Why I (still) won’t vote Republican, and why you shouldn’t either.
Actually, the reasons are many and varied, but I’ll stick with the big ones for right now.
- This current economic mess was caused by Republican deregulation. This is a Bush recession and has been since it started in the fall of 2008. Furthermore, had McCain been elected that year, unemployment extensions passed over the last couple years would not have been offered, or perhaps only the first would have been. I would be homeless right now without those extensions.
- ‘Fiscal responsibility’. The Republicans don’t have it. Of the national debt since 1977, Republican spending has added twice what Democratic spending has: $7.5 trillion under Reagan and the Bushes (and $4.3 trillion of that was Bush II all by himself) versus $3.7 trillion under Carter, Clinton and Obama. Yes, that’s right. Of the debt and spending that the Republicans are whining about, their own man is personally responsible for more of it than the last three Democratic presidents combined.
- The party has mistaken their own religious beliefs for Constitutional government, as worst typified by their near-absolute opposition to equal marriage rights. Are there a few Republicans who support equal marriage rights? Yes. Are they doing anything within their party about that? Absolutely not, as far as I’ve seen. And absent a Constitutional objection to gay marriage, they continue to push their religious objections.
Wanna know how many churches have been forced to perform a same-sex marriage in violation of their internal canon law? None. Zero. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not a damned one. Which is as it should be. The churches get to make their own rules, so long as they don’t contravene certain basic health and safety rules. Even the health rules are weakened—Christian Scientists who refuse medical treatment, for example (although refusing medical care for their minor children is another matter entirely).
The tradeoff in a civil society for non-interference by the government is that they do not get to impose their canon law on non-believers. You wouldn’t impose Jewish marriage rules on a couple Baptists getting married. Why would you impose Christian rules on Atheists?
Or, to put it more bluntly, why would I consider voting for a party that considers legalized discrimination against me to be a good and desirable thing? For that matter, why would anyone support a group that favors institutionalized discrimination of any sort?
- The Tea Party. How is it that a few common sense and mild reforms of the health insurance system is the end of the Republic, but these people were nowhere to be seen when Dubya’s administration was authorizing torture and suspending habeas corpus.
As far as I’m concerned, the whole teabagger movement is just a figleaf for an inner cadre of leaders who simply can’t accept that a black man is president. Sure, they claim that the incredibly racist signs that keep showing up at their rallies are “not our people”… but funny how they keep turning up, and how we never see those sign-carriers ejected from the rallies or from the organization.
With regard to “Obamacare”: I’m all for it, and it needs to go farther. I haven’t had medical coverage in ten years. I thought this was a first-world civilized nation. Silly me.
- The GOP’s lapdog attitude toward business is appalling, and their solution to the problems we have is to apply more of what caused the problem in the first place: deregulation. There is nothing wrong with some basic, common-sense regulation of business. We’ve seen what happens when they don’t have oversight—you get Enron, you get the housing market crash, you get the near-depression we have right now.
I want to spend some more time on that financial thing.
The fact, supported by all the historical data, is that Democrats are better for the economy than Republicans are, and always have been.
Under Obama, we’ve already erased the losses on the Dow incurred under Dubya—the Dow stood at 10,581.90 the day Dubya took office and at 7949.09 on the morning of Inauguration Day, 2009 — a loss of 25%. As of 10/27/2010, it’s at 11126.28, gaining back everything Dubya lost and even topping the mark at the end of Clinton’s term. The other markets are all close to their pre-Bush levels —and all well above Bush’s closing levels.
Only three presidents have posted market losses between their first day of office and their last — and all three are Republicans: Hoover (lost 83.54%), Nixon (lost 16.10%) and Bush II (lost 24.88%). Nixon and Bush II extended their losses across all four major markets: the Dow, the NYSE, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ.
The president under whom all four markets posted their largest gains? Bill Clinton. All four markets.
President under whom they performed worst? For the Dow, Herbert Hoover. For the NYSE, Richard Nixon. For both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq? Dubya.
The answer is clear. If you vote Republican, you are voting to worsen our economy.