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The Problem with the Republican Party and the Religious Right

September 28th 2005

The Problem with the Republican Party and the Religious Right

Problem with the Party

I haven’t been a liberal my whole life, but I’ve always had liberal tendencies.  When I was old enough to vote for the first time, I voted for Reagan, and then voted again for Bush the First, but during that time I not only became disenchanted with the Republicans but started to see them in an entirely new light.  As someone who isn’t religious and doesn’t believe in censorship, the Moral Majority movement and the increasing influence of the Religious Right within the Republican Party concerned me greatly.  The final straw, however, was when I realized that the main reason that I was a Republican had to do with taxes, and I didn’t make enough income that anything they did would really have a positive effect on my personal finances.

As it turned out, I am liberal and I am not ashamed of it in the least.  The Republican blowhards have done a great job demonizing liberals which has helped them greatly.  Indeed, if many of their Republican supporters realized how ineffective they were and how their policies were detrimental to them, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of them leave the party.  They wouldn’t become Democrats, because as bad as the Republicans are,  at least they have their s**t together.  In fact, the only reason I’ve registered Democratic is because they don’t have an Anti-Republican party… yet.

Liberal is the way the world is; conservative is the way people would like the world to be.  As time moves forward, so does progress and change.  Plants and animals adapt to the changes of the world around them, and as much as man would like to freeze the world around him so that it doesn’t move forward,  it just isn’t possible.  I may be a rarity, but I don’t look to the past with a pie-eyed selective memory that most do, nor do I have remorse for the passing of time.  No matter what we do, we cannot turn back the hands of time, we cannot stop progress, we cannot suppress out inevitable death. 

 
Politics

We also cannot go back to a simpler time no matter how rose colored our hindsight is.  Besides, a lot of what made the past simpler was naivety.  I’m sorry to tell you, but except for things that are rooted in technology, we had the same problems back then as we do now, but without the 24/7 coverage of the sensationalist news media.  Kidnappings, molestations, rapes, murders, none of these are new just because they’re news.  In fact, with technological improvements and better reporting today, I wouldn’t be surprised if there has been a decline in such abhorrent behavior.

I also have a strong belief in personal liberties and privacy which is at odds with the current Republican Party.   Government has no business legislating morality, period.  Drugs, prostitution, and bedroom behavior - the government should have no interest in any of these.  As long as you aren’t hurting someone else or putting someone else in danger, government should keep out of it. 

Many would say that this makes me a Libertarian, but I differ from the Libertarians on many key issues, as well.  Like a Libertarian, I believe that the government should be there to provide protection for me from hostiles, whether they are in another country or the next county over.  For me, though, providing protections also means protecting the environment and not allowing companies to pollute the air, land, and water as they please. 

Health care, public education and programs for the poor also collectively improve society.  “Trickle down” economics is a crock of crap sold by those who trickle down upon you.  If you really want to increase tax revenue without raising taxes, you provide the poor with a means to increase their earnings rather then providing the well-off with more money to hide in tax shelters and savings.  An educated, healthy person is more beneficial to society and stands a better chance of improving the well-being of his life and his offspring’s.  Don’t go and change the healthcare system to be exactly like Canada’s if that gives you the heebee jeebees, but make some changes to it.  Change it to a single payer system like Medicare.  

 

I also am for public education.  An educated society is collectively better than a society in which education is only available to those that can afford it or to those that have it provided for in the form of charity.  Public education support shouldn’t stop when you graduate from high school; it should be provided through the end of college, as well (I’m talking about state schools, colleges like USC, Harvard, etc should remain private).  The more educated people are, the more likely they are to be a productive member of society in which they will likely pay back their education in their higher payroll taxes, thus providing higher revenue for the government.  They will also be more competitive in this ever shrinking world than those without an education.

I’m not advocating handouts for anyone that wants one; I do expect a certain level of personal responsibility, but I do believe that government can do more to improve society than private organizations can accomplish.  A lot of times this looks better in theory than in practice, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying.  Sure, the current administration is proving this to be wrong, but isn’t that what they set out to do in the first place?  

 

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By John Conrad
Mr. Conrad is a writer based in Southern California

 

 

Keywords and misspellings: republicon democrat dimocrat


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM