How Important is
it to Support the GOP Record?
May 1st 2006
The Republican Party must be yearning for those wonderful, hopeful,
victorious days of November, 1994 through January 1995.
They had just conquered the hated Democrats in the first mid-term of the
Clinton presidency. So massive and total was the GOP first congressional
sweep in 40 years that
Time Magazine's cover for the issue reviewing the election featured
an huge elephant crushing a donkey with single foot. The new majority
swept into congress and within hours of opening their first session as
the majority House Republicans passed every plank of its “Contract with
America” as was promised during the campaign.
Senate Republicans, however, rejected and eventually killed the agenda
that won the GOP its Congressional majorities, and the party has since
held its majorities in Congress, but has done little else. It certainly
hasn't managed a conservative, restrained government—especially since
Republican George W. Bush has occupied the White House.
Federal deficits have exploded out of control. Although the government
and GOP supporters won't admit to it, rising prices (once
called inflation) on important goods like food, fuel, and utilities,
are eating away incomes of the non-executive class.
The country is dependent upon third-world investments to sustain its
consumer-based economy. Americans, as a whole, now spend more than they
earn and consume more than they produce.
The mishandling of the currency by the GOP as a public threat pales in
comparison to the building turmoil over immigration. Say supporters of
open borders that those coming to this country from other lands are only
seeking to improve their lives and escape desperate situations in their
homelands. Those who live in the neighborhoods in which the new laborers
are appearing see only that they are taking jobs from friends at lower
wages and no benefits thereby putting downward pressure on the cost of
entering the labor market. Furthermore, they have no connections to the
community but only to their co-workers with whom they mysteriously and
suddenly appeared, and those circles are kept tightly closed by
languages that are largely unknown to preexisting residents.
There is no secret to the fact that immigrant labor, for business owners
and managers, is a convenient method of cutting labor costs and
increasing profits. Republicans, however, won middle class support by
extolling the value and virtue of work over the sloth of depending on
the welfare state. Business exploitation of immigrant labor, though,
cheapens the value of work and reduces the ability of laborers to
support families with their wages. Therefore, Republicans would serve
their stated admiration for the value of work by opposing anything that
erodes it, but to this point Republicans have been curiously ineffective
in stemming the flow of illegal immigration, choosing, instead to pander
to demands from various voting blocks that have supported them to their
If GOP incompetence for managing the currency and labor-related issues
were not enough to cause concern, consider that its administration of
the War Against International Terrorism is actually exacerbating
terrorism. So far the only option offered by the Republican-led
government to reduce the growth of terrorism caused by the fight against
terrorism is to expand the War Against International Terrorism.
Obviously the definition of insanity with Republicans is not, “Doing the
same thing but expecting different results.”
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Perhaps the GOP hopes to win voters with the suggestion that it has
enhanced America's standing in the global economy by helping to open
global markets to American manufacturers as well as serving American
consumers by accessing plentiful supplies of inexpensive consumer
products. The problem with this claim is that evidence seems to suggest
that involving America in the global economy has been largely harmful to
GATT and NAFTA have given America an $800 billion trade deficit and a
total loss of 3 million manufacturing jobs. Many of those jobs have
been transferred to India and China where the demands of
industrialization has increased their importation of crude oil from
4,291,000 barrels per day in 2004 to 5,127,000 as of January 2006.
That is nearly a 20 percent increase in in demand. Oddly, Republicans
have not brought any notice to this fact during their posturing over the
hardships that rising gas prices are causing Americans.
An unfortunate fact for Republicans is that during those short, glorious
days between 1994 and 1996 a movement of populists within the party
began rallying to fight against financial profligacy, uncontrolled
immigration, arrogant interventionist foreign policy decisions, and the
threat of globalist economic myths against the American working middle
class. That movement was slurred as extremist, narrow-minded,
xenophobic, isolationist and protectionist by Republican elites.
In the decade since that movement has been vilified and exiled to the
margins of American political thought America's federal debt has nearly
doubled and the nation's financial future has been placed in the hands
of foreign governments, the population has increased by, perhaps, 20
million illegal immigrants, America has absorbed the acrimony of, among
others, many of the world's 2 billion Muslims, and the American consumer
market, saturated in debt and bankruptcy, is losing its appeal to the
transnational industrialists who are now looking to build their profits
in emerging economies.
Clearly Republicans have not built a record in the past 12 years that
inspires confidence. The only electoral benefit it has during this
campaign year is that their competition, the Democrat Party, is
considerably less focused and competent than are Republicans. Hence the
Republican's biggest benefit is America's greatest detriment.
The question that begs to be asked, in spite of the harsh realities
facing the electorate, is; Are Americans better served by a party that
has a decade-long record of defying its principles and bringing America
to the brink of destruction or by a party with no known agenda, no known
governing philosophy, or no respect for the moral and social traditions
that built the nation.
When looking back on what is known, sometimes it is better to take a
chance with the unknown.
Bob Strodtbeck has been writing editorial
commentaries since 1993. He has professional experiences in
pharmaceuticals, radio, and education. He has also served as a church
elder in an Orlando congregation where he has made his home since email@example.com
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