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A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

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  • A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

    Seems quite a number of the GOP are jumping ship!

    A Warning to My Old Republican Friends: Screw Up The Obama Moment and You're History --Literally

    Posted June 12, 2008 | 02:21 PM (EST)

    If the Republicans -- not to mention their bedrock supporters, such as evangelical Christians, neoconservatives and others -- do not grasp the Obama moment, and then rise to the occasion, when it comes to understanding the significance of having the first black American to become an authentic presidential aspirant, they will have doomed themselves to political obscurity and moral opprobrium forever.

    The Republican Party would not be where it is today or have dominated American politics for the last 30 years, if it had not been for my late evangelical leader father Francis Schaeffer. Dad more or less invented the Protestant pro-life movement by giving it its intellectual basis; before that, evangelical Protestants mostly stayed out of politics. Along with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Dr. Dobson and the other handful of "founding fathers" of the religious right (including to a lesser extent me before I dropped out of the movement), back in the 70s and 80s we empowered and energized a big chunk of today's Republican base.

    So what I have to say here about Senator Obama to my old Republican friends comes from an inside perspective. It's this: beware how you deal with the Obama moment. What you do now is going to define you far more than you'll define Obama. He is about to become a major part of American history. You are about to be written off forever ... if you get this wrong.

    As a former Republican activist who, as late as 2000, was campaigning for John McCain, today I am a dedicated supporter of Senator Obama for president. Yes, I changed my mind. But that isn't the point. My point here is to ask how the Republicans will define themselves by the means they use to try to define and defeat Obama.

    My motivation? It isn't to help Republicans win. I want them to lose the election. But there are bigger fish to fry. For instance the peace and goodwill that we will all need to return to in order to function as Americans after this election. America matters more than party.

    Just to be clear: I'm not saying that everyone must vote for Obama, or that people who don't are racists, evil or dumb. I am saying that how the Obama candidacy is treated and what tactics are ued will define Obama's opponents, not him. And this year's election will either help build up America or tear it apart.

    While Republicans are concentrating on winning in November it seems to me that they have lost sight of the fact that this moment has far greater significance than whatever happens in electoral politics this year. If you listen to the silly chatter on FOX News, or talk radio, or read the likes of Dr. Dobson, Pat Buchanan and William Kristol and absorb their sophomoric take on Obama, his patriotism, his flag pin, his wife's patriotism, etc., etc., the question arises: do they know what planet they are on or what century they are in?

    How Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters react to Obama's candidacy will define us all in ways that today can hardly be imagined. While most Republicans (and many Democrats too) seem to be concentrating on present and narrowly defined victory, the real issue is how we all will be perceived in the future. Our great, great grandchildren will pass judgment on us, and so will the world.

    Simply put: Republican strategists who think that business-as-usual -- i.e., the slanderous politics of the past 30 years -- will take care of matters this time around are deluded. Worse than that, they will doom the reputation of the Republican Party and turn it into a marginal footnote of American history if they keep trivializing this historic event. That is too bad because, as I said, we need a two party system.

    All over the world people who have thought ill of America are now thinking better of us, simply because Obama has become a serious major party candidate. All over the world our country, which has sunk to its lowest level ever in the public's view under Bush, suddenly looks immeasurably better because we have grown up enough to embrace a black candidate, our fraught and sordid racial history notwithstanding. We might even be setting an example in spite of ourselves. All over the world people who have despaired of their old friend America are taking a second look.

    In our own country millions of new voters, especially young voters, are coming into the political process that before Obama, they had either ignored or written off. And the African-American population that has been the victim of the racism which has dragged on and on relentlessly, is taking a deep breath and considering a new future.

