Steve A. Stone
Steve is not happy!
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By Steve A. Stone
November 12, 2022

Dear Friends and Patriots,

That “third person” Steve is not at all happy with things. A lot of that has to do with the election results, but it goes far, far deeper. I may not dive all the way to the bottom of that pool, because it gets really murky down there. I’ll share some thoughts from higher in the water column, if you’re willing to indulge me.

These are the things on my mind today:

  1. Republican intransigence in the face of irrefutable facts regarding machine voting.

  2. Establishment Republican abandonment of good candidates that don’t quite fit their mold, while championing others who don’t fit with the advertised party ethos.

  3. Republican Party threats against its own members.

  4. Republican Party history of allowing Democrats to define them and their beliefs.

  5. Republican Party insistence on negative campaigning.

  6. Republican Party’s totally inadequate outreach to minority voters.

  7. The games that are always played.

  8. Republican Party establishment abandonment of the only President since Ronald Reagan who embraced the party’s platform.

Do you see a theme there? Could I get away with just ending this with: In summary, the Republican Party as a whole is a train wreck! You can stop reading here if you just want to write out “I AGREE WITH STEVE!” and do that in blood. If you aren’t so sure, you can pick from the list above and just read the parts you want, or you can be a real masochist and suffer through all the thoughts and words. Your choice! I’m just the pitcher. You have to decide which balls you want to catch. I will tell you this – in my own humble opinion, I only throw strikes.

Let me begin.

  1. Republican intransigence in the face of irrefutable facts regarding machine voting.

    How hard is that grievance to sustain? Anyone by now who doesn’t completely comprehend the vulnerabilities of voting machines isn’t paying attention, or wants them that way. Any device that’s software controlled is vulnerable. It’s true that the software can be examined for malicious code that could skew the outcomes, but is any state willing to do that with every machine, every time? All the code providers have contracts to do updates. Every machine would have to be examined after every update. Yes, there are ways to cope with all the problems, but so far no state that uses machines has seemed willing to do any of it. I know my state won’t. Their response to any comments on machine voting is “If we see indications of a problem, then we’ll investigate it. As long as there are no indicators, we aren’t going off to chase a bunch of wild geese.” The translation of those comments is, “If you catch us we may do something, but as long as you don’t, we won’t.” Machine voting is a great time-saver, and if it could be trusted, can eliminate miscounts. In the majority of applications there are no problems. But, they are never, ever invulnerable. They can always be rigged. A very old axiom of computer science comes to mind, “Computers can make the very same mistakes people can – only infinitely faster.”

  2. Establishment Republican abandonment of good candidates that don’t quite fit their mold, while championing others who don’t fit with the advertised party ethos.

    We see this from time to time. When we do, it’s obvious. Take Dr. Oz. Who among you believes he represents the Republican Party you want? He’s not at all conservative. Nothing about him indicates that. So … why Oz? Why did the party get behind him? Why did party promoters like Sean Hannity carry his water? You tell me. Then, there is the case of Alabama’s home-grown RINO, Katie Britt. Why would the party ditch a multi-term Republican Congressman with the best conservative voting record in Congress and no real weaknesses, just to favor someone who’s never been elected and whose main occupation was as the biggest lobbyist in the state? Why, indeed. Mo Brooks – was he just a bit too conservative for the establishment? Or, did they want someone a bit more manageable?

  3. Republican Party threats against its own members.

    The RP doesn’t always play nice. They like to have that reputation, but if you aren’t in lock-step with the party’s leadership they will lower the boom on you. I’ve seen it done several times. They boot people who get a bit “uppity” out of the leadership ranks and will refuse to allow them to run as a candidate for dog-catcher until they’ve made sufficient amends. That’s not always bad, but they don’t do it to everyone, every time. If you’re one of the establishment they may just grant a bye and hope no one notices. If you’re not one of theirs, they really don’t care – they’ll take you down.

