It is clear there are fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats on any number of policies. It is also fair to say that the distinctions within the two parties are disproportionately more insignificant in Republican than Democratic caucuses. For example, the ideological gap between Sen. Nelson (D-Neb.) and Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) are vast compared to that between Sen. DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sen. Blunt (R-Mo).
I have paid particular attention to the Republican presidential debates in their nominating process for 2012. Incidents in three debates have demonstrated that this Republican electorate will brook little variation from the ideological purity demanded.
I have been repeatedly labeled a liberal, socialist Democrat.
If that means that I am unwilling to condone enthusiastic approval by a Republican audience of the execution of 234 individuals in Gov. Perry's Texas; I welcome the label liberal, socialist Democrat.
If being a liberal, socialist Democrat implies I reject the concept of leaving an uninsured American to die for making the irresponsible or unaffordable decision not to have any insurance coverage as the crowd at one debate screamed, "Let him die;" I welcome the label liberal, socialist Democrat. Republican voices screamed for death and the audience applauded. This image is more compatible with the thumbs-down judgment of the Roman Coliseum.
If being a liberal, socialist Democrat indicates that I believe that our troops on the ground deserve our support regardless of the idiocy of the policy that put those troops in harm's way and regardless of the sexual preferences they may have; then I must reject the response of another Republican audience at another debate when a soldier on duty in Iraq questioned whether the Republican candidates would attempt to reinstall the policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The particular candidate indicated he would while the crowd enthusiastically booed the soldier for what he was without respect for this individual who had offered himself as our defender on a battlefield half a world away.
Not so long ago Democrats were castigated for their "cut and run" efforts to wind down that foolish adventure in Iraq. Yet, Republicans seem to have little compunction in expressing their abhorrence of those troops when they don't fit into the defined limits of Republican ideological purity.
With such choices, I enthusiastically welcome the label liberal, socialist Democrat rather than accept the policy direction, blood lust and hate that is my alternative.