    Senator Obama is not just a "historic black candidate." He turns out to be a profoundly inspirational person. For a start he is not beating the drum for fear as the means to motivate votes. This is a huge change from Bush and the paranoid distrust of the "other" that the Bush years will be remembered for. There are echoes of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt in the measured and sane Obama candidacy. There is the best of the American story in his personal history. The man radiates a steady decency, compassion and profound wisdom that is rare at any time in politics, but following the embarrassment of George W. Bush comes like cold water to those stuck in an interminable desert.

    This is the context of the Obama candidacy. And what it symbolizes long-term is so far and away more important than the election results in November, that the mere politics of the moment is almost an insult to the sea change that Obama's candidacy represents.

    If the world gets it, if Obama inspires the French, the British, the Egyptians, the Germans, the Indonesians, the Irish, even the Chinese, but Republican operatives and strategists don't "get it," then I make this prophecy: the Republican Party will look so small and yes, so pathetically racist, that by the end of the day we will barely have a two-party system left in America. No one will forgive the Republicans (or angry Clinton Democrats) if they come out of this moment looking as if they missed the point of what America means.

    The Republicans are going to look as out of touch a few years from now as did the isolationists and "America First" folks after World War II. Before the war they were active in the prewar run up and they seemed very much in the game, even relevant. But the isolationists didn't understand the fact that the world had changed and left them and their interests stranded. The globe was smaller than they figured and they marginalized themselves. Forces beyond their political control were unleashed on them. And by the end of World War II the entire world map was redrawn. There was no room left for them on the political map either. They went from serious to joke status in a heartbeat.

    That's the fate that awaits the Republicans today if they persist in trivializing Obama. As they prepare their slimy little Rovian attacks on Michelle Obama, and her "lack of patriotism," on Senator Obama and his "un-American" former pastor, and as the racial innuendo and the use of Obama's middle name, etc., etc., morphs into an updated version of "swift boating" the Republicans are more or less signing their death warrant. They are about to become a minority party perceived as controlled by silly half-educated white men, cranks, racists and windbags. The writing is on the wall. If fools like the FOX News folks, are the face of the Republican Party in this election the Republicans are done. It will not be forgotten that the Republicans pissed on a shining moment of opportunity and could do no better than snicker at a moment when the rest of the world looked at the Obama moment in awe and renewed respect for America.

    Obama changes everything. Those who understand this and embrace the facts may live to fight another day in whatever political party. Those who don't -- be they Republicans or Hillary Clinton's disappointed and angry Democrats -- instantly make themselves part of a past that will never be escaped or lived down.

    Here is what the Republicans and others can do to come out of this contest alive and well with their future bright whether they win or lose this election.

    1. Categorically repudiate and denounce the sort of slime attacks that are already being mounted against Obama and his wife until they stop.

    2. Refuse to go along with the snickering half-wits at places like FOX News. They will take you down with them into well deserved oblivion.

    3. Pay homage to what Obama means to America and what his candidacy stand for in the same way that Obama pays homage to McCain's Vietnam War service and do so often and where it counts.

    4. Decide now that it would be better to lose this election than win a race-based or innuendo-based pyrrhic victory that decimates the Republican Party's (or angry Clinton fans') reputation forever.

    5. Debate the issues, not the man. The point is not to belittle Obama. You can't. He's already a giant of American history and became such just by getting this far in a country that was still lynching black men in our parents' lifetimes. But that doesn't mean that you have to agree. Say that his tax hikes will hurt. Say that his medical coverage is going to cost. There are real issues. Call him on those if you will. And experience is a legitimate issue too. But stay out of the slime.

    6. Don't be too clever by half. Play even the hint of the race card, no matter how cutely or while pretending innocence, and you're toast.

    Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of CRAZY FOR GOD - How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back.

    What say you?

  • #2
    Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

    I say the racial card as played in number five is very much uncalled for and keeps racism alive and well .....also america is many presidents away from getting back into shape and I feel we have no good candidates at this point in time JMHO

    Buckwheat2 having withdrawls here for some of your recipes!!!!! LOL seriously


    • #3
      Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

      pssstttt just a little side note..... Obama is not black or white he is biracial.
      Visit my blog at:


      • #4
        Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

        Originally posted by Cindy View Post
        pssstttt just a little side note..... Obama is not black or white he is biracial.
        Thank you Cindy, I have posted the exact same thing and gotten some grief for it. He has a white mother and a black father, that is called biracial, no matter if you like the term or not. That is a FACT.


