In the Republican Party we find a struggle between conservatives and moderates.
Conservatives and moderates both are generally fiscal conservatives, meaning they prefer less government, which requires controlling government spending, and less taxes.
Social conservatives are generally religionists who have an agenda which includes promoting religion in public laws and policies, especially in public schools, and which includes an anti-abortion agenda.
Social moderates are generally either not religionists or otherwise do not have an agenda which includes promoting religion in public laws and policies, especially in public schools, and instead of an anti-abortion agenda they have a pro-choice/pro-abortion agenda.
As groups of voters, Independents outnumber either Republicans or Democrats.
For Republicans to win elections, they need the political support, the votes, of Independents and Democrats. Where Democrats typically are not conservatives, Republicans can only hope to win the votes of moderate Democrats, who share similar values as moderate Republicans. Where Independents can include both moderates and conservatives, Republicans nevertheless need to win the votes of moderate as well as conservative Independents.
We see, therefore, a necessity for Republicans to win the political support of moderate Independent and Democratic voters. This cannot be accomplished with social conservative pro-religion and anti-abortion/anti-choice agendas; instead, it can only be accomplished with social moderate non-religious and pro-choice/pro-abortion agendas.
Thomas Jefferson said [paraphrase]: In matters of fashion and taste, go with the flow; but in matters of principles, stand like a rock.
Standing like a rock concerning principles may be sound advice in many areas of life. But it is not sound advice in political life when the voters have heard the arguments for and against an agenda and have chosen their positions and have indicated so in their votes and in polls.
The essence of political power in a democratic form of government, wherein either voters vote directly on the issues, in a direct democracy, or wherein voters vote for representatives who vote on the issues, a representative democracy, also called a republican democracy, is winning elections by winning the hearts and minds of voters and thereby winning their votes.
There is no virtue in losing elections because of principles when the voters have heard the arguments for and against an agenda and they have indicated either through their voting records or through polls that they have rejected and are continuing to reject a particular political agenda.
Voters have clearly indicated that they will not tolerate a total ban on abortions, nor will they tolerate the imposition of religion into public laws and policies, as in mandatory prayers in public schools, as in the posting the Ten Commandments in schoolrooms and courtrooms, as in denying the fundamental facts and truth of evolution and in insisting upon the teaching of creationism as fact, and, otherwise, promoting religion in public schools.
Practical politics requires learning when to drop a nonproductive, nonwinning political agenda based upon specific political values and adopting another political agenda which offers more hope of being a winning political agenda and thereby advancing basic, general, political values.
Republican moderates are practical politicians concerning abortion and religion. They have heard the voters’ messages and have adopted a realistic and therefore practical political agenda, a winning agenda.
Republican conservatives are still stuck promoting nonwinning political agendas which include anti-abortion and pro-religion agendas.
Yankee values include independence and ingenuity, the Republican basic values of personal responsibility which requires individual freedoms which require less government which requires less taxes, and the Democratic values of fairness and equality.
Thomas Jefferson wrote thus: The essence of all law is that no man should injure another; all the rest is commentary.
Injury can be defined as causing the threat of or an actual loss of life, limb, liberty, or property.
Innocent can be defined as not intending to injure another who does not intend to injure. Thus, an innocent man is an individual who does not intend to injure [cause a loss of life/limb/liberty/property] another innocent man.
When injury is defined as causing a threat of or an actual loss of life, limb, liberty, or property, and innocent is defined as not intending to injure another innocent person, then Jefferson’s The Essence of All Law can be restated thus: The essence of all law is that no man [should be allowed to] injure another [innocent man]; all the rest [of the law] is commentary.
Standards for public laws and policies can be thus:
1. The public law or policy must benefit all citizens.
2. The public law or policy must not injure an innocent individual.
Both moderate and conservative Republicans generally hold these values and issues:
1. A Love and Intense Patriotism for our Country and for our State..
2. A Strong Military.
3. Pro Gun Rights, for Self-Defense and the Defense of Others.
4. Control of Government Spending: Zero-Base Budgeting instead of Base-Line Budgeting.
5. Local Control of Education Policies and Budgets.
6. Effective Educational Reforms.
7. Opposition to Expanded Gambling as a Source of State Revenue
8. Opposition to plundering the national treasury or a state treasury via excessive entitlements to citizens or excesive taxation of wealthy individuals.
A moderate Republican generally holds these values and issues:
1. Pro Choice/Pro Abortion Rights.
2. Pro Personal Termination/Assisted Suicide.
3. Anti-School Prayer.
5. Pro-Teachers: Not a Teacher-Basher.
6. Pro Teachers’ Unions/Not Anti-Teachers’ Union(s).
7. Anti-School Vouchers.
8. Pro Citizen Petition Initiatives.
9. Pro Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR).
10. Pro Homosexual Rights.
Herein is a closer look at the moderate Republican values and issues:
1. Pro Choice.
Abortion should not be a political issue; moreover, a woman has a moral obligation to herself to protect her health and life from the dangers of an unwanted pregnancy; and to deny a woman her reproductive rights denies her her liberty and effectively enslaves her, which is wrong.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that 670,000 women per year die from pregnancy and childbirth complications not including elective abortions; that's 1800 women per day.
This is proof that pregnancy/childbirth is a threat to a woman's health and life.
The WHO also has stated that in developed countries such as The US and Canada complications from pregnancy are thirteen times more likely to cause a threat to a woman's health or life than elective abortions.
This is proof that abortions are relatively safe compared to the potential complications of pregnancy.
Thus, a woman has a moral obligation to herself, to those who depend upon her, and to those who love her to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
When two lives inhabit the same body, one must be given priority or legal decisions cannot be made. A pregnant woman is to be given priority over a fetus.
An individual does not become a legal person with undeniable rights until birth [US Constitution, 14th Amendment: “All persons born ...”]; until birth a woman should therefore have the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
The Republican values of personal responsibility and individual freedoms are violated by anti-abortion laws which deny the pregnant woman her independence, which deny her her personal responsibility for her own body, and which deny her individual freedoms, which deny her her liberty, which effectively enslaves her.
Thus, under Standard #2, an innocent woman is injured if by public anti-abortion laws and policies she is denied her reproductive rights and therefore her personal liberty and is therefore effectively enslaved.
Abortion should not be a political issue for Republicans.
2. Pro Personal Termination/Assisted Suicide.
A suffering individual should have the choice of physician-assisted suicide without interference from other individuals who intend to impose their values upon him and thereby deny him his rights and his liberties and thereby effectively enslave him and thereby injure him.
The suffering individual who chooses personal termination does not injure any other individual, therefore his choice should be respected and honored.
The Republican values of personal responsibility and individual freedoms are violated by anti-personal termination laws and policies.
Thus, under Standard #2, a suffering individual is injured if by public anti-personal termination laws and policies he is denied his right to his life, which includes the right to terminate his life when he so decides, and therefore is denied his liberty and is effectively enslaved by being forced to endure his suffering.
3. Anti-School Prayer.
There is no need for religionists to practice their religion in public schools. They can practice their religion away from school, after school hours, at home, or in their places of worship.
Christians, in the Christian Bible, St. Matthew 6: 1-8, are instructed to worship and to pray in secret, in their private rooms, in their closets, or else they can be called hypocrites, hence Christians have no need of public prayer in public schools.
No one is saying that religionists cannot practice their religion; they can practice their religion when doing so does not injure the rights of other individuals to be free from religion.
Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.
Thus, under Standard #2, public laws and policies which impose or sanction school prayer injure those individuals who declare their freedom from religion in public places by denying them their freedom from religion in such public places.
Evolution is supported by facts, including the fossil record which shows relationships among life forms, the stratification of the earth into layers with the older and simple life forms in the lowest and therefore oldest layers and the newer and complex life forms in the higher and therefore newer layers, transitional fossils, the geological changes which require huge amounts of time and thereby prove the age of the earth to be considerably older than claimed in the Bible; creationism is not supported by facts, and has been legally declared to be religion masquerading as science and therefore illegal.
The teaching of creationism as fact and not as philosophy is a violation of science and the US Const. 1st Amend. freedom of religion which includes freedom from religion.
Thus, under Standard #2, public laws and policies which impose and sanction for public schools the teaching of creationism as factual while either allowing parallel teaching of evolution as factual or otherwise denying the teaching of evolution as factual injure individuals who do not accept creationism as factual but do accept evolution as factual.
5. Pro-Teachers: Not a teacher-basher.
Teachers are idealistic people: they want to teach, and they are motivated to do well as teachers.
We can improve our public schools by helping teachers teach, by evaluating their competency by student achievement, and helping them when we find deficiencies in their teaching skills and qualifications.
