Ms. Emily Moore wrote a letter to the Wetumpka Herald’s Elmore County Weekend this past weekend in which she chastised the Republican Party for being “the party of the rich.” She says that Republicans and conservatives in Alabama “go on about big government control and unsympathetically criticize anything that benefits the smallest amount of us.” She stuck to that theme throughout her letter and I encourage you to pick up a copy of the paper so that you may share in the joy of her incredibly well thought out prose. She also makes the assertion that Republicans and conservatives have never been a friend to much of anyone other than “their rich chums” and that it was the Democrats that “gave a voice to the blacks.” Note to Ms. Moore: Google Allen West, Alan Keys, Clarence Thomas, Lynn Swann, or J.C. Watts to name just to name a few. You might be surprised at what you find.
I registered as a Republican in 1987, my senior year in high school, and have spent the last almost 24 years honing my conservative worldview. I graduated from Holtville High School in the now booming metropolis of Slapout, Alabama. My father is an old-school, Southern Baptist preacher who grew up dirt-poor in Lamar County, Alabama. You haven’t seen rural until you’ve been to Lamar County. I loved the three years I lived there but it’s so far out in the country you actually have to drive back towards town just to go hunting. My mom is the youngest of fifteen children so, needless to say, she didn’t exactly grow up splitting time between her home in Montgomery and the family chalet in the hills of Coosa County. Both my parents were born in 1929 which, for those of you who know your history, was the year the Great Depression hit..
When I graduated from high school, after an ill-advised trip to Panama City Beach, Florida, I went to work. I intermittently spent some time here and there attending various institutions of higher learning but am no closer to having a college degree today than I was the day I started the first grade. I’ve worked at a cotton-gin, on a grass-cutting crew, at a hardware store, a grocery store, and two bookstores, one of which was at a small private college. I probably got more of an education by reading the Abnormal Psychology textbook than I would have had I been an actual student. I have worked at a miniature golf course, in a parts warehouse, and even spent a few hours pulling weeds, row by row, in a cotton field as a teenager. It was only a few hours because it didn’t take long for me to conclude that I hated working in a cotton field and so after about three hours, during a water break, I made my getaway. My father was not impressed by my great escape and I’ll spare you the gory details of what followed my dash to freedom. Suffice it to say that punishment was swift and severe. So much for my homage the Underground Railroad.
Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is that I am neither rich, nor powerful, nor highly educated. I am a conservative first and a Republican second. If the Republican Party ceases to represent the issues I feel most passionately about in a way that is not indicative of my own personal beliefs, then I will cease to be a Republican. I criticize President Obama because his beliefs and ideas are antithetical to my own. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin. The fact that Ms. Moore speaks in generalities and likely paints everyone who doesn’t share her views with an awfully broad brush would seem to make her the more narrow-minded, less tolerant person. Perhaps those on the left should be a little more dedicated to practicing what they preach. I am proudly pro-life, anti-big government, pro-gun rights, and I have a daughter whose first name is Reagan. Yes, she is named for that Reagan. I also have very close friends from various walks of life with views and beliefs that differ greatly from mine. Somehow, they are able to overlook my supposed narrow-minded conservatism and I am able to live with their be-tolerant-of-everyone-except-narrow-minded-conservatives mantra. It’s an arrangement that actually works out quite nicely.
As usual, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong. I’m not, though. Rich and powerful Republicans never are. Now I’m off to the South of France for the weekend. Au revoir.