Republican Party Kool-Aid? No thanks

The fact is I don’t hate the Republican Party. But I don’t love it either. For me, the party is merely the means to an end. When the party or its candidates don’t support the end, they don’t get my support.

By Chris Ingram

Special Correspondent, Tampa Tribune

Last week Hillsborough GOP Chairwoman Deborah Cox-Roush asked me, “Why do you hate the Republican Party?” I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised or offended by the question as I’ve been asked this before.

The fact is I don’t hate the Republican Party. But I don’t love it either. For me, the party is merely the means to an end. When the party or its candidates don’t support the end, they don’t get my support.

As far as my Republican bona-fides go, I’ve been bleeding Republican red since I was a kid. At 10 years old, I made a hand-made sign boasting “Reagan for President” that I tacked to my bedroom door.

As an adult I’ve worked for the election of scores of Republican candidates. I’ve stuffed envelopes, walked neighborhoods, managed campaigns, attended conventions, and contributed money. I’ve been a registered Republican my whole life.

But I quit drinking the GOP’s Kool-Aid years ago.

I refuse to support Republican candidates when I believe they are ethically challenged (think Marco Rubio and his Republican Party AmEx card), incompetent (Buddy Johnson), lack vision (Bill McCollum), are hypocritical (Jeff Atwater), take advantage of their office for personal gain (Mike Haridopolos) or when they think they are entitled to the job (again, Bill McCollum).

Read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune by clicking here.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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15 thoughts on “Republican Party Kool-Aid? No thanks”

  1. I don’t automatically support the Republican Party either, but Chris leaves out the End of his Means. From his earlier posts he’s not all that Conservative or Constitutionalist either. His readers would be better served with more goal oriented posts that lay out some guiding principles.

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  2. Chris, aren’t most of us as people ethically wanting in our lives at moments, somewhat imperfect at our work, lacking vision, assuredly hypocritical, seeking personal advancement in our work and continue to reach for a good thing when we see it time again? I’m not excusing any of these shortcomings or, even worse criminal conduct; but isn’t your litmus test for a person seeking public office a little high? I feel as if a politician commits any one of your criteria in some minute fashion that you would not support him/her. I know of no human being that is perfect. What you seek is a “robo-politician” devoid of that which is the human condition. We should not compromise our standards we seek in our leaders, but we must not ask that which we ourselves do not possess. Rather, we should levy judgment while keeping in mind the punishment should fit the infraction. In many ways, I too would like a GOP politician that was ethically and morally bullet-proof, but I think we are asking the impossible. We all fall short of the glory of God; the question becomes do we learn from our mistakes.

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  3. Jason,

    Rubio, Haridopolos, Buddy Johnson, Jim Norman — all the electeds/candidates I cited — we can do better. If we demand better, we might get better. I’m not looking for perfection, but the crop of career politicos we’ve been sending to office are letting the next generation down. The status quo isn’t cutting it. Demand better!

    GenEx,

    Your suggested claim to know/define what a “conservative” is shows your arrogance and ignorance.

    Chris Ingram

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  4. They say there is not such thing as an “Honest Politician” and these folks really support that notion. You didn’t mention the election for Governor featuring the candidate with unethical business sent to Bank of American running against the candidate accused of unethical if not illegal insurance practices. And since “The People” voted not to contribute any state money to elections, we should see even more corporate owned politicians. We really need to take up a collection to buy some politicians for the people….

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  5. Chris, I love Republicanism, but hate politics. Perhaps we could do better if, as voters, we didn’t fall for mudslinging & high-dollar media campaigns, instead seeking out the facts for ourselves and weighing the pros and cons of each candidate, then casting an educated vote in every eligible race. Never gonna happen in THIS life!

    Do I find the politicians you listed to be wanting? Of course I do; I’m the only person who could possibly fulfill my desires for THE decision-maker. Just as YOU are the only person who could completely satisfy YOU! There has never been a perfect man on this earth… even Christ reportedly acknowleged his shortcomings… and there never will be. However, until I am annointed as the sole rule giver, I’m willing to have certain ‘lesser mortals’ act on my behalf.

    The AMEX card was a nit…business as usual in the Charlie Crist regime… and Rubio made full restitution when called on it. Did Crist or any of the other Republican Party beneficiaries ‘fess up & pay up’? Philosophically, Marco and I are sympatico. And Haridopolus is a well informed, capable and hardworking small-town politician who has now made it to the political Garden of Eden; if he can resist the temptations of the “apple”‘s offered him by the establishment ‘Eve”‘s, I think he’ll do just fine.

    So, until I personally view a candidate walking on water, I will accept mere mortals with compatable ideas, accompanied by reasonable intellect and ethics, as my representatives in government, and will continue to work toward their election.

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  6. I must agree with the previous posters on the TBO.com/TampaTribune forum (Carl & Fla Republican) –and the writer (Chris Ingram).

    Indeed, a free democracy is built on integrity, not loyalty to a party which often demands out-of-control spending to appease special interests.

    In that sense, the Republican party is sometimes more liberal than the Democratic party –depending on the politician in question and the circumstance. –LOL–

    Chris Ingram (Republican political consultant & analyst for BN9), you are a TRUE CONSERVATIVE.

    Thank you for defending ‘True / Genuine’ Conservative values in re fiscal policy.

    I am sure you probably also defense Conservative values regarding:

    ** Defense of all life.

    ** Rights to Keep & Bear Arms.

    ** Traditional family values.

    ** Loving your neighbour as yourself — loving yourself (since that was the basis of the preceeding), and loving Almighty God.

    Thank you once again,

    Gordon Wayne Watts
    LAKELAND, Florida

    the ‘non-lawyer’ whose court case almost won in court in my bid to save Theresa ‘Terri’ Sciavo (I lost 4-3, nearly winning).

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  7. If Republican leaders would be more concerned with rooting out the crooks in our party and less concerned with keeping people “loyal” and “on the reservation” the party would be better off. Until then, keep up the straight talk, Chris.

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  8. I can definitely vouch for you on the fact that you are lifelong Republican. You forgot to mention that you campaigned for your dad as a small boy (of course Republican). I can remember us as kids talking Republican politics when we were riding our bikes.

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  9. Chris:

    Could not agree with you more. I just read your commentary in the Tribune.

    Until we have candidates of intelligence, integrity, and the capacity to lead we are not going anywhere. The nations propensity in both parties to run an elect charlatans remains solid.

    I will likely continue to vote R and I will vote, but with few exceptions, it will be while holding my nose and praying we will do better next time.

    I can’t beat a drum for any one at this point, though I did like what Pawlenty had to say in Iowa about ending subsidy for Ethanol.

    I guess we will just have to wait and see.

    John B

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  10. Too many people, I think, have lost sight of doing the right thing as opposed to sticking come hell or high water with party line. Of course, reasonable people will disagree on how to accomplish the “right thing,” or even what it is, but that kind of debate and discussion is worthwhile. Sticking with the party line, no matter what, is less so, I think. But, then, I know we have a two-party system for some reason!

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