OK, first off I do not consider myself a “Tea Party” member. Although I support many of their ideas and principles, they are not a mature party or movement and traditionally closer to election time their message will be picked up by a party and incorporated into their platform. As much as it hurts to admit it, most affiliated voters vote along party lines come election day. Right now I would not consider myself a Republican in Ohio as far as political affiliation goes, there is too much going wrong in the Republican side of the house as far as 2nd Amendment and Gun rights goes for me to give a blanket statement saying the GOP is for me anymore. I would say I was a Libertarian save for a few pillars of the platform that it runs on that I am not totally in sync with. Being a independent is truly too wishy-washy for my tastes and you do not get to have any input for anyone running in the general elections that you do get to vote on. I guess at this point I would say that I was a very confused and disturbed voter who generally votes republican but is somewhat disgusted in what he sees as his party’s lack of direction and vision for one of its traditional core principles. Even the NRA is endorsing non-GOP candidates in this state which has traditionally been unheard of. Of course I realize that gun rights do not belong exclusively to one party, as it is a right that is extended to all Americans regardless of political affiliation. Matter of fact, I believe I have stated on more than one occasion on this blog that its a right that extends beyond classifications of politics, race, ethnicity, religion, age, income, social background or anything else.
I am not a political whiz kid on Ohio Politics by any means. If anything I am like the majority of citizens, fairly comfortable living my life day to day as long as the powers that be in government do not encroach on my freedoms as I see fit to exercise them. Yes, call me a sheeple if you will, but at least I am being honest here. I have normally made the assumption that the GOP has looked out for my interests as a member of the party. It is becoming clear with the history of anti-gun legislation of its candidates along with recent graft and corruption under GOP administrations in this state that to blindly follow one political path is folly in this environment.
On his deathbed Siddhārtha Gautama, known to most people as Buddha, told his disciples "All composite things pass away. Strive for your own liberation with diligence." This is frequently been translated in modern verse to the saying “Be your own light”. Find your own way. As a gun owning 2nd Amendment supporter in the Buckeye state, this is a philosophy worth heading.
“All composite things pass away” - The GOP which has been may not be the GOP that goes forward
“Strive for your own liberation with diligence” – Discover which candidates support your views and support them if they will represent you well.
By the way, I am not a Buddhist, but a Christian. While I believe Jesus is my personal savior I also believe in the folly and corruption that is man that brought the bible to our time. I truly believe that there are parts of Jesus’ life that are hidden from us and we can learn from other religions those bits and pieces that fit into our own Christian model of life. Some Hindu sects openly accept the existence of Jesus and even claim that for a time that he traveled there and studied meditation and enlightenment, which he then returned to the holy land with. You would think that this would be good evidence to support Christianity by the church, but church leaders to this day would refute the words of non-believers even to point of their words supporting the legitimacy of their beliefs in the eyes of others.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Sunday, February 7, 2010 3:28 AM
By Jack Torry
WASHINGTON -- To understand the difficulties that former Republican Sen. Mike DeWine has with Tea Party activists, just check with Bonnie Oleksa.
Oleksa, a Tea Party organizer who lives about 20 miles north of Mansfield, describes herself as a conservative. She looks back fondly on President Ronald Reagan's two terms. She knocked on the front doors of neighbors, imploring them to vote in 2006 for Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell.
But DeWine? She derisively dismisses him as "recipe boy," a reference to the baking recipes frequently distributed by DeWine's wife, Fran. Oleksa refused to vote for DeWine in 2006 when he lost his re-election bid to Democrat Sherrod Brown. And she will not vote for him in November in the race for state attorney general against Democratic incumbent Richard Cordray.
"Why do you think we have Sherrod Brown?" Oleksa said. "Because DeWine was such a loser. An F rating from the National Rifle Association. He voted with Ted Kennedy. He screwed up conservative court nominees. True conservatives loathe Mike DeWine."
In an election year in which Republican candidates in Ohio and across the country are performing well in polls against Democratic opponents, GOP hopefuls such as DeWine and U.S. Senate candidate Rob Portman are groping for the right notes to convince the conservatives who dominate the Tea Party that they are one of them.
DeWine has traveled across the state to meet with Tea Party activists. Just last week, he distributed a two-page summary of what he calls his "conservative voting record" as a member of the U.S. House and Senate.
"They've been good meetings, and I intend to have more of them," DeWine said. "Their message is essentially less regulation, keep taxes low and keep spending down. I certainly agree with those goals for state government."
Portman, too, is energetically trying to win the same voters in his Republican primary race against Tom Ganley, a Cleveland auto dealer. Portman said he has "a lot of friends who are Tea Party people. They're not going to agree on everything. But they do share a belief that Washington has overreached and our federal government has gotten too intrusive."
The people who make up the Tea Party and similar organizations are a loose coalition of economic conservatives, social conservatives and libertarians. Oleksa, for example, backed social conservative Patrick Buchanan in his unsuccessful 1996 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, while Jason Rink of Columbus, who helped found the Ohio Liberty Council, supported libertarian congressman Ron Paul for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
"The GOP doesn't really understand this movement," said Rink, whose Liberty Council leadership team includes Tea Party members. "We're not completely Republican. We're not looking to preserve the Republican power structure."
But in their zeal to win the backing of Tea Party conservatives, Portman and DeWine run the risk of alienating moderate independents crucial to deciding the general elections. Tea Party activists are enthusiastic and committed, but analysts warn that they represent a small slice of voters in Ohio.
"There's obviously a loud outcry from the far right in terms of the Tea Party," said Greg Haas, a Democratic consultant in Columbus. "But pandering to that group is not unlike a Democratic officeholder pandering to the extreme far left. It doesn't play well with the vast majority of people."
Political analysts suggest that DeWine has a more daunting task than Portman, even though DeWine is staunchly opposed to abortion rights and backed President George W. Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.
Many conservatives have not forgiven DeWine for joining six other Republicans and seven Democrats in 2005 to forge a compromise that made it more difficult for the Senate to kill judicial nominations with a filibuster. Instead, conservatives wanted Senate Republicans to use their muscle to change rules and confirm their favorite judges by simple majority rather than 60 votes required to overcome a filibuster.
Conservatives also sharply objected in 2004 when DeWine supported an extension of a ban on the sale and production of 19 military assault weapons.
In his letter to conservatives, DeWine tried to assuage their worries. He pointed out that the judicial compromise cleared the way for the Senate to confirm the U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito -- both among the court's most conservative members.
At first glance, Portman, a former congressman from Cincinnati, is everything Tea Party activists dislike -- an establishment Republican who served as Bush's budget director and trade representative.
But Portman reminds them that he supported the 1997 budget agreement that transformed years of deficits into four consecutive years of surpluses. He receives strong marks from the NRA and backed the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
"Rob Portman is being embraced more by the Tea Party movement because he's good on most issues that Tea Party conservatives find important," Rink said. But Rink conceded that "Tom Ganley is sort of an ideal candidate for the Tea Party movement."
Unlike Portman, Ganley is cast as the political outsider. He has never run for office, prompting an admiring Oleksa to say that "he's not a slick, polished politician," while Portman to her "is just a re-tread."
Ganley has aggressively sought their votes. To Ganley, the Tea Party activists and other conservatives are the key to defeating Portman. Ganley's campaign manager, Jeff Longstreth, said, "The numbers are huge, and the energy is through the roof."