After 35 years, I have discovered who I really am: a progressive Republican (I think)

in Uncategorized by

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this website, but I’m sure glad I did because, after 35 years on this Earth, I have finally discovered who I am, politically speaking.

In two words, I am a ‘progressive Republican.’

A rare breed, hounded out of the party after the rise of Goldwater, thought to be extinct by the time of the Reagan presidency, apparently the progressive Republican still exists.

Who, throughout American history, can be considered a progressive Republican?

Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower are three progressive Republicans who set an example of what a U.S. President can be.

Two out of four on Mount Rushmore ain’t bad.

Like the website reads: Progressive Republicans are not Democrats.  Progressive Republicans are not conservative Republicans.  Nor are we merely opposed to these other groups, but a political faction offering our own policies and proposals to help build a better society.

The website goes on to discuss 18 issue positions by which one can decide if they are a Progressive Republican. The website’s positions are in normal text, my thoughts on each proposal are in italics.

For more international cooperation and less unilateral use of military force. Fully agree. As someone who is blessed with the opportunity to work with the State Department’s International Council, this is a no-brainer.

For job creation through reduced work hours rather than government deficit spending. Skeptical. I dedicate eighty to one hundred hours a week to my work activities and fully believe that the harder you work, the more will be provided.  Not so sure reducing working hours will lead to job creation.

For tax increases targeted to the wealthy to keep the federal budget in balance. Fully agree. The Bush tax cuts are the primary reason why our county’s finances are in their current position.  If nothing else, letting these tax cuts ‘sunset’,which would amount to a tax increase on the wealthy, would be a major down payment on righting the ship.

For the deficit problem to become a priority.  Somewhat agree. Reflecting on the news coverage of the past month, it’s difficult to argue that the deficit is not a priority.  My only caveat is that I don’t fully buy-in to the argument that the government is broke; rather I believe the tax system is broke and inefficient.

Against the dualistic world view of the Civil Rights movement which in its contemporary manifestation blames “racism” and “white society” for our common problems. Fully agree. I’ve spent my entire career working in the African American community and have come to realize that much of the current problems besetting black America is its inability to move past historical injustices. 

For federal legislation to increase paid leave and maintain standards of humane treatment in the work place. No brainer. Even at the cost of some jobs.

For environmental protection and resource conservation as new economic imperatives. Absolutely. Why the Republican Party ever abandoned its conservation roots is beside me.  And around here, in Tampa Bay, it’s imperative that every elected official have a smart record on environmental protection.

For a compromise policy on illegal immigration suspending deportations while requiring employers of such immigrants to pay a surtax to help cover the increased social costs.  Don’t agree but I get the point. I don’t think employers should pay a surtax, but I believe, almost as much as anything else, that a sensible immigration policy is the panacea for much of the nation’s economic woes.  Imagine adding millions of new homeowners, customers, drivers, consumers, etc.?

Against the abusive use of building inspections by local governments. Agree.  The smartest, most successful builders recognize that there are few shortcuts worth taking.

For a new, independent investigation into the events of 9/11. Completely disagree.  I don’t know where this conspiratorial BS comes into play, but it’s not part of anything I believe.

Against political correctness and its violation of free speech. Completely agree, dammit. I blog for a living, what else would I think?

For ending the war on illegal drugs and funding more treatment programs.  Completely agree. Um, perhaps you’ve read of my affinity for ‘The Wire’?

For a greater federal role in insuring or providing health-care services.  Give me ObamaCare! 

For greater regulation of the financial-services industry.  Of course, I saw Wall Street 2.

Against free trade and for the use of tariffs to promote improved labor and environmental standards around the world.

Against the cruel deception of young people who are being urged to take out student loans to go to college and prepare, often, for nonexistent jobs. I’d like to weigh in on this issue, but the hit man hired by Sallie Mae is knocking on my door.

For a crash program to reduce traffic congestion in urban areas. Agree. But do you really want to use term ‘crash program’ when discussing transportation issues.

For a crash program to develop technologies that will help sustain human life in outer space. Um, whoever created this website has some interesting pet issues.

 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.