I have to begin with a caveat–not to soften my stance, but to make a distinction.
I do not hate conservatives.
In the many debates I’ve had with my conservative friends we could usually get to a point where finding some middle-ground at least seemed possible–if we didn’t reach it outright. There are, of course, plenty of instances where we’ve agreed to disagree but it’s clear enough that our core principles aren’t so far apart. I guess I’m saying that most of the conservatives that I’ve met have been pretty decent people. They love America and they want what’s best for it. That’s the reason I make the distinction.
The Republican party does not represent conservatives. Conservatives believe in fiscal responsibility, limited government, low taxes, a minimal (or nonexistent) welfare state, and strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. However:
- No Republican president has overseen a balanced budget in over 30 years. (Anyone arguing that it was the Newt Gingrich-led congress that balanced the budget during Bill Clinton’s presidency would then have to explain why there wasn’t even an attempt to balance the budget under George W. Bush even though the GOP continued to control both houses of congress for his first 6 years in office). Don’t buy into the attacks on Clinton or Obama, the GOP’s premise is that Republicans are fiscally responsible so the burden is on them to show that responsibility.
- Republicans don’t want limited government. They want to stick their noses into our bedrooms, books, movies, music, schools, women’s wombs (figuratively), and hammer us over the head with their fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible–which flies in the face of the 1st (FIRST!) Amendment. President George W. Bush and his Republican-led congress actually increased the size of the federal government and attached ineffective, wasteful spending programs to Medicare and the Department of Education among others.
- Republicans don’t want lower taxes; they do want to lower taxes for the rich, as evidenced by their intransigence on such things as corporate subsidies and the Bush Era tax cuts. But their attempts to repeal the home mortgage interest deduction and shift the payroll tax credit away from employees, both of which primarily benefit the middle-class, show their true colors. How can taxes affecting the middle-class not count?
Republicans don’t want to end welfare. Well, they want to end it for the poor and unemployed (or at least humiliate them by requiring them to take drug tests and other such folderol). But they will fight tooth and nail to make sure the oil industry keeps every penny of their subsidies, even though big oil companies are among the most profitable businesses in the world. As a side note, many of the oil subsidies began as incentives to spur investment in oil production–which we can all agree is probably not necessary anymore. Yet those same Republicans fighting to keep oil subsidies chafe against providing similar subsidies to clean and renewable energy.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made the point. Republicans do not represent conservatives. To be fair, Democrats are even worse at representing progressives, and disregard of the population is a common practice among politicians. It’s the reason I have disdain for the Democrats as well (I’ll get to that later). The only real difference between the two parties is that Democrats still believe the government has a role in assisting the disabled and disadvantaged. Republicans could care less.
Republicans see America from one perspective: the white heterosexual Christian male. Obviously, a WASPy straight guy is a perfectly fine thing to be. The problem is, the further you identify away from that, the more you find the Republicans pissing in your eye. If you’re black, LGBT, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Native American, or a woman, they have no interest in helping you get to equal footing. They admit there is discrimination, but do nothing to combat it…unless the they feel the discrimination goes against whites.
Thus we come to the first reason I hate the GOP: Bigotry.
Believe me, it’s the bread and butter of Republican politics. Stay tuned for for part 1 to see why.
(Republican money machine image from: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-the-gop-became-the-party-of-the-rich-20111109. Most profitable businesses image from: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/12/most-profitable-global-companies/. Federal debt chart from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Federal_Debt_1901-2010_.jpg)