To begin with, the two major parties in the US are decidedly out of step with great segments of the population. The Republican Party, especially here in California is going through a period of high level defections that are taking prominent place in the newspapers. I have commented before, both here and on the Green California Forum, about the fact that Pete McCloskey has re-registered as a Democrat after a family tradition of Republican activism that goes back to the time before Abraham Lincoln was president. That was first announced by Lisa Vorderbrueggen of the Contra Costa Times, but soon picked up and run nationally.
The most recent defection was that of Steven Greenhut, political columnist for the Orange County Register. While not the national name that McCloskey is, Greenhut is very influential in a very Republican voting county. His defection is one more sign of the (im)moral dilemma facing the Republican party. He announced his defection in Sunday's column (04/29/07). Like McCloskey, Greenhut finds that the current Republican Party has wandered far away from its traditional fundamental values.
With the Republicans having such troubles, you would expect that the Demcorats are having a field day. You might believe that for all the rah-rah cheer leading over on dailyKos. However, when you get away from the activists, the general public has a different opinion.
Our government is based on the radical idea that government should be limited to a handful of tasks, most of which revolve around protecting our natural rights. These are negative rights. They implore the government to leave us alone to pursue our own dreams and desires. Positive rights demand a positive response. If I have a "right" to education, then you must be forced to pay for it or provide it for me.
Traditionally, Republicans believed in negative rights. Yet Brooks thinks that's a mistake. He writes that the GOP needs to be "oriented less toward negative liberty (How can I get the government off my back?) and more toward positive liberty (Can I choose how to lead my life?)."
I can thank GPCA Press Sec. Cres Vellucci for alerting me to the fact that the general public does not view the Democratic Congress as being much better. According to an NBC-News / Wall Street Journal poll conducted last week, a majority of Americans think that the Democratic Congress has not brought much change.
The Republicans are suffering from the moral crisis of the century and the Democrats are "not much change." Greens should be on the offense. We should challenging the both parties at every opportunity. This is not a time for too much introspection but rather a time when we should be aggressively pushing our values. The major parties have shown that their only value is power. Let's get off our collective butts and take this fight to the public.