"I'm a Republican, But..."

At a recent dinner party, a Republican senator in the Wyoming legislature remarked that the most common personal call she receives from her constituents begins with, “I’m a Republican, but . . . ,” and ends with a request for some or another government benefit or service.

Americans are fond of complaining that their political “system” doesn’t “work.”  Their politicians never deliver what they want from that system.  They don’t “listen to” them, and, in any event, they don’t really represent them, the grassroots voters having never been given a real choice of candidates to begin with.

Because the American “system” has devolved in recent decades into a single perennial election season interrupted by periodic nationwide votes every two years, we are all of us more or less inured to these complaints, to the point of developing an auditory defense mechanism against them.  Still, the ongoing Republican primary battles have risen to so high a volume and such a shrillness of pitch that they can hardly be ignored by anyone, save the aurally challenged.  Charge after countercharge warns, asserts, shrieks that one faction within the GOP is about to be ignored, undersold, cheated, or disfranchised by another faction or factions, and that the lean, fit frontiersman struggling to escape from the...

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