Friday, June 06, 2008

What it would take to make me vote Republican...

(Citizenship, for a start...)

If you'd asked me a week ago, I'd have said Senator John McCain would come off better in the McCain/Obama November showdown.

But as former Prime Minister Harold Wilson admitted, 'a week is a long time in politics.'

A week later, I think I've got it figured out - and believe the election will go to Barack Obama.

That being said, I'd consider voting for McCain if he could just keep that damn party of his in check. I like McCain. I think he's an honorable and independent politician who represents, in his own stuffy Republican way, real change.

But to make me support McCain, he'd have to make some alterations:

Dump the Social Conservatives: The Republican party is supposed to be the party of liberty and constitution. When it was founded by Thomas Jefferson, his political philosophy was one of personal freedom. These days, the Republican party seems dominated by faithful fascists who want to control every aspect of the American way of life.

Limiting civil rights for gay people. Forcing religious doctrine into the classroom. Censoring freedom of speech in the interests of 'family values.' There is not a single constitutional amendment [Except the 2nd one - Editorial Bear] the social conservatives are unwilling to trample on - all in order to turn America into neat, twee, homogenized Christian Disneyland.

Politically, the social conservatives are dynamite. Evangelicals represent upwards of 80 million Americans and their vote can win or lose elections (just ask John Kerry.) That doesn't change the facts, however. The social conservatives are hypocritical, fascist and unAmerican. Until the Republicans return to their roots and shed these political parasites, they remain unsupportable.

Fix the Damn Budget! Hypocrisy again. The Republicans rant that Democrats will raise taxes - yet our last three Republican presidents have nobbled the economy and crippled the working and middle classes with higher taxes (or rampant inflation.)

The philosophy of the Republican party - and this dates back to Thomas Jefferson as well - is a small federal government. The smallest possible, existing only to organize the operations vital to a country's survival. Things like an effective army, a postal service, federal highways (although even those Jefferson was against.) By keeping federal government to a minimum, the tax burden on American citizens would also be kept to a minimum.

Yet essential to this idea was a government that operated effectively. Instead, we have a bloated federal government that spends far beyond it's means (the taxpayer will feel the burden of the Iraq war for decades to come) and the operations it takes responsibility for are mired in bureaucracy and inefficiency.

If John McCain wants my support, he has to fix Bush's mistakes. The federal government needs to do it's job cost-effectively. No more loans. No more deficits. No more bankrupting and mortgaging off of American assets. If the Republicans honestly want us to trust them with the responsibility of running our nation, prove that they can balance a cheque-book first.

End the Fiscal Dogma - If another Republican raves about Ronald Reagan, I will slap them. Reaganomics was a farce. Ronald Reagan's idea of tax cuts for the rich 'trickling down' to the working and middle classes has been proven not to work. Back when Reagan was slashing his rich friend's tax burden, payroll taxes for the average American actually went up.

Low taxes will stimulate the economy - but not if you give them to the rich. The rich save their extra money, so it doesn't stimulate the economy at all. Only by giving tax cuts to the working and middle class will more money actually be pumped into the economy. Middle class Americans actually have to spend the money they get - on gas, clothes, food and utilities. Giving 100 working class Americans $1,000 will see more money put back into the American economy than giving 1 rich American $100,000. Yet the Republican party is too stupid (or too politicised by rich people) to see this. As a result, the poor make less (the bottom 90% of Americans saw a dismal 3% increase in income) while the rich make more (the richest 10% saw their income raised by 31%.)

I'm not suggesting any socialist rubbish. I'm not advocating taxing the rich any more. I don't want to redistribute wealth. I want tax cuts, that's all. I want an efficiently run government to reduce the tax burden it places on it's citizens - specifically it's middle and working class citizens.

When it comes down to it, there's no more Republican philosophy than that.

In the Mean Time...

Pipe dreams.

When it comes down to it, that's all my ranting comes down to. The fact is, the Republican party isn't going to change. They're not going to realise overnight what a farce they've become and how removed they are from the party of Jefferson and later Lincoln.

Like the oil industry it's so entrenched with, the Republican party has a (generally) successful strategy for success and they're not interested in changing it - even if they are vaguely aware that the resources they've relied on for so long are drying up.

Until reality bites, I'm going to have to support Obama. Not that he isn't without his faults - and not that the Democratic Party isn't almost as stupid as the Republican party. For many people, Barack Obama and the Democrats offer the possibility of change. As far as I'm concerned, they just offer the lesser of two evils.

I'll leave you with some wise words from the great American himself - highlighting a problem that has plagued American politics since the day it was conceived.

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." Thomas Jefferson


FB said...

Where you make your mistake, Roly, is in assuming you are a Republican in the US since you voted Tory in Blighty. If you want the closest party to the UK Tories in the US, the answer is that you are a Democrat.

Once you've made this leap, your confusion will dissolve.

Reverse_Vampyr said...

GREAT post! While I don't entirely agree with your assessment of Reaganomics, you are spot on with the problems in the Republican party and we agree on quite a bit.

TheCottonWife said...

Ooh - A Jefferson quote! You've won over this Virginian.