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home : opinions : opinions July 23, 2016

2/16/2012 1:01:00 PM
Letter: A Republican Primary Primer


The Arizona Republican primary is coming up and the conservative candidates will be vying for Arizona’s delegates. Unfortunately for us registered Independents, our vote is unwanted. Presumably this is because we are not “conservative enough.” But even registered Republicans can disagree about the word: conservative. Gary LaMaster’s great letter (2/11/12) in the VI got me to thinking; what does it mean to Republican voters to be a conservative? Here what I dug up:

• Libertarian conservative - The most honest and consistent in their philosophy. Libertarians want to get the government out of our personal lives; and also out of the personal lives of citizens in foreign countries. Republican leaders do not enthusiastically support Libertarian candidates because they are unlikely to win a general election. Even the Tea Party will only offer tepid support for a true Libertarian candidate like Ron Paul who wants to shrink government and who attracts a lot of young, Independent voters. It’s interesting to note that the words Libertarian and Liberal come from the same latin root: liber, meaning: free.

• Tea Party conservatives - Heavily financed by billionaire capitalists, the Tea Party movement lead to the Republican party gaining seats in the U.S. Senate and to a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. Since then, the Congress has recorded their lowest voter approval ratings ever. Herman Cane was the Tea Party favorite before he too, displeased voters.

• Fiscal conservative - A popular myth. These conservatives like to lay claim to cutting federal spending; yet their tax cutting inevitably exceeds their spending cuts, resulting in ever increasing debt. Capitalists like Mitt Romney, have successfully employed fiscal conservatism to raise corporate profits. By cutting costs, his business profits increase. (Often this results in job elimination.) Perhaps Mitt has what it takes to cut the $1 trillion of federal spending per year required to restore America’s fiscal health ... but uh, don’t conserve your breath.

• Cultural and social conservatism - Philosophically opposed to Libertarianism, social conservatives seek to criminalize certain personal choices or to amend the Constitution to eliminate certain inalienable rights. The original Puritan settlers in New England began the conservative tradition in America. Back then, dancing was prohibited. To social conservatives the concept of a party is strictly political. Michele Bachmann aggressively sought votes from this faction.

• Green Conservative - A true conservative who works to conserve the natural environment for the good of all of God’s creatures and for future generations. These wise folks would redirect tax relief from profitable oil companies to renewable energy projects which are more dependable and cost efficient in the long term. This species of conservative is endangered.

• Compassionate conservatism - Popularized by George Bush who sold us an unfunded Medicare drug benefit extending for decades and costing trillions of dollars. Compassionate conservatives are sometimes confused with Liberals. Rick Perry is from this branch of the conservative family tree. Compassionately, he wanted to help immigrants pay for education. Oops!

• Religious Conservative - Someone who seeks to elect representatives from their particular faith. Religious conservatives can be Baptist, Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon or Muslim, to name just a few. Religious conservatives have trouble agreeing with each other unless they follow the same religious teachings. Rick Santorum currently seems to best represent this diverse group in the primaries.

• Bully conservative - One who will say or do just about anything to win the Republican nomination for President; even if it means publicly embarrassing or diminishing the reputation of his fellow Republicans. Perhaps the least conservative of all, this type of opportunistic conservative is generally unencumbered by morals and therefore is highly unpredictable and undependable. Newt Gingrich bullies votes from this group.

In my humble opinion, the best “all around” conservative is the honorable, Mr. John Huntsman. Who you ask? He is a reasonable and pragmatic soul who apparently isn’t valued for his unique ability to attract Independent voters; or for his superior foreign policy experience. He dropped out of the primary race because he wasn’t perceived to be “conservative enough.”

If you’re voting in the Arizona Republican primary on Feb. 28, please write in: John Huntsman. Thank you.

Peter Nelson


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2012
Article comment by: Verde Valley Citizens

The Republicans want and need the Independent and women's vote. But they will not get it. You have banned our vote and have lost all respect from All American Women.

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Verde Valley Citizens First

Hey? Where did all the Republicans go? What nothing to say? defend? debate? excuse? be proud of?

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: Cottonwood Parent

This is a bit harsh. I think the true conservative is concerned that his paycheck is going to go to welfare recipients. After 3 years of Obama, hopefully, they can see that this is fearmongering.

My frustration is the hipocracy. They will fight for the unborn, but will not support programs for children after they are born. They want the govt out of our personal lives, unless you are gay, or want an abortion, or want to smoke pot, or want to use birth control. They rail on the president for spending money to create jobs, but had no problem spending TEN TIMES THAT AMOUNT on a war for no reason in Iraq.

I think that we are so polarized now that most people have to look at the (D) or the (R) after a congressman's name before they decide whether to support what he says.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: America and Americans First and WINNING.

This is a very good factual opinion along with Mr. LaMaster's. In my opinion? The Republican Party have committed political suicide. Their strategy is completely out in orbit. Who? would vote for such out of touch insane rants coming from these people? Even if they ask Independent conservatives to vote in the primary? There is no one to vote for. But I will give Ron Paul, Huntsman and the completely ignored gentleman Buddy Roemer some consideration? Again. If my choice from this clown car is this? I will vote for President Obama 2012.

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