I don’t like labels. Over time, they do more to distort than they do to clarify.
If you say that you are a Democrat, that term carries with a whole load of baggage in my mind – ideas, associations, past experiences, etc…only some (or none!) of which may apply to you. Nevertheless, in order to simplify our lives, we are classifying creatures, and we instinctively put people into buckets, then view them through a lens we’ve associated with that group.
Those who are on left side of the spectrum, often identified and/or self-identified as liberals or Democrats (labels just as prone to distortion as conservative and Republican), have quite a task sorting through the rhetoric and slogans to actually understand what a conservative is. In fact, an entire book was recently published to try to accomplish just that! But I’m realistic – I think the typical terms to describe people on either side are hopelessly compromised.
That’s why I’m not a Republican. And I’m not a Conservative. I’m a PIP.
“Wait – that’s a new label! You just said you hate labels.” True – but it’s a NEW label, and I get to define it, so it can be accurate (at least for the next five minutes).
I’m a Principled, Independent Patriot. A PIP.
I believe that principles - the enduring principles that served as the foundation of this country – are far more important than parties and positions. I believe that independence - independence of thought, independence from government interference, and independence from international interference – is far more vital to individual and national health than the pursuit of collectivism and socialism. And, I’m a patriot - yes, I fervently believe that the astonishing American experiment in liberty, representative government, and opportunity is vastly superior the alternatives that continue to be tried elsewhere, our many personal and national failings notwithstanding.
And I’m not alone.
Many in the leftstream media (LSM) have been perplexed (and vexed) at the fervent, positive response to the Sarah Palin nomination. Let me make it very simple for you – Sarah is a PIP. Fellow PIPs are looking at her character and her convictions, and understand that this is the type of person who can lead. She is not afraid of principles. She is not afraid to own her guns and religion (without bitterness). She has the independence to take on even her own party bosses. She is an unabashed patriot, and didn’t only recently discover a feeling of pride in being an American.
Unlike Obama, Biden, Hillary, Edwards, Romney, Giuliani, even McCain, we can relate to her. She’s “one of us.” With the pit-bull spine that we like to see in our leaders. PIPs aren’t into endless “nuance” and situational ethics that generally drift toward socialism. We want 16-oz to the pound, clear, forthright principles.
There has also been amazement at the dedication of the Ron Paul camp. While media types like to focus in on the kook factor among his followers, Dr. Paul’s grassroots popularity reflects the fact that he is a principled, independent patriot. Those of us who want truly limited government, less confiscation and redistribution of income, and a greater emphasis on individual rights are far more energized by the principled track record of these rare candidates than by prior Washington Beltway experience – which usually means compromised convictions, self-interest first, and dependence on too many inside people and interest groups to ever actually represent the rest of us (many of us would love to see term limits for that reason). Throw the bums out, whatever party they belong to. Lobbyist-loving lawyers: no. Citizen-servants: yes!
While PIPs often find themselves more in alignment with Republican platforms and conservative ideas, we are happy to see replaced any elected officials and bureaucrats who hide their avarice and socialistic tendencies behind party labels and empty talk. If you call yourself a Republican we’ll listen politely. If you call yourself a conservative we’ll pay attention. If you ‘re a principled, independent patriot we’ll support you with everything we’ve got. We want effective people who believe what we believe about this country and its government – not grey-suited drones with dossiers of experience horse-trading, earmarking, and compromising.
The rabid Hate-America-First crowd can’t understand a PIP. Reasonable, thoughtful people of a more “liberal” persuasion can carry on a debate, but to the Daily Kos disciples, the Michael Moore mavens, the “we’d-remove-the-red-state-vote-if-we-could” elitists, any PIP candidate is has to be “borked,” because they represent one major thing: a threat to their social re-engineering agenda.
John McCain is unquestionably a patriot. He has shown an independent streak (to some extent). Whether or not he is truly principled has been open to question. But by selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate, the PIPs that were lukewarm about his candidacy now feel like “one of us” is on the ticket.
When I vote, I don’t look at party first. I don’t care about gender or race. I look at principles, convictions, and readiness to go against the tide if that’s what it takes. And that’s why I’m not a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, a conservative, or a liberal. I’m a PIP. And I wouldn’t mind seeing a Sarah Palin/Bobby Jindal ticket in 2012!
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