What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Accessories. I’ve been using the same iPhone case manufacturer since sometime around the 3rd generation. It appears that sometime early this year, they’ve gone defunct. That means I have a new phone coming tomorrow and now have to go through the paces of finding someone else who makes as close an approximation as what I use to be able to get, because, let’s face it, I’m not going to be satisfied with the first two or three or dozen I try. They’ll probably all be fine cases in theory, but none of them will be exactly what I wanted.  Sigh. It’s going to be stupid and expensive and I don’t want to do it.

2. Vaccine. Reports this week are there’s a COVID-19 vaccine coming soon from Pfizer. Moderna seems to be hot on their heels with their own version. It looks like a footrace to see who will be first to market and able to make a supply chain work effectively. If your biggest concern is fighting back against the virus, this is all basically good news. My contrarian instinct, though, can’t help but remind me that the arrival of a vaccine is the beginning of the end of the golden age of working from home. Getting “back to normal” will inevitably sign the death knell of being home all day with the animals and give the upper hand back to bosses who value asses in chairs more than measurable productivity… and that’s not so much annoying as it is sad.

3. The Republican Party. Do I really need to even explain this one? As a (mostly) lifelong Republican, I’m embarrassed by the elected members of the party who are too cowed by the ebbing power of the president to say publicly that Donald Trump has not won reelection. The numbers tell the tale. I know that constituents will almost always rather hear sweet lies than hard truths and staying elected means not pissing off your base too badly. Even knowing that, I can’t quite get past the feeling that the Republican Party establishment is, perhaps as soon as the Georgia special election in January, going to be punished for its cowardice in a moment that begs them to tell truth to power.

Habemus nominee…

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Republican Party finally has a nominee for president. Thanks for that, Texas. Sure, we’ve all known where it was headed for a couple of months now, but making it official seems like sort of a big deal to the media anyway. It means we can all now all get on board with the serious business of beating the other side to a bloody pulp and proclaiming the last man standing our king for the next four years. What’s not to like about that, right?

I wish I could vote for half of Mitt Romney. The half that says he wants to control spending and keep taxes at something close to a manageable level. The half that wants to use the federal government to regulate our personal lives I’d like to disavow and never speak of again. Once again, it appears I’ll be going to the voting booth, holding my nose, and voting for the least sucky of a hugely sucky pair of contenders… Unless he picks some ridiculous crackpot running mate. Then I’ll probably just stay home and weep for my country.

Breaking Ranks…

I have been a Republican for all of my adult life. I registered a Republican in 1996, but have stood on Republican principles since long before my eligibility to cast a ballot. For me, the Republican Party stood for small government, low taxes and deficit reduction, a strong national defense, and maxim personal freedom consistent with public safety. Sadly, the Republican Party that I grew up in, the Party of Eisenhower, of Goldwater, of Reagan has is no longer recognizable and has become a Party of spiraling deficit, exploding government, and religious dogma. It’s a Party I can no longer endorse or support.

Earlier this week, I cast my ballot for the last time as a member of the Republican Party. As soon as conveniently possible, I intend to formally register as an Independent, with a strong leaning towards the Libertarian Party. For me, this is an intensely personal decision and one that I have arrived at only after deep introspection. Despite that, I proceed in full confidence that it is the right, and ultimately, the only decision I could make.

I continue to believe that smaller and less expensive government is better and that the federal government has only several express purposes. Among these is the protection of personal property, national defense, and a very tightly restricted regulatory role in issues of interstate commerce. Government should not, and of right must not, impose religious tests or dogmas on its citizens and should pursue an agenda of allowing the greatest amount of personal liberty consistent with national security. Succinctly, what I expect from the government is to be protected from crime, terrorism, and external foreign threats. Otherwise, what I wish most from government is to be left alone to live my life in liberty and in the pursuit of happiness.

I regret that I can no longer do so within the umbrella of the Republican Party.