I’m Proud to Be in the GOP

By Jason Scott Jones Published on March 13, 2018

There are two kinds of pride. One is a deadly sin, in which we take credit for gifts that were handed to us. And refuse to acknowledge the Giver.

But there’s another kind. And it’s bound up in gratitude. We see that we have been blessed. In our hearts, we recognize that we take part in something great, and good. We didn’t create it, but we signed onto it. When the gift was offered, we accepted. We’re thankful, and we feel honored. We try to give something back. Or better, to pay it forward. That’s the kind of pride we ought to take in our country. In our church. In our family, and in all the other worthy groups we take part in that build up society.

Proud of My … Political Party?

And I’m going to rattle a few media cages by saying right now: That’s how I feel about the Republican Party. I know, I know. It’s not perfect. You can probably rattle off right now a list of annoying RINOs whom you’d like to see poached in the primaries. We can find low points in our history. But what other political party in American history has been on the right side so often? On issues where it really counted. Which other party was founded on such a clear and admirable principle as Abraham Lincoln’s Republican party?

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It favored abolishing slavery as quickly as possible. That was back when the Constitution itself enshrined it. A Republican administration held this country together through a brutal Civil War. Issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Then pushed through the 13th Amendment abolishing that evil. And the 14th Amendment, intended to enforce legal equality and votes for former slaves. Massive resistance by members of the Democratic Party stopped that equality in its tracks.

It would be presidents from that same party that segregated the civil service, rounded up Japanese-Americans in camps, and dropped both atomic bombs on civilian targets.

The Party of Principle

It took 100 long years before we could finally overcome the Democrats’ allergy to equality. Republicans sponsored and overwhelmingly supported the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. Democrats filibustered them. When segregationist Democrats added women’s rights to the Civil Rights Act, they thought they were giving the Act a “poison pill.” But Republicans were fine with it, and they led the charge to pass it.

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That shouldn’t surprise us. It was Republicans who pioneered in granting voting rights to women in the 19th Amendment, too.

Democrats only latched onto the Civil Rights issue when they saw that they could garner more votes from it. Concern for vulnerable Americans … that came a distant second. For parties without a principle, that’s how it tends to go.

The Party of Life

When the next great civil rights issue came to forefront, what happened? Lawless judges pretended to find a right to destroy the most vulnerable among us, the child in the womb. Where? In the Constitution’s ban on “unlawful search and seizure.” Which party acted? Some honorable Democrats like Ellen McCormack tried to hold that party to its rhetoric of concern for the least among us. But by 1992, pro-life Democrats like Gov. Robert Casey were forbidden to speak at the party’s convention. Now, the DNC won’t even back pro-life Democrats for mayors of little towns. The great pro-life Democratic congressman Dan Lipinski is fighting for his life. His own party is against him.

Democrats only latched onto the Civil Rights issue when they saw that they could garner more votes from it. Concern for vulnerable Americans … that came a distant second. For parties without a principle, that’s how it tends to go.

Meanwhile, with Ronald Reagan and the awakening of American Christians, the pro-life movement swept the Republicans by storm. Now the GOP is the most pro-life party in the world west of Warsaw, Poland. That’s some pretty good company to be in, don’t you think?

Winning the Cold War

Speaking of Poland, which party was it that stood firm against the evils of Communist tyranny throughout the whole life of that movement? From 1917 till 1990, when the Soviet Union finally collapsed, and Eastern Europe was free. The Republican Party. We never had to worry that secret Communist Party members or fellow travelers were getting close to our president. The Democrats did. They’re the party of Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, and Henry Wallace — each of whom encouraged FDR to knuckle under to Stalin.

No, our party stood by Taiwan, and South Korea, and South Vietnam, and then by Poland when Solidarity faced repression by Communist jackboots. Ronald Reagan flouted the experts, who begged him not to call the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” He laughed at the specialists, who assured him it would last for centuries. He knew that the souls of every person in each of those captive nations were special and precious. And he dreamed of setting them free. He played hardball with the Soviets, but knew when to negotiate. He lived to see our adversary collapse after he left office.

Defending the Most Vulnerable

Today the Republican party stands for the sanctity of life. For individual freedom, and the free exercise of religion. For our right to express ourselves freely. To defend ourselves against violence. For the rights of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East to live in peace. For the right of Israel to exist in peace and safety.

We also want to protect some groups of vulnerable Americans you don’t hear about. We want to save less-skilled workers from exploitation. That means controlling our borders and making employers obey the law. So they can’t use illegal immigrants as expendable units in sweatshops. Or run down the wages of less privileged Americans, by replacing them with workers who lack legal protections.

The Golden Thread

From the days when the party was founded, in rejection of cruel, forced labor, to today — when we seek the rule of law on our nation’s borders and justice for unborn children and their mothers … a long golden thread connects these principled stances. And I’m more than a little proud to take up that thread, and carry it into the future. To pass it on, help weave it more deeply into our nation’s tapestry.

So I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’m proud to be a Republican. And you should be too.

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