What does it MEAN to be Republican?

Smaller government? Not necessarily.  The Republican majorities in Raleigh and DC have been steadily increasing spending over the years they’ve been in charge.  Our “team” in Raleigh continues to say YES to corporate welfare all in the name of economic development.  And don’t get me started on the whole scam about “repeal” of ObamaCare.

Tax cuts?  Not necessarily.   There has been a bit of a shell game played with rates lately.  But I know — and several of my non-Swiss bank account holding friends concur — that we’ve been sending more of our hard-earned money to Raleigh and DC lately.

Family Values?  We just had the “conservative revolution” in Raleigh cave on the concept of barring men in drag from entering ladies locker rooms and restrooms.   And we can’t get our “team” in DC to cut off the abortion factories at Planned Parenthood.

Second Amendment?  We can’t get our “team” in Raleigh to back off the constitutionally-questionable concept of concealed-carry permits.

Many of us are old enough to remember when you could fit all of the North Carolina Republicans in a handful of phone booths.  Charlotte and Greensboro would get their GOP congressmen on occasion.  But Democrats had everything else.  That was back in the day when there were some vestiges of conservatism left among Democrats.  Republicans were basically Yankee carpetbaggers and interlopers. The homegrown Republicans were basically the social misfits.

What happened?  Conservatism.   George McGovern came around scaring people half to death.   Richard Nixon at least paid lip-service to conservatism.  Ronald Reagan and

Jesse Helms came along and provided music to the ears of so many conservative Eastern North Carolina Democrats.  (Democrats’ golden boy, Jim Hunt, has thrived by putting on airs of being a good-ol’ Bible-readin’, flag-wavin’ country boy. You never saw him embracing Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, or Bill Barber.)

Conservatism — or at least the pretense of it — has propelled the NCGOP to so much of its success over the last 40-some years.  Yet, after seven years in charge in DC and Raleigh, some folks are getting way too comfortable.  *It’s fun being in charge and having people call you ‘Mr. Chairman.’  It’s fun collecting big checks and favors and trips from lobbyists.  Stuff is “getting done.”  (*No.  Not that killing ObamaCare nonsense or cutting government claptrap they fed the yokels at campaign time.*)

But, here we are.  Seven years into an alleged revolution.  And we’re faced with two groups who mouth diametrically opposing positions but govern like two crime families fighting over who gets to control the loot and run the neighborhood.  The rest of us who just want to be left alone so we can make an honest living and look after our families are left footing the bill and standing out in the cold.

We got played, people. 

Is the answer continuing to vote for these people, HOPING that they’ll start behaving eventually?  There aren’t many situations where that kind of thinking works out for the best.

Do we go third party?  That’s a long-term mission.  Over time, it might fix things.

In the meantime, we can get ourselves educated.  Not via the driveby media or inane political propaganda.  There is a lot of good stuff out here on the Internet.  Talk to your friends.  Do a little research.  Believe it or not, you CAN leave parts of your ballot BLANK on election day.  Show up and vote for the handful of folks who are still serving their people and trying to do what’s right.

There are plenty of people — like those old time Eastern North Carolina Democrats — who will stick with the party label until the bitter end.  But what about when the party leaves you?

The party is nowhere near as important as: the country, the state, your faith, your community, your family, and your friends.  Parties die off.  Talk to the Federalists, The Anti-federalists, and The Whigs and The Populists and The Bull Moose Party about that.

But this country has made it nearly 250 years through all kinds of turmoil and triumph.  Conservatism and libertarianism embody the spirit that built this country, made it great, and kept it strong through the good times and the bad.  Freedom has done a hell of a lot more good for people than government has.  Governments (and parties) come and go.  I say we stick with FREEDOM.