I might vote Republican. Sike.
October 14th, 2008 by Dan Charnas
If the Republicans truly were who they said they were, I might vote Republican.
If the Republicans were truly fiscally responsible, they might have my vote. It’s good to spend less than you make. But the past three Republican administrations have presided over the biggest expansion of debt in U.S. history.
If the Republicans were truly for lower taxes, they might have my vote. But the taxes they lower are for businesses and the ultra rich. Folks who make 50 grand a year lose a third of their salary, so someone who makes a million a year can save 100 grand.
If the Republicans were truly for a strong defense, they might have my vote. But the Republican wars seem to make us weaker. Their bungling of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq give me absolutely no confidence.
If the Republicans truly took our enemies seriously, they might have my vote. But instead of using covert operations and espionage that might create real intelligence about terrorists, they launch full-scale invasions of countries that have nothing to do with terrorism.
If the Republicans were truly tough, they might have my vote. But the Republicans of today are not about being tough. They are about looking tough.
If the Republicans were truly for free markets, they might have my vote. But “free markets” under Republican rule mean handouts for the rich, not the poor.
If the Republicans were truly for liberty and individual responsibility, they might have my vote. But while Republicans don’t want the government telling them where to send their kids to school, they have no problem telling women what to do with their bodies, or censoring what people should watch, hear and read.
If the Republicans were truly for Christian ethics, morality and spirituality, they might have my vote… and I’m Jewish. But so many Republicans vote for policies that are the antithesis of the teachings of Jesus, who called for stewardship of the land, loving your neighbor, and turning the other cheek. Remember, Jesus defended the whore, and despised the money-changers.
If the Republicans were truly the party of Lincoln, they might have my vote. But not since Eisenhower sent troops to Central High in Little Rock have the Republicans been on the side of African-Americans.
So what are the Republicans truly about? They’re not about the lofty ideals of fiscal responsibility, free markets and morality. Republicans are about preserving privilege. For well-off Americans and big business, Republicans promise that no one will share their wealth. And for the white working class, Republicans promise that they will not have to share power with anyone who doesn’t think like them, or look like them.
The Republicans of today are an alliance of the wealthy and the scared. The wealthy get the scared to vote with them by appealing to their fears. That’s all.
One day, if the Republicans do become a party of preserving values instead of privilege, they might have my vote. We might have a true choice. But today, we have no choice. The Democrats, for better or for worse, are the only party who come close to representing the interests of the diverse American majority.
Journalist, New York, NY