Monday, November 03, 2008

Almost Home

Just think: 48 hours from now, there won't be any more political commercials on television.

Obama's going to be the next president, for good or bad. I've actually considered voting for McCain a couple times over the past few days, simply to try and prove the media and polling services wrong. But even the delightful promise of schadenfreude, along with the fear of a single-party government, isn't enough for me to put Palin in the VP chair. I can't do it.

She represents everything that is wrong with today's Republican party. The anti-intellectual intolerance of her supporters is revolting, and after a disastrous election, one can only hope the Republican party will move away from their shrinking, shrieking "base".

As the Conservative Backlash comes to a close in America, let's examine the legacy of Republican governance. For 30 years, Republicans have mostly controlled the presidency (except for Clinton, of course) and during his terms they controlled both houses of Congress. Bear in mind that the Republican Party was once, and still claims to be, the party of limited government. So what, exactly, have they limited?
  • Massive, historic, egregious increases in both government spending and debt.
  • By remaining steady at 35%, our corporate tax rate has gone from one of the lowest in the world to the second highest.
  • Selective and ineffective deregulation. While Wall Street firms were playing fast and loose with your money, businesses of all sizes struggled to comply with SarbOx. Thanks to onerous legislation and high tax rates, more businesses than ever are listing in other countries, creating fewer American jobs and sending needed tax revenues somewhere else.
  • A short-sighted and failed energy policy. Instead of deregulating in this sector, which would have allowed additional American drilling and more nuclear plants, Republicans thought it was more important to let financial institutions create opaque and reckless derivatives. Our energy dependence is worse than ever, and thanks to W's bumbling foreign policy, we're dependent on countries that despise us more than ever.
  • A steady erosion of personal freedoms. The Patriot Act allows American citizens to have their telephone calls monitored, and to be imprisoned indefinitely without a trial for communicating with suspected terrorists. Abortion rights have been curtailed nationwide.

What exactly is conservative about these dubious accomplishments? What's limited about government fiscal policy or interference in my personal life? Thirty years of power wasted on pork-barrel projects, the suppression of scientific discovery, and trying to impeach the only responsible president of my lifetime.

So what to do tomorrow? I can't bring myself to vote for Obama either, in spite of Sherry's impassioned plea. It's great that he wants to increase federal funding for education, but where's the money coming from? He's going to cut taxes for 95% of Americans too, right? And nationalize health care! And increase our military presence in Afghanistan. And pass another economic stimulus package. No word yet on which government programs he's planning to slash to raise all the needed money, most likely because he isn't planning to cut any of them. We'll swirl further down the deficit spiral, raising taxes on investment, keeping corporate rates non-competitively high, sending more jobs and more tax revenues overseas.

No, Obama's not the answer. Somehow, some way, we need to limit government. And it's not happening this election cycle. I can only hope that a crushing, historic defeat of the Republicans will cause some soul-searching and a return to the common-sense principles on which the party was founded. We need to reject the stupid "Guns, God, and gays" platform and start talking about responsible spending in conjunction with personal freedoms.

So I'll use my measly vote to send a message, however small and meaningless it might be. I'm voting Libertarian, starting with Bob Barr for president, and every other office where a Libertarian is running. I encourage you to do the same. Your vote won't influence the outcome tomorrow, so use it to tell the Republicans that they aren't a valid choice anymore. Tell them the anti-intellctual madness stops here.

Tell them we've evolved.

2 Comments:

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

The Libertarians already got my vote all the way down the ticket on my absentee ballot.

 
At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Great minds think alike and the thoughts of fools seldom differ."

Glad to see we're on the same page here sweet tea.

Now off to my math quiz.....

 

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