        • #5
          Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

          Yes, he is bi-racial, however here in AMERICA the "one drop rule" still applies to some folks.

          I have a beautiful photo of his mother/grandparents on mothers side. I thought his mother was a very pretty lady.

          Wishingstar, I do have a few you may like. I just have been very busy the last few months, and have not been posting much. However, I do jump in here now and then and I am always on the watch for YOUR input as well !


          • #6
            Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

            So that is why he is the first black american running for president ? Why not the first biracial american running for president ??? just wondering??
            And I don'r know what the " one drop rule " means or refers to ??


            • #7
              Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

              And, as there are two sides to every story.................Here is a perspective from the "flip Side" - Just another perspective.........Received this in an e-mail today..

              The writer of this essay is Jerry Molen. Jerry is a great friend (ofJim Cash B/G USAF retired)
              and an Academy Award winning Hollywood Producer. He did Jurassic Park, Hook, Rainman,
              and many more class movies. He won the Academy Award for Schindler's List.
              Jerry is one of the very few clear thinking conservatives that I know from
              Hollywood. We need to get this out to as many as possible to include liberal
              Democrats. We are about to make the Mother-of-All-Mistakes, because the
              Republican Party gave us no reliable alternative. In my opinion, if the
              conservative movement does not rally behind the only alternative left to us,
              this country will become a true Socialist State within the next two Presidential
              terms. This is the most grave situation this nation has faced in our lifetimes.

              Jim Cash B/G, USAF, Ret.

              We just experienced an over-hyped, positively outrageous primary election
              season that has left me cold and wondering where th e heads of our citizens are
              hiding out. Must be someplace where the sun doesn't get to very often.

              At one time in my life, I was a determined, dedicated, and ever loyal registered Democrat.
              Then something happened (Lyndon Baines Johnson) that turned my life around and
              gave me much pause as to the veracity of a party that dwelt on and fed off of the most
              unfortunate among us.

              Some of those unfortunates were in their positions in life by way of their
              own choosing, and others were there by circumstance. But always, always with
              a door open to them to reach for new heights, achieve new goals, change
              their lives for the better. And also, always ever present were the bottom feeders
              doing everything they could to take advantage of those who had not or have
              not seen the light of better days and times nor realizing they were in fact
              the masters of their own destiny.

              They had come to believe that they were dependent on t hose in power in
              Washington, and that they would look out for them and take care of their every need.
              They are still waiting and expecting all those promised freebies.

              Most people aren't even aware that the Democrats ruled Washington for over
              40 years. It wasn't until 1994 when the so called Gingrich Revolution changed
              that for a short period of time. Nor do people realize that it was the Dem's
              that created the failed policies of the many entitlement programs that are
              falling apart right before our eyes.

              Please do not think I find the Republicans blameless in all this. They too,
              suffer from ego inflation and greed motivators built into the system. It's just
              that the past few months I've listened to the rantings and railings of
              the left in America calling for more giveaways and better ways to obtain the
              proverbial 'free lunch'.

              I think that to sum up my feelings and why I am so set apart from those within
              the circles of political power and influence can be illustrated best by a
              quote by noted basketball legend and talk show co-host Charles Barkley:

              "Poor people have been voting for Democrats for the last fifty years...
              and they are still poor".

              And now with the election results comes the promises of "change".

              "Change we can believe in." "Change for the future". When in fact if you really, I mean REALLY, listen to what the new messiah is asking for is not '
              change of policy' or 'change for the better'.

              He is warning all of us that he wants our change all right, 'loose change',
              pocket change', social change and political change... So people wake up. For
              if you don't the change you get may not be the change you were expecting or
              the change you wanted.

