe strongly in individual rights and personal liberty. I want government to interfere in people’s lives as little as possible.”

The party platform was approved June 12 at the state convention in Dallas. The platform committee was led by state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, president of the Texas Conservative Coalition.

In a section labeled “Homosexuality,” the platform reads in part: “We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.”

Republicans would also make it a felony to conduct a same-sex marriage.

Under “Texas Sodomy Statutes,” the platform reads, “We oppose the legalization of sodomy.”

(In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ same-sex-sodomy law. Heterosexual sodomy was legalized by the Texas Legislature in 1973.)

Young Republicans Chairwoman Kristy Moore, 34, of Rockwall said Republicans should uphold “core conservative principles” and welcome all fiscal conservatives: “We want people who have conservative principles to feel comfortable in our party.”

Richard Steenson, 63, of Flower Mound was on the platform committee.

I read him the Young Republicans’ resolution that the party should stand for “liberty and privacy.”

“True,” he said.

“But we’re Bible believers, too. Most people on the platform committee put faith ahead of everything.”

That might not change for ages.

This is a short article that highlights several things that seem to be wrong with the GOP.   As I have stated before, I am opposed to any political parties, believing that partisanship interferes with loyalty to America and the will of The People.    However, if we are to have political parties, seeing movement towards a recognition of liberty from either of them should be applauded and nurtured.

And that really is the issue here:  that political parties are all to ready to trade in your liberty to score political points with a base.  Take Newt Gingrich’s statements made regarding the “mosque” that is going to be built “at” Ground Zero (nevermind that it is a community center, not a mosque, and is being built a few blocks away).  Gingrich stated, “”I don’t want to be lectured by them about religious liberty at a time where there is not a single church or a single synagogue in Saudi Arabia.”

This is the kind of small mindedness that has run this great experiment in liberty into the ground.  Our nation was built on a foundation of religious tolerance and freedom.   Newt Gingrich is not your every day person.  He was Speaker of the House, and he is hailed on television as being a “political analyst”.  One would expect that a person who was head of our legislative body, as well as someone who’s opinion is broadcast from coast to coast, to understand what the term “liberty” means.

Does Newt Gingrich really believe that we should stifle the 1st Amendment?  Is this his viewpoint?  I would say that it likely is not, or at least I hope it is not.  It seems more like a pandering to a base.  Not many Americans will give a second thought to the apparent erosion of religious freedom that he is suggesting..  Most will not even hear that part.  What they will hear is the call for revenge that is hidden in his words.  It seems a natural human condition to see revenge as being justified, rarely acknowledging the erosion to your own character while seeking this revenge.

But, as the Young Republicans show, maybe there is some hope.  Maybe we could still see principled leadership have a chance to make its way back into Washington.  I don’t hold out much hope….but it is certainly more hope that Obama has given me.

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