We should do this before implementing voucher programs that will raise taxes and possibly ruin our public schools.
6. Pro Teachers’ Unions/Not anti-teachers’ union(s).
Teachers do not want to negotiate individual contracts.
They do not like the adversarial struggle between the individual teacher and the principal/superintendent/school board over individual salaries and benefits.
They do not like the possibility that aggressive but incompetent teachers who are good negotiators could negotiate better contracts than those of competent but less aggressive teachers who are not good negotiators.
They would prefer to have a union official negotiate salaries and benefits.
Teachers’ unions can benefit the people of NH as well as their members when they negotiate salaries and benefits comparable to the teachers’ salaries and benefits in neighboring states and therefore reduce the possibility that NH teachers would leave NH for the wrong reasons, better salaries and benefits.
And teachers’ unions can benefit the people of NH when they defend teachers who are being sued but are not being backed by their school boards. When a physics teachers had to physically manhandle a student who was misusing physics lab equipment and was sued, and his school board did not back up with legal representation, the NH NEA provided legal representation and helped the teacher win the case. When teachers’ unions provide such services they benefit the people of NH by reducing the possibility that teachers will leave NH because of a lack of representation in lawsuits and criminal cases.
7. Anti-School Vouchers.
When vouchers are implemented, from what source is the money derived? From the public school education budget? From a state property tax dedicated to school vouchers?
If voucher funding is to be taken from public school budgets, then the public schools are bound to suffer.
Reductions in student populations are not necessarily causally linked to reductions in education budgets. When students whose parents exercise vouchers go to other schools, the remaining students deserve an education and their needs therefore must be met. If due to voucher programs class sizes are reduced, there is still the possibility that the same number of teachers and staff will be needed and thus the education budget will not be significantly reduced.
If the public education budget for a voucher program is not reduced by a reduction in public school student populations, then the voucher money must be added to the education budget and thus the taxes dedicated to education funding must be increased.
To blame teachers for education problems is to believe that teachers are not motivated to do well, to be good teachers, to help students learn.
Teachers want to teach, and to be good teachers. The belief in that attitude should be cultivated to help motivate teachers to improve their teaching qualifications and skills.
Blaming teachers and believing that they are not motivated to teach and to be good teachers will not help teachers be motivated to improve their teaching qualifications and skills.
8. Pro Citizen Petition Initiatives.
NH voters do not have what other states have and use effectively: Citizen Petition Initiatives.
Citizen Petition Initiatives enable voters, by the method of obtaining signatures on petitions, to propose new laws, repeals of part or all of old laws, recalls from office of elected or appointed officials, and new constitutional amendments, for scheduled as well as special elections, with the election results becoming law without possibility of veto by the State Legislature/General Court.
By Citizen Petition Initiatives NH voters can control the Legislature/General Court and the Governor between scheduled elections.
9. Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR).
The purpose of ESCR is to find evidence to determine if or not ESCs (embryonic stem cells) can be used to develop treatments for human physical diseases and disorders and thereby relieve if not eliminate the physical and mental suffering of individuals who are dealing with painful chronic or terminal diseases and disorders.
The between the unborn and the born the born ought to come first. The US Const. 14th Amend. specifies a legal person to be a born individual: "All persons born ..." The phrase, "All persons born ...", states a definition of who is a legal person, who is entitled to US jurisdiction equal protection and due process. And only those persons born are so designated to be legal persons and entitled to equal protection and due process under US jurisdiction.
Adult stem cells (ASCs) are being tested in Adult Stem Cell Research (ASCR). ASCR is presenting evidence which offers the hope that ASCs can be used instead of ESCs for treating human diseases and disorders. But the evidence is not yet conclusive that ESCs and therefore ESCR will not be needed in the future.
As a general principle, a line of research is never to be abandoned until another line of research proves conclusively, beyond a doubt, that the line of research in question is not needed and is therefore unnecessary.
Therefore, until ASCR proves conclusively, beyond a doubt, that ASCs can be used for treating all currently untreatable diseases and disorders, then ESCR should be continued to determine if ESCs can be used to treat some if not all currently untreatable diseases and disorders.
The fact is that some ESCs are the residue of unused embryos resulting from IVF (in vitro fertilization), which is legal, and which is a necessary process for some couples. In the IVF process, many embryos are created to ensure that at least one of them will successfully become implanted and begin to grow. Those embryos which are unused are the embryos we can and ought to use for ESCR. We ought to use the IVF ESCs for good use, and that good use is for research for developing treatments for human diseases and disorders which are currently untreatable.