              To close my screed, I want to leave you with some JM predictions in the event the junior Senator from Illinois (Obama) becomes President and especially
              if the House and Senate are veto proof.

              1). Strict new gun laws will be enacted even though he promised he would not

              2). The phrase "In God We Trust" will be removed from all currency.

              3). He will back away from his pledge to Israel and leave them to the wolves
              of Islam.

              4). Hillary Clinton will be named to the Supreme Court.

              5). Tax rates will return to their highest levels in 30 years.

              6). The capital gains tax will be at least double current levels.

              7). Retired Army General Wesley Clark will be named Secretary of Defense.

              8). The borders will be 'basically open' to all comers; especially those from
              the Middle East and South America.

              9). Amnesty will be granted to all illegals now in the U.S regardless of
              status, even gang members (MS-13). And ...

              10). The war in Iraq will be brought to an abrupt end, and the results will
              be tragic, and the consequences to our military will be devastating.

              I realize that my predictions may not sit too well with some people and the
              best we could all hope for is that I am totally wrong. Any bets?

              Jerry Molen
              Lauren ~The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. ~
              Martin Luther King, Jr.


              • #8
                Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

                Great Article, LaurenB!!

                It's very simple. If you want to keep your money, vote McCain.

                If you want the government to take your money so that you have less, then Obama is your man.

                For me, I want to keep all that I earn. I don't want to be taxed to death like Obama would do.

                My man is McCain!!


                • #9
                  Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

                  Ya know, I don't even mind being taxed so much if it's going for a good purpose. BUT - if I am working my ass off so that others can sit at home on their butts producing babies like an assembly line? So that others can depend on Government Assistance rather than getting a job or two or three like the rest of us???

                  NO. DO NOT TAKE MONEY FROM MY HARD WORKING BUTT TO GIVE IT TO ILLEGALS, AND FOLKS THAT JUST WANT A FREE RIDE. Welfare and assistance is a great thing for those that are down on their luck TEMPORARILY. I have no problem with that. But, the scumbags that make their living off of MY taxes and do NOTHING to support themselves?? And, raise their children to do the same??? OH, HELL NO.

                  I was a single Mom that worked two jobs and at one time 3 just to take care of myself and my children. NO Assistance, although, I could have used some help from time to time, - but, IF I had sought help, it would have been on an extremely short time period.....
                  Lauren ~The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. ~
                  Martin Luther King, Jr.


                  • #10
                    Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

                    me to hall


                    • #11
                      Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

                      Thank-you Lauren! We have great books in common and also common beliefs. Thanks for posting the other side!


                      • #12
                        Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer


                        I know Jerry!

                        My sister has worked with him on several projects, and I would run into him on the Universal lot or social/working events. Our offices were right acroos from Spielberg's.

                        I found him to be a decent guy!

                        Wow seeing his name really brings back memories!


                        • #13
                          Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

                          Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                          So that is why he is the first black american running for president ? Why not the first biracial american running for president ??? just wondering??
                          And I don'r know what the " one drop rule " means or refers to ??

                          Beats me!

                          However, if you truly have interest in the "one drop rule" you may find info at the following:


                          In fact, there is quite a lot of information on both of these sites. Some research/facts that may educate and surprise you.
                          Last edited by Buckwheat2; 06-20-2008, 01:14 AM.


                          • #14
                            Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

                            It's going to be a big election this year. We have so many problems going on, war, economy, taxes etc... I see businesses are closing, many people not going out to resturants or driving around,food & utilites going up,so much going on. What is the answer?? Whoever gets in will be wrong at times & right at times. I'm just sitting on the fence to see what will go on.


                            • #15
                              Re: A Warning to MY Old Republican Friends by Frank Schaeffer

                              A couple of the last few politically based discussions have gotten rather heated, and some feelings were hurt. I ask again that you discuss politics privately.