Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Why Republicans Now Suck

I don't belong to any political party. I have voted for Republican presidential candidates as well as for Democrat candidates. But ever since George W. Bush was elected president, the Republican Party has gone brain dead. And here are some reasons I may never vote Republican again.

Republicans want to privatize everything. That's a bad idea for several reasons. First and foremost, there are some projects that are too big for private enterprise to do properly, or even to do at all. Projects such as highway construction, dam building, and mass transit services are best left to the government. But beyond that, consider services such as health care or the Post Office. Stick a 44-cent stamp on an envelope; drop it in a mailbox, and it can be delivered anywhere in the country within two or three days. Ask a private company like FedEx or UPS to do that and you'll be laughed at. The main reason is profit. I have nothing at all against a private citizen turning a profit, or even getting rich. But profit is what causes a product or service to cost more than it would if there were no profit. If the Post Office had to turn a profit it would mean mailing a letter might cost several times more than it costs now.

Consider privatized education as an example. In Indiana, a parent can take a voucher payment from the state and use it to send their children to a private school. Or parents can choose to enroll their children in privately-run charter schools. Many of these schools are run by for-profit companies. So, on the one hand, you can spend X dollars for public school education, or you can spend the same X dollars for a for-profit private or charter school. The difference is that with the second option a good chunk of X is used to line the pockets of the CEO who runs the company, plus any shareholders. But with public education, there is no profit taken, so all the money goes for education. Use the same analogy for health care. If health care were provided free to the public by the government, there would be no one skimming a profit off the top. As it is, insurance companies take their share first and whatever is left can go to make you well.

Mass transit, health care, education (including higher education), road construction, and mail service are all essential services that most, if not all, people use. As such, no one should be taking a profit from them. They should be operated by the government. That's not to say that private enterprise can't also offer the same service at a profit. FedEx, for example, can deliver a letter the same as the Post Office. And if someone would rather a private company provide them with a service that the government supplies for free, that should be their choice. But they will pay a premium for the private service. The bottom line, though, is that essential services should be handled by the government so that they can be provided to everyone at minimal cost.

Republicans these days also seem to be obsessed with controlling the collective morality of the populace. Republicans want to do things like outlaw all abortions, outlaw homosexual marriage, teach Creation in public school science classrooms, allow teachers to lead Christian prayers in public schools, even ban birth control. Not everybody in America is a Christian or even religious. They may be the minority, but the rights of the minority are upheld by our constitution. Of course, not every Republican wants these things, but the more conservative among them do, and they are by far the most vocal. Many conservatives want to ram their morality down the throats of everyone by means of legislation.

These reasons are why electing a conservative Republican to any office is dangerous. Electing a Republican from among the current slate of presidential candidates would be disastrous. Romney is probably the most reasonable of the bunch, but he's only reasonable through comparison. The country might survive a Romney presidency, just as it survived George W. Bush, but it would be an oppressive four years. If any one of the other candidates eventually win the office, it is doubtful America could even survive as a world power. We lost our prestige under Bush; it would be far worse under Gingrich or Santorum.

Obama has some weaknesses, as all presidents have had, but he has accomplished a lot over the last three years. His economic policies have turned the economy around. He could have done a lot better, though, had the House been controlled by Democrats.

Republicans are not good for this country. And, as the last few years have shown, Republicans have been disastrous for several states where they took control of the governor's office and the legislative bodies. Let's not let a similar scenario play out for America as a whole.

1 comment:

Patty said...

This new breed of Republicans are dangerous, the Fundamentalist Christians are dangerous. America is in big trouble now that the two groups are indistigishable.