I’ve always felt Obama was an old time, circa 1973, Republican. He certainly isn’t a liberal Democrat as the recent budget bloodying proved in principle. On May 1, 2009, I wrote an article — How to Save the GOP — that still rings today with un-acted upon truths:
The GOP is in trouble and today, I will offer my conservative adversaries ten things they must do to regain relevance in the localized world of politics. As a wild liberal, I feel it is my duty as an American citizen to restore the political balance in the USA — Obama is whupping fundamentalist Republican arse — and we need to restore some sort of intelligent, loyal, opposition in order to maintain a society where ideas matter more than ideals.
I recently shared a conversation with an old, conservative, business friend of mine, and he told me I would make the perfect “New Republican.” I was surprised. Here is what he told me:
1. You are not religious. The Christian Right ruined the GOP. Get the Bible out of politics.
2. You are fiscally conservative, but that doesn’t mean you punish poor people or the elderly.
3. You have a “liberal mindset with a conservative morality” — [Note: He was parroting back to me my own personal branding slug, which I appreciated even though he was sort of mocking me] — and we need a return to a faithful set of values based on secular humanism and not worship in politics.
He told me I wasn’t Democrat because they’re too disjointed and messy and can’t get anything done. My friend told me I need the rugged structure of the GOP mindset: Once a decision is made, everyone gets behind it in force. He then went on to tell me that the GOP needs to get behind promoting jobs and business and leave the social fabric alone and leave God at the altar. “Imagine a whole new GOP,” my friend proffered, “with people who know how to get things done to build wealth without acrimony. Lift everyone up without pulling anyone down.”
I don’t think I would make a good GOP believer, but I do agree with my friend that Obama has pressed me away from the Democrat ideal. I don’t feel tethered to any particular political movement right now — I feel disconnected from all the harassing negativity — and I suppose losing the earnest middle is a bad omen for Obama in 2012.