  4. Republican Party history of allowing Democrats to define them and their beliefs.

    This is history. For decades the Republican Party has been defined by Democrats and the press. The Party of Lincoln was the party of freedom, liberty, and the Constitution. The Democrats were the party of slavery, the KKK, and government control. Things changed in the 1960s. All of a sudden a role reversal seemed to take place. Barry Goldwater’s run for President in 1964 seems to have been a catalyst. All of a sudden “conservative” was equated to racism, and all things negative. Republicans were all branded as “neo-cons,” which we were told was just a gussied up version of fascism, totalitarianism, and a few other terms that all equate to a yen for dictatorship. Republicans were said to be mean, heartless, and vicious. The RP never seemed to find a way to combat those slurs, so instead they began to imitate Democrats. The small-government, budget-balancing Republicans were replaced by those who could only be distinguished from an average Democrat by the (R) after their name. The party allowed Democrats to control its identity, and to a great extent, it still does. The establishment Republican hates the thought that anyone might call them a neo-con. The slur is firmly implanted in their psyche. They fail to understand the game that was played on them, oh-so many years ago. Now, when an establishment Republican is confronted with a true conservative they tend to recoil and reject them. Real, old-fashioned Republicans are no longer recognized in their own party.

  5. Republican Party insistence on negative campaigning.

    You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. No one likes it. I had it explained to me. Political analysts determined many years ago that negative campaigning works. “When they go low, we have to go low with them. We’re forced to.” That’s what I heard. And, yet, when you ask people who don’t vote – Why? – they often state they just don’t like negative campaigns and think it tells them neither candidate is worthy of their support. It’s the “pox on both their houses” mindset. I saw that play out on 8 Nov. I saw a majority Republican area near me fail to turn out and vote for a good Republican candidate. One of the main reasons – the negative campaigning had convinced them that Republicans weren’t any better than their opponents. There were other reasons, certainly. But, there’s that one theme that needs to be fixed. If the RP isn’t part of “better,” then why bother?

  6. Republican Party’s totally inadequate outreach to minority voters.

    This is an old failure. As a whole the RP fails to understand that people are people. When you look beyond the obvious you find the things that motivate us are alike regardless of race, religion, and ethnicity. We all want economic security. We all want to raise our children to be good and productive citizens. We want peace in our neighborhood, not crime. We don’t like wars. We don’t like anything that tells us our leaders are little but thieves, liars, and cheats. We all want to be left alone to live our lives the way we prefer. But, for some reason the RP fails to grasp that a lot of attitudes in minority communities are the result of definitions, which references to Item #4 above. There are great differences evident in the definitions of “economic security, peace, crime, war,” and other terms that people use to define their beliefs and values. Republicans allowed Democrats to define those terms for minority communities. Republicans allowed Democrats to create the current mentality that equates “economic security” with payments from the government. Then, they allowed Democrats to get away with false claims that the RP is a party of racists that will “take away your economic security and even abolish Social Security and Medicare.” There’s that old mean and vicious stereotype again. The RP should take time in minority enclaves to fully explain that Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, and Democrats often use the same words, but with very different meanings. To a Republican “economic security” equates to having a good, steady job, not an EBT deposit by the first of every month. Good Republicans work to increase employment. “Good” Democrats work to increase the entitlement roles. As long as Republicans fail to engage minority voters to have this discussion they will always get a relatively small percentage of votes in those communities.

  7. The games that are always played.

    Games. It’s always games. Nothing is ever as it seems. Nothing is ever certain. I always tell people when they ask me about Republican chances in an upcoming election, “Don’t be surprised by anything you see. Republican have a remarkable track record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” This election should have been the red wave predicted, but wasn’t. Surprised? I’m not. Disappointed, yes. Like others, I like a miracle once in a while. But, it’s nothing unusual. It’s the Republican Party being the Republican Party once again. This time they had everything going for them. The Democrats have increased our debt by a crazy $6T. The economy is teetering. The labor participation rate is abysmal. Inflation steals from us every day. Gas prices are way too high, while the energy sector is being systematically demolished. All we hear about is the “renewable energy” future, which we know is a myth. Joe Biden spews lies every time he opens his mouth. We have a blithering idiot Vice President. Nothing is working right! Isn’t that a lot to run and win on? And, yet, look what happened. Every candidate for Congress and Senate could have just run against the Biden administration record, but that’s not what they did. Instead they wasted time trash-talking their opponents instead of asking two simple questions, “Are you happy with the America you see today?” and, “If the people who are doing this keep on, do you really think anything is going to get better?” The message should be simple. How hard is that?

