Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pledge to America

I have been intrigued with the Republican Party's "Pledge to America" since it was recently announced. Perhaps I thought, the party that was supposed to represent conservative ideals and a conservative point of view was finally going to release a document supporting actual conservatism. Perhaps instead of the years apologizing for such views or hiding from them, some members of Congress were actually going to in fact stand up for and behind them. 

Unlike many of those both for and against this document, I even went so far as to read it in its entirety. Unfortunately, like most political manifestos (especially those released during an election year) a good part of it was only slightly more interesting than reading the listings in the White Pages of the phone book. 

There was certainly nothing groundbreaking in the document, nor was it a particularly daring stand to take, especially in light of the recent success of the Tea Party movement. There were however, some sound principles worthy of consideration and discussion, even if they were not taken to the point of nauseating detail in specific legislative language. 

What was intriguing to me however, were the reactions to the release of this document by various political ideologies across the country. I found some of the rhetoric on both sides of political thought so interesting in fact, that I thought that I would mention some of the criticism leveled at this document from both sides of the aisle. I submit these impressions for your review:
  • One minute Republicans are being accused of abandoning traditional Republican values, and the next they are being told that they are saying the same old thing they've always said. (Someone must define the difference for me between tradition and the same 'old thing'.)
  • They were told that they are not giving enough detail in the Pledge, but their erstwhile accusers have nothing but nay saying in response to the document. (Would that make them a party of no?)
  • They are told that they have no clear vision of their own basic principles, then accused of stating only stating the position broad strokes without detail. (Perhaps yet more confusion over concepts and terminology...)
  • They are accused of going to far too the right by the left, and not far enough to the right by the right (which seems like a fair compromise and the place that those not given to extremism would like them to be).
  • Republicans are being accused one minute of having nothing to say but "no", and in the next that when they do, what they were saying is wrong and offensive. (maybe they were better off just saying no).
Whether you like the document or not however, it does at the very least provide a basis for discussion in the days running up to a Congressional election, which the other major political party seems to be lacking. Likewise they seem to be willing to run on principles that have been technically espoused by their party for some time (again something their opponents seem unwilling to do)

Whether you agree or disagree it however, The Pledge might provide something for candidates to discuss other than what's wrong with their opponents. Whether you think that they have gone too far or not nearly far enough, at least they have gotten off of the dime and gone somewhere; something that they have been accused of being unable to do. 

The truth of the matter is that as far as I am concerned, they could have saved a lot of potential misrepresentation and misinterpretation (as well as probably a fair number of trees) if they had simply printed a sheet of paper with this line in the introduction: "We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have consistently ignored - particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." As the Founding Fathers seem to understand, sometimes keeping it simple and stupid is just better ...


Brian said...

The Ohio Republic had a nice commentary concerning the "Pledge to America" you might want to check out.

Here's the link:


Roland Hansen said...

Amigo Tim,
Thank you for an honest, open, objective look at the alleged Pledge.
I best leave my comment at that.