Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Truth About Republicans

For most of my life I have heard the term “Tax and Spend Liberals” hurled about by conservative republicans. They have convinced the populace that all Democrats are liberals and that all liberals want to do is take money out of your pockets and spend it on unnecessary things.

The problem with this myth is that, in my lifetime, I have seen that when Democrats spend, they invest in our country and its people. They invest in education, healthcare and technologies that help to create jobs. They invest in infrastructure and support family farms. They invest money in the people of this country in order to give them the opportunity to lift themselves up and experience the American Dream.

For most of my life I have witnessed how republicans manage the federal budget. They gin up some phony or semi-plausible threat, then spend the budget and borrow more to buy weapons. Every republican administration in my lifetime has run up ever larger budget deficits. They mortgage the financial futures of our children and grandchildren to enrich their friends in the military-industrial complex. Yet they have anointed themselves the “fiscally responsible” party.

Occasionally, in order to justify their massive military spending, they send the military into war in some small nation, or, as is the case with the current administration, embroil us in unending occupations in hostile places fueling hatred of foreign people towards our country. They never advocate for better veterans benefits, but they have anointed themselves the party that “supports” the troops.

They support and advocate policies that aid multinational corporations in making virtual slaves out of the people in poor countries and advocate and abet the destruction of labor unions that protect worker’s rights in this country. They wink and look the other way as companies hire illegal immigrants at low wages, effectively lowering wages for all citizens and then demonize the immigrants who have come here to take those jobs and do nothing to punish the companies that hire them. Then they claim to be the only party with answers to our immigration problems.

There has been a drumbeat of deregulation coming from the conservative republican branch for decades and when they were able to achieve power, they sold out the taxpayers to special interests for power and prestige, neglected the populace and infrastructure and pulled apart the framework of laws that kept our economy balanced. This has resulted in the current financial crisis that threatens to destroy our banking industry, taking businesses, jobs, savings and homes down with it. They got what they wanted, did what they told us was best, reaped the financial rewards and now the bill has come due. They say they believe in personal accountability and small government. Then why are they now expecting the taxpayer to pay the price for their mistakes and failures?

One of the republican party’s most favorite lines has been, “whenever there’s a problem, liberals think you can just throw money at it and it will go away.” Liberals and Democrats want to “throw money” at things like the rising cost of a college education, the rising cost of healthcare, environmental concerns, alternative energy sources, aging roads and bridges, feeding the hungry, housing the poor, keeping jobs in America, daycare for working parents, and funding social security for the aged and disabled. How ironic now that the republicans are so eager to throw $700 Billion in taxpayer money at Wall Street, with little to no discernable oversight as to how it will be spent. Kind of the same way that the Bush administration sent millions of dollars in cash over to Iraq at the beginning of the occupation, supposedly to help rebuild the country and cannot account for where the money went. They sell themselves as the only party that can be trusted with our money, but they act like money grows on trees and everything is free.

Over the course of my life, conservatives have successfully demonized lawyers, teachers, the poor, patriotic Americans, journalists, whistle-blowers, and the American worker. They demonized lawyers and journalists so that when they started deregulating business, breaking laws, marginalizing minority populations, caging votes, destabilizing the middle class economy, waging unilateral wars, taking away our constitutional rights and freedoms and undermining the constitution with their notion of the “unitary executive,” there would be no credible way to fight them. If you are a lawyer and you don’t like what they are doing, you are communist, anti-American, weak, liberal. If you are a journalist that tries to report what they are doing; same smear tactic. If you are a concerned citizen that feels a duty to object to these tactics, you are a subversive, or perhaps even a terrorist and are spied on, threatened and intimidated. Republicans have brought a new level of secrecy and insidious vindictiveness to government while they systematically did away with democratic practices. But the republican party has anointed itself as the “real patriots.”

The republican party has claimed to be the party of law and order. They support mandatory sentencing and the death penalty. They have enacted increased sentencing guidelines for drug crimes and when the prisons were full to overflowing, supported the privatization of the correctional system. Now private companies are profiting off of taxpayer dollars and the more criminals they have, the more money they make. Yet the “war on drugs” and mandatory sentencing have done nothing to curb drug use or deter drug crimes and violence. The republican party has only served to make prison companies richer.

And if republicans are the party of law and order, why do they hold themselves above the law by trying to wiggle out of convictions, refusing to cooperate in investigations, and ignoring legally issued subpoenas? Why do they insist on secrecy and why have they politicized the federal justice system by firing impartial judges and appointing cronies and party operatives? That’s not equal justice, that is double-standard and despotic rule.

Republicans reached out to Christian groups, convinced them that they were being oppressed in a majority-Christian society and promised to institute Christian-based laws and programs. As soon as they achieved office, they forgot about all of these promises and engaged in behavior most unChristian. They have used Christianity as a wedge to divide us. Their only success was in the funneling of taxpayer funds to favored non-profit and presumably faith-based organizations with no oversight as to where and how it was used and causing resentment and division among people of differing faiths and denominations.

It is PAST TIME for this nonsense to end. It is time for every citizen in this nation to examine the facts, the evidence, the record and the recent history of the republican party and to question their claims. It is time for us to see the realities of our situation and to stop living in denial. This particular “conservative” movement has proven itself a failure in every possible way. This is NOT your parents’ Republican Party; we can’t trust these people.

These republicans are not tax and spend, but they ARE borrow and spend. Which is worse?

These republicans create programs ONLY to funnel taxpayer money to enrich their friends and gain power. They do nothing to invest in the American people. Would you rather have your money used to make the enrich the wealthy or to fund education and create jobs for working people?

These republicans DO NOT have the answers to solve our current problems because their policies have CAUSED the current crises. They deregulated the banking and financial services industry and now they refuse to take responsibility, but point the finger of blame at the working poor. John McCain wants to deregulate the health insurance industry next. Are you willing to take that gamble?

These republicans have had their way for the past twelve years in Congress. They made a promise to all of us in 1994 that, if elected, they would clean up the government, restore accountability, cut wasteful spending, eliminate pork, and create jobs and opportunity for working people. They did the EXACT opposite.

These republicans have presided over a new version of the Do-Nothing Congress, convening only two days per week, involving themselves in bribery scandals, handing out government money to special interests, taking gifts and free trips from lobbyists and removing rules and regulations to further enrich bankers and Wall Street CEOs. These republicans expanded presidential powers in unconstitutional ways, neglected their duties of oversight, and drove our nation into massive debt to Communist China.

Who has suffered? Our military men and women and their families, working class people, children, small businesses, homeowners, future generations of taxpayers and now it has started to affect our whole society. Rising prices, lower wage jobs, war, rising education and healthcare costs, limits on lending, a housing market crash, a banking crisis and a stockmarket crash along with failure to respond properly to two natural disasters, a global environmental crisis and global terrorism are the legacy of these republicans.

It is time to vote these republicans out of every office at both state and federal levels and reject their failed policies and philosophies. These republicans are not the “values” party; they have no values.

The American people still have values. We are patriotic, spiritual, hard-working, intelligent, willing to fight and ready for change. Let's tell these republicans to hit the road and never come back.

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