Posted by on Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I would call myself, if I had to pick a label, a social libertarian, fiscal moderate, and an ecological conservative. I am put off by big-government meddling into people's private lives, excessive spending on wars without funding, and government subsidies to oil corporations who are making record profits while my gas prices remain high and Wall Street speculators make out like bandits.
I am frustrated by the waste of my tax dollars on the burgeoning prison industry, the failed War on Drugs, the erosion of civil rights (via President Obama's approval of the NDAA and the extension of the Patriot Act) and the general rape and pillage of the land and its denizens without a thought for the long-term ramifications. I believe in equal rights for all, women's reproductive rights, the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, personal responsibility, social responsibility, and investment in this nation's future. I am a staunch believer in the First Amendment and its intent of separation of church and state which protects our freedoms from those who wish to impose their religious beliefs upon us-- and remains one of the most important founding principles of this nation.
I support social security, medicare, a minimum wage, unemployment insurance, affordable health care for all, government stimulus in times of recession, and regulation of the finanical sector (as in the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that was most unfortunately repealed three decades ago). I believe in fighting wars only when those wars are really necessary, doing right by our troops, their families and veterans, and the like. I believe that Congress should abide by the same laws as the rest of us, and take part in the same system of health care, retirement and social security as do the American people they represent.
I believe that, rather than being "evil," government builds our roads and bridges, funds education and national defense, ensures the products that reach the market are safe, and provides other essential services. I am not so much a supporter of "less government" as I am of a more efficient government. I accept the findings of empirical science; that's why, e.g., I get my family a flu shot each year, check the expiration dates on milk, consult the USDA climate charts before choosing what to plant in my garden, and why I believe the scientific journals that inequivocably state that human activity (our carbon burning activities) is directly responsible for the rapidly increasing rate of global warming.
Very few politicians fit my mold. At one time, I was a registered Republican. Currently, I am an Independent who, I suppose, leans left of center--mainly because "center" has been moved so far to the right it is barely visible. The complexities of the myriad factors involved in selecting a single person as head of state leave us wanting in making reasonable decisions. For many, it is, "hold your nose and vote for the least objectionable." Nearly everyone will end up compromising their principles to decide how to cast their vote for President.
The current Republican stance on women's health and basic rights is no more popular with the majority of men than it is with women. Aside from the issues of basic morality and freedom, the idea that "biology is destiny" for women brings out the pragmatic point of view in today's society. Women working outside the home has become a necessity for most of America's households. Men don't want their significant others to be barefoot and pregnant any more than most women do, and yes, single mothers do exist-either by choice or circumstance.
Pragmatism aside however, who do these current crop of GOP candidates think they are to dictate the most basic freedoms of womanhood -- freedoms that were decided many decades ago? How can any rational person not see the connection between lack of birth control, sex education, and the need for abortion? Why would a party that is so against having a social safety net, want women to have more children than they could possibly afford to care for? Do they want to see begging in the streets and large numbers of abandoned children?
If the minds of the current crop of Republican candidates are so irrational, how could anyone possibly consider them for president? You don't have to be a genius to be president, but at the very least, one needs a logical mind that doesn't live in the land of make-believe.
The Republicans are systematically alienating one group after another. It is only a question of whether they are sufficiently abhorrent to enough people to overcome the mindless hatred of President Obama they have managed to nurture, largely through disinformation and fear-mongering.
It appears that the Republicans are betting on that large group of haters to go with their moneyed "One Percenters", who salivate over promises of a license to do whatever they wish in finance, pharmaceuticals, insurance, oil and mineral mining, etc.. Make no mistake - their big backers don't care a whit for all these social issues - they just want the EPA, FDA, SEC, CDC etc. gone or disabled, along with unions and labor laws. The religious and social agenda so frequently touted at an ever increasing screeching intensity is but a smokescreen to cover their real intent.
Fify-one percent of American voters are women. If a bloc like "centrist women" is sufficiently opposed to this agenda, the Republicans may just have blown it. In the end, the GOP may learn the hard way that if you don't respect us, don't expect us.
Tags: gop republican elections president moderate women health care birth control finance gas prices wall street climate change religion voters insurance oil