  8. Republican Party establishment abandonment of the only President since Ronald Reagan who embraced the party’s platform.

    All the talk today is of Donald Trump’s huge failure. Imagine that. You’d think he had run for office. All I hear is DeSantis is a huge winner and Trump is a huge loser. Do you think that’s by accident? Do you think the Democrats left Florida alone because they were afraid of DeSantis? No, that’s not it. The Democrats are playing 4-dimension chess. They’re running the old “divide and conquer” gambit, and everyone is falling for it, seemingly even Trump. Fox News is suddenly full of commentators who think Trump should bow down and gracefully exit the stage. “He’s only damaging himself and his party’s chances in 2024 if he tries for a run for President now.” Really? Do you buy that? If so, you’ll buy anything. Are DeSantis and Trump at odds, or are they playing the Democrats? That’s what you need to ask. That answer won’t be known for a while yet; at least a year. Think about it this way. If you were the most popular and successful governor ever in the 4th most populous state, why would you want to rush off to Washington to face a lion’s den? After all, DeSantis has small kids. Does he want them to grow up in Washington, living under a microscope, or in Tallahassee, where they can grow up in a nearly normal way? If he takes a step back and offers no challenge to Trump in 2024 he doesn’t lose. Actually he gains, because he doesn’t have to tangle with the “old man” of the party. The favor he’d certainly get in return is obvious. All of the people who think of MAGA as a real thing would automatically shift their loyalty to him. If he decides to take on Trump in 2024 the rift created in the party might only guarantee a failure that could take many years to recover from. Trump understands this. DeSantis does, too. At least, I hope he does. If he’s so vain he thinks he can count on the likes of Jeb Bush and Ronna McDaniel to push him into the White House, he needs a lobotomy. Don’t count him out. Until it’s proven otherwise, I consider everything I see and hear today to be part of a deception. I could be wrong.

Now that you’ve suffered through those talking points, allow me to confess that I’m aware that my unhappiness with the Republican Party is sort of laughable. After all, what was it I expected? Did I expect a political party to be on the up and up? Did I really expect the party establishment to tattoo their platform on them somewhere so they could always know what it was they’re supposed to be about? Did I actually think Republicans are fundamentally a more moral and just organization? I mean, really! This is politics we’re talking about. Do you think I’m that dumb? And, that’s the real problem. The RP thinks I am dumb. And, they think you are, too. They’re always playing 3-Card Monte, with us in the role of the naïve mark. And, yet, I still hang out with them. I still vote for Republicans. I never have voted for a Democrat. I’m not dumb. I’m not naïve. But, unless there’s an obviously superior third alternative, what’s my choice?

Someday it’s my hope that Republicans will try to live up to their professed ethos. Someday I hope they’ll want to be more than the lesser of evils. That’s it, folks. That’s my whole motivation. I still have hope. I may be doomed to die that way – hopeful, yet unfulfilled.

I only wish Ben Franklin could be here for just one day. I’m pretty sure that if we could resurrect him he’d take a look around and beg us to toss him back into the ground. He’d know why he was dug up, too. He’d know we couldn’t “keep it.”

MAGA, Baby!

In Liberty,

Steve

© Steve A. Stone

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Steve A. Stone

Steve A. Stone is and always will be a Texan, though he's lived outside that great state for all but 3 years since 1970, remembering it as it was, not as it is. He currently resides in Lower Alabama with a large herd of furry dependents, who all appear to be registered Democrats. Steve retired from the U.S. Coast Guard reserves in 2011, after serving over 22 years in uniform over the span of four decades. His service included duty on two U.S. Navy attack submarines, and one Navy and two U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Units. He is now retired after working as a senior civil servant for the U.S. Navy for over 31 years. Steve is a member of the Mobile County Republican Executive Committee and Common Sense Campaign, South Alabama's largest Tea Party. He is also a member of SUBVETS, Inc., and a life member of both the NRA and the Submarine League. In 2018, Steve created 671 Press LLC as his own marquee to publish his books under—he does it his way.

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