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The 2010 elections are fast approaching. The moment the polls close this November, the 2012 presidential primary will begin.  Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, John Thune, Bobby Jindal will all get an immediate mention – visits to Iowa and New Hampshire will be tallied and over-analyzed. The predictable “dark horse” speculation will commence.  There may even be a fight between John Boehner and Eric Cantor, or a proxy war among their loyalists, for the Speaker’s gavel.

Perspective: I am a Republican. A John Quincy Adams era, Grand Ol’ Partier.  I am not an elitist but most of my establishment friends could be called that.  National security, intelligence and human rights policies matter to me.  If we are going to be the beacon for freedom – then we have to be a safe, free, open and equality driven society.  If you believe in limited government – then live it. Don’t preach that at an ATR Wednesday meeting, only to turn around and start chatting up Amendments to the US Constitution. Amendments furthering a partisan agenda will only encourage bloating of the government. Recognize this truth: the likelihood of getting 2/3 of the State legislatures to do anything in unison is remote. Our culture must be transformed.  A polite society must return – and that means raising two or three generations of children that embrace a simple concept: Live right, Be worthy.

Every time I watch a Senate confirmation hearing, I start wondering about the brilliant minds who thought direct election of US Senators would prevent corruption.

Limited government means just that. Get. Out. of. My. Private. Life. I don’t wake up each morning, eager for the government to intervene in the legal contract between myself and clients, or myself and my man. Or you and your spouse. Love, relationships and marriage are hard enough – asking the federal bureaucracy to regulate marriage contracts makes zero sense, given how incapable they are in managing everything else. Disasters, education, the oil spill…federal response is incompetent at best. Managing mankind’s mercurial nature? Puh-lease.

I agree, our culture needs an intervention.  But morality of a culture can’t be legislated away. No matter how many laws you put on the books, oversight requires more than the federal bureaucracy will ever provide.  Instead, the oversight must begin in our hearts.  In our own lives.  Western culture currently encourages promiscuity, addiction, immorality.  The exploitative Lolita-esque images of Miley Cyrus and other starlets, think Gossip Girl,  are as pervasive as the elevation of Humbert Humbert behavior. Just as troubling is the young male is now prey.  The rise of the “Cougar” via the Desperate Housewives franchise, the “Real Housewives” series on cable and the creeping presence of mothers who compete with their daughters for male attention. Nabokov could never have imagined that some women in the over-40, over-50 crowd would be emulating Humbert, fashioning themselves as Humbertina Humbertina.

If you watch those shows, that’s fine. But do not pretend you are morally superior if you allow it’s unfiltered arrival in the hearts and minds of your children.

I am not a political or “movement” conservative.  I respect many folks who self-identify as conservative, but I am not one of them.  Never have been.  But personally, I am very conservative.  I work very hard, rarely imbibe, I live a chaste life, am repentant for my failings and devote myself to being worthy of my daughter’s love and respect as a woman. While she will always be my babygirl, my daughter – I am her closest confidante.  To be admired for strong character by one’s children is to know Grace.

Again: Live right, Be worthy.

But a political, dogmatic conservative I am not. I support civil unions, across the board.  I do not want the federal government in my marriage.  The federal government demonstrates colossal incompetence in managing passports, visas and immigration issues.  They can’t handle Medicare or TriCare either.  They are spendthrifts that invariably fall prey to hookers, money, booze or other deviant behaviors.  Pretty sure they are not qualified to sanction Holy Matrimony.  Holy Matrimony is conveyed by your church, your religious leaders and not by the State.  Because the State was lazy and borrowed the word “marriage” does not mean the State now owns moral behavior, or moral and spiritual contracts between two consenting adults.

Spare me the JD Hayworth stories about people marrying animals.  And keep your anti-Mormon, anti-Islam polygamy arguments to yourself.  I’m not interested.  Civil unions are a legal contract between two people.  Man and Woman. Man and Man.  Woman and Woman.  It is marriage. As the State cannot convey the Eucharist, it is a civil contract. A civil union. Call it marriage if you like – but only within the church, a synagogue, a mosque, can this relationship be considered Holy.  The State is just the State. Everyone knows it only takes two to tango.  Your religious beliefs aren’t germaine, any more than mine are.

I don’t mean to be flippant, so to those readers who believe their faith prohibits this – I get it. I apologize offending your religious sensibilities – but politics and religion rarely mix well.  For the record, I am Roman Catholic.  I converted several years ago.  I am aware that I am at odds with my church on this issue, as they do not recognize gay marriage.  But they aren’t the State.  They are not responsible for administration of tax revenue.  I disagree with my church on the Death Penalty – but I also know that most of my social conservative friends have no problem with the death penalty, or my support for it.  We can’t have it both ways.  Hypocrisy is hypocrisy.  We’re all hypocrites – the difference is, I don’t expect the State to codify my disagreements with the Vatican into civil law.

