How I Became a Republican

Keith Murphy wrote a very enjoyable article called Why I'm a Republican which I would highly recommend reading.  Based on his article and a discussion I have been involved in on the discussion boards of this site I've decided to write my own tail of how I became a republican.

For starters I state it as how I became a republican because I was registered Republican far before I feel I truly became a Republican.  Based on this, let's start this from the beginning...

I was a senior in high school, one day my social studies teacher came in and passed out papers saying we were to pre register to vote since we would all be turning 18 that year.  He gave a small lecture about responsibilities brought upon us of which voting was a key part.  He also went through the form and pointed out the part that gives the option of party registration.  I remember his explanation of that saying there were two parties, Democrats and Republicans.  He pointed to the picture of JFK and made it very clear to point out that Kennedy was a Democrat.  He continued saying Democrats were the party of the poor and that Republicans only focused on the rich.  Despite this blatant persuasion by the teacher I registered Republican anyway.  Truth be told though, like most young people I had no real idea yet what the real differences were between the two parties.  My teacher at the time told me that Reagan was bad so it must be true... right?

I went on for a few years voting for people my parents recommended in the local elections and voting for national level politicians based on who's sound byte ad appealed most to me.  It wasn't until 2000 that I finally woke up to real politics and really understood.  I did vote Gore, but my vote was mostly a single issue vote.  In reality I wasn't much sold on either candidate.

During the time between recounts and during the turmoil I began reading a couple political forums trying to further understand what was happening and trying to find out who our next president would be.  I read and listened to arguments from both sides, not just about that election but on many other issues.  I began seeing where parties stood on the issues and since I really didn't have a horse in the race that I was passionate about I began doing research and found my conclusions often fell in line with Republicans.

Republicans had the record of pushing for less government while Democrats supported many costly programs. 

Republicans agreed more often then not with the Constitution while many Democrats referred to it in debates as an outdated document that doesn't apply to today or worse referred to it as a living document that needed to be reinterpreted from time to time based on new meanings of words.

Democrats believed in forced charities while Republicans were the ones I see actually voluntarily donating time and money.  This was actually proven out in a book called "Who Really Cares" by Arthur C Brooks who discovered that Conservatives donation 30% more to charities then Liberals.  Its not even just money they give more of either, if Liberals gave blood at the same rates as Conservative our nations blood supply would jump by 45%.  Conservative give more money, time and yes blood.

Democrats continually pushed for more spending while Republicans supported the idea of letting people keep their hard earned money.

Even on issues I thought Democrats won hands down on like environmental issues, when I looked into facts I found many Democratic environmental policies causing more problems then they solved.  I recall one debate I had with a lovely woman who was convinced that the US would be solid concrete within 10 years because of Republicans and their repealing Clinton's no touching policy on national forests.  Her argument was Republicans allow logging companies to cut away huge chunks of American forests.  From reading up on the issue I actually learned that Clinton's no touching policy on American forests was what lead to many wild fires that ran wild in the late 1990s and into 2000.  The undergrowth that would have been cleared along with old growth trees lead to dead dry wood that quickly burns helped create the dangerous situation that feed the fires.  Not to mention logging roads would have helped to created breaks in the forests which would have helped contain or at the very least slowed the forest fires down.

I had a number of other debates likewise I thought at first Democrats had the upper hand but once you start looking into the details it became clear very quickly that their upper hand was more due to perception then fact.

I also found on other issues Democrats were unwilling to budget while Republicans often tried to find the middle ground on issues that weren't as black and white. 

Over the next few years I continued having more political discussions and continued to find myself agreeing more and more with Republicans.

I've heard it put that the true difference between Republicans and Democrats is that a Republican presents logic and facts and expects that most reasonably thinking people will come to the same conclusion they did given all the facts and information while a Democrat bases their views on what feels right.  Given that I can see why I became a Republican.  It has also been said that Libertarians like chess players are those who carry the logic that drives Republicans to the next logical conclusion which is why so many Libertarians and Republicans share the same views on government and while at this point I still consider myself more of a Republican then a Libertarian maybe that's where my future lies.