Human suffering is painful. It hurts!
We ought to do all we can to help those who are suffering. If we would throw away IVF ESCs or otherwise stop ESCR, then doing so will eliminate one line of hope for suffering individuals, and that is wrong.
Some individuals, mostly religious individuals, think suffering is good, that human suffering serves to benefit human morality, that humans ought to suffer suffering gladly because of the benefits to their moral being, their souls.
Those who think suffering is good ought not to be in a position of inflicting suffering upon those who do not think suffering is good, those who think suffering is bad.
Human hope has many forms, one of which is the hope of the suffering for relief from their suffering before the final relief they can expect from their death.
ESCR continues the hope of the suffering that ESCs may be used to develop treatments for their suffering long before the final relief of death.
Therefore, ESCR and the use of ESCs must continue until ASCR proves beyond a doubt that ASCs can be used for treatments of all currently untreatable human diseases and disorders.
10. Pro Homosexual Rights.
Until science can tell us what is the origin(s) of homosexuality, whether physiology/biology/unlearned or psychology/choice/learned, we ought to accept the statements of homosexuals as facts of their preferences, give to them the benefit of the doubt, and give to committed couples the rights now enjoyed by married heterosexual couples.
Should committed homosexual relationships be legal? Yes.
Should committed homosexual relationships be called marriages? Yes.
If we do not label committed homosexual relationships marriages then, when an committed homosexual fills out application forms he will have to check off some label other than "married." If the application form has a check box for "committed relationship" or "committed homosexual relationship," then, despite anti-discrimination laws, anyone reading the application who is prejudiced against homosexuals will have the advantage of knowing the applicant is homosexual and can therefore discriminate against him using whatever pretext is handy.
To avoid discrimination against committed homosexuals we must face the necessity of labeling committed homosexual relationships "marriages," and granting those relationships the same benefits as heterosexual marriages.
If "family values" by themselves are not strong enough to promote committed heterosexual relationships, then we should no longer speak of "family values."
Homosexual homes, homes in which live committed homosexuals, are safe homes for foster children. Studies have shown that committed homosexual homes are 98% safe for foster children compared with the finding that committed heterosexual homes are 99.5% safe for foster children.
Do not be fooled by claims that heterosexual homes are 2.5 times safer for foster children than homosexual homes. The raw numbers which produce the findings of homosexual homes being 98% safe vs. heterosexual homes being 99.5% safe prove that at 98% of safety homosexual homes are, indeed, safe homes for foster children. You would have a greater chance of defective lens replacement eye surgery at 95% success/safety than than a foster child would face injury in a homosexual home.
By contrast, the typical conservative Republican generally holds these values and issues:
1. Anti-Choice/Pro Life.
2. Anti-Personal Termination/Assisted Suicide.
3. Pro School Prayer.
4. Pro Creationism/Anti-Evolution.
5. Anti-Teachers/Is a Teacher-Basher.
6. Anti-Teachers’ Union(s).
7. Pro School Vouchers.
8. Anti-Citizen Petition Initiatives.
9. Anti-Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
10. Anti-Homosexual Rights.
In addition, Republican conservatives follow this agenda:
Because ours is a consistent philosophy of government, we can be very clear: We do not have a separate social agenda, a separate economic agenda, and a separate foreign agenda. We have one agenda. Just as surely as we seek to put our financial house in order and rebuild our nation's defenses, so too we seek to protect the unborn, to end the manipulation of schoolchildren by utopian planners, and permit the acknowledgment of a Supreme Being in our classrooms just as we allow such acknowledgments in other public institutions.—Ronald Reagan
Where fiscal conservatism, which includes zero-base budgeting, controlling government spending and therefore the size of government and therefore taxes, and building national defenses including NH anti-terrorism strategies, and preventing silliness by utopian planners are acceptable and preferable, protecting the unborn by denying the pregnant woman her reproductive rights and thus her liberty, her freedom of choice, and thereby effectively enslaving her, and the acknowledgment of a Supreme Being in our public school classrooms in violation of U.S. Const. 1st Amend. are unacceptable.
Practical politics requires practical politicians, and thus Republicans
must become moderates to win elections and thus be politically able to
advance basic Republican political values.