The US Constitution governs all Americans. It does not pick one religion above all others. It’s prohibited.  If, as many believe, the US is only about Judeo-Christian ethic, I agree. But it does not pick one sect over another. It is about all of us. Understanding this is crucial to honoring the phrase “all men are created equal.”

Everyone understands this does not include deviant behavior.

Please refer to the writings of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and John Quincy Adams on religion and equality – as well as the Federalist Papers, the Articles of Confederation, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and the Magna Carta before you send me hate mail. I will quote them chapter and verse right back at you. Equality and Justice for All.

Let’s take another issue and ‘go there.’  Unnecessary abortions?  Let’s end them.  Know how?  Live right, be worthy and raise your children to do the same thing.  It means investing a lot more time in your marriage and your kids.  They aren’t accessories to parade around.  There is a distinct difference between familial (or tribal, ahem) pride and showcasing your spouse, son or daughter as best stud or bitch at the Westminster Dog Show.

Live morally.  Make moral decisions.  Do it all day and all night. Every day.  Be devoted.  Read to your children, teach them world history.  Learn languages together, as a family. Appreciate art history, archaeology, biblical history, the history of Eastern faiths, and historic cultural clashes – their resolutions. Ask yourself if your children understand how the burning of the Library in Alexandria was tragic for us all.

The practical ethics of day to day life matter.  To my friends on the Left, you aren’t exempt.  Don’t get all excited and enjoy the Schadenfreude. This missive is simply about understanding the differences between Republicanism, Conservatism, the “establishment” GOP and the “establishment” conservatives as well as their counterparts out there in flyover country. The GOP didn’t start with Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. American history, world history and reality take a much longer view than cult-like worship of a single figure.

I get called a RINO bitch almost every day.  I don’t care. But let’s be clear – someone who calls me a RINO bitch is usually upset about my stance on Gay Marriage, or disagrees with me on African aid or human rights issues. (These are the same people who are happy with me when I take on my Leftie pals over Torture and Cheney and Gitmo)

I am not a Republican In Name Only.  I am a Republican.  I’m not a Conservative.  Just because you’re confused doesn’t make you right.  You don’t like my stance, tough noodles. Conservative does not equal Republican, and Republican does not equal Conservative.  You want Conservative? Then move to New York, Canada or the UK.  It’s on the ballot there.  Ronald Reagan is not the Alpha and Omega of the GOP.  He was a Goldwater-lite man, and far down the ladder of “good presidents” for me.  I’ve discussed this before.  No matter what you say, I will not be swayed that he was Mr. Awesome.  He, like Carter and Ford and Bush 41 and Clinton and Obama, did NOTHING to stop radical Islamists.  He ran away from Beirut, just as Clinton did from Mogadishu.  He allowed anti-Muslim rhetoric to gurgle, looked the other way and took credit for the Wall coming down.

Talk to a few people who actually served behind the Wall.  Like an Army Counter-Intel man I know who served in Berlin in the early 1970s, or others who served in the European theater…their ideas about the fall of the Soviet Empire are far more complex than Ronnie showed up in tights and a cape like Superman.  It was damn tough work, for many years. Thank goodness for Pope John Paul II, UK PM Thatcher and to men like former Secretary of State Alexander Haig.  And every man in uniform who toiled in Submarines and relay stations, honing covert tradecraft – to an absolute miracle. Schoolchildren no longer hide under their desks because of Cold Warriors.

Don’t tell me you support the troops on the one hand, and on the other credit Reagan for single-handedly bringing down The Wall. Men fought and died. They weren’t made famous by their lefty parents like Pat Tillman. But their service mattered, and matters to this day, just as much as the guys today.  It’s the job. And they must all be honored.

Say thank you to the troops you claim to support.  Including the Marines and French forces who died in Beirut.  Their lives matter – no matter what President they serve.  Because it is freedom they defend.  It isn’t a logo.

I believe in limited government. In a strong national defense. In living a moral life, every day. In exporting American values by taking individual action to do so.  Learning languages and traveling.  As an American, each of us has the responsibility to achieve our personal best. We are the beacon of freedom.

Bitter, domestic, partisan battles have no place when the future is at stake. I am a Republican.  If you support lavish additions to the US Constitution, please consider if it is something that could be changed another way. Don’t resort to namecalling. And petty insults. Argue your case on the merits, or go back to the drawing board until you can. Think about the unintended consequences. Does your position really support Liberty and Justice for All?

Somewhere, a child in Africa or Latin America or the Middle East dreams of making it to our shores.  Honor him. Honor her.  Live right, be worthy.

Media Lizzy