Between 6 and 8 things that kill the Republican party in my book
|My internet was out recently, and suddenly I was left with nothing to do. So, I decided to editorialize until my net got working again. I think I'm spoiling for a good political argument, because my roommate leaves The Bible Network on 24/7 because he's convinced it keeps his dog from becoming anxiety-ridden in his absence. And, between pledge drives I often get the pleasure of hearing somebody, who almost invariably has a southern accent, explaining the whole conservative agenda and how America is going to go to hell unless you buy their new book and get saved and blah blah blah.
Anyway, here it is. Feel free to dispute, and my "reasons I hate being a liberal" bit is coming soon.
1) I'm not a Christian, and I think championing the Christian cause above all others is only a hair better then racism.
I'm an Atheist, and it's my right as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. America was founded with a specifically open view on religion, and the separation of church and state. I understand that the majority of the country is Christian, but a very sizable of Americans are not, and it's important that we're still here too, and still have the same rights as everybody else. To practice (or not practice) as we see fit and to be not-harassed over it. I'm not going to kick and scream about 10 commandments statues outside of courthouses or “In God we Trust” on our dollar bills, because that's just a losing argument, but it is thoroughly annoying, because it's a constant reminder that you're on the outside.
The very notion that Christianity should have political power in a country that explicitly was built with a church-state is revolting. I'm not saying that Christians can't be watched out for, but there is a difference between being cared for and being advocated. And, to clarify, one's religious choice is rarely a choice. I'm an Atheist because it's what makes sense to me, Roman Catholicism didn't cut it and I pretty much went where I didn't feel like I was lying to myself. I can't help it, I'm an infidel, and no amount of coddling or evangelizing will change that, and I'm not a big fan of a country that choses people preferentially for things they don't have a choice over.
2) The Pro-Life argument is unrealistic
I was adopted, my biological mother wasn't even out of high school yet when I was born, so I think it's fair to say I was a decent candidate to have been aborted. So, it may surprise you that I do support abortion as an option, completely unsavory though it is. Should it be a bailout for lazy bitches who can't be bothered to raise a kid? No. But let's say a 15 year old street urchin was raped by her brother, has a meth problem, and is going to give birth to a kid with mental retardation? The pro-life argument is that the humane thing is for this baby to be born, and for both mother and baby to spend their lives being torn apart, because the mother can't support it and the baby won't make it any easier.
My point is that there is a time and a place for everything, I'm in favor of abortion being held open for women who have no other plausible option. Is it something to revel in? Absolutely not, it's still a disgusting choice, but if it's a necessity then it's a necessity in my mind. Arguing that it's immoral to birth a child who won't be raised by a loving family is insanity. Life isn't black and white like that, and that gray area needs to be addressed.
3) The Death Penalty vs The Sanctity of Life
While the main argument against abortion is that “every life is precious”, capital punishment is advocated by the Republican party. This makes absolutely no sense to me, whatsoever. Either every life is sacred, or we're just dust in the wind. The response I usually get to this is that infants are blameless and people on death row have done something wrong to warrant their execution. Perhaps this is true, but it's still hypocritical in my opinion. Either we as a society have the power to kill people when necessary, or we don't! For the record, I think capital punishment is fine so long as it's administered responsibly, but I've also stated I support abortion. See, what I did there is pick a side and stick with it, perhaps the Republican party should try it some time?
4 )Xenophobia does not equate to patriotism
I've noticed that the conservative candidates often have a rather Americacentric view of the world. “You're either with us or against us!” and the like, and on the homefront there's a phobia of illegal immigrants or people that are different then you. To express this, political candidates have American flag tie-pins and vow to take tough stances on this and that.
But the way I see it, America was a nation founded by immigrants, we're not a universal make or model like almost every other country in the world, we're all different and whether you like it or not, that's what it is. For American to shut itself off from accepting immigrants is not patriotism, it's childishness and an irrational fear that you may be supplanted by a family from somewhere else. I think we should control the borders, but I don't think we should stop people from coming in, the process of becoming a citizen needs to be made accessible, because that's where we all came from in some way or another.
And with foreign policy, we need to realize that even though we are a superpower, we're not that super of a power. The US Army has 10 divisions today, compared to 100+ in World War II, we're not as ridiculously powerful as people may think we are, and a few slices of humble pie never hurt. Our economy is dependent entirely on the rest of the world, and if nothing else the War of Terrorism has proven rather well that our military is not as omnipotent as CNN made us think after the Gulf War. To walk around the diplomatic community with a chip on your shoulder is a short road to failure.
5) Social programs are a good thing!
The conservative arguments about socialized health care make my head hurt. The same group that pushed the Patriot Act is now claiming that universal health care would be a violation of their rights! Yes, the same Americans who said it would be awesome if the government could tap your phones without proving just cause or a reason to do so... they're saying that if poor people could see a doctor after they've been hit by a car it is a violation of their rights and liberties. Please, cut the bullshit and let's just call this what it is, pure unadulterated selfishness.
Yes, if there is socialized healthcare, taxes will go up. The money you or your employer would have spent on your healthcare will still be spent, just on universal healthcare. This healthcare system doesn't have to be anything extensive, just basic services for the average person would be enough! The same party that champions Christian values (Jesus himself was a champion of the poor, remember?) says that taking care of those who need it is a violation of their rights. And they have the nerve to call me the godless savage. And even better, the party that demands that everybody wave American flags all over the place is willing to turn their back on the bottom 1/3 of America's social ladder.
And the same goes for other social programs, like welfare. The right's argument is that such programs breed laziness and punish those that do work hard. But I can assure you, “welfare queens” are few and far between. Anybody would rather work and make an honest living then sit around all day in squalor waiting on a check. And to counter that argument, how many people do you know do anything at work? I bet you can name off 5 people in your job who show up, don't do a damn thing, and then go home and spend their money. Is that any different?
6) Invading Iraq is not generally a good way to support our troops
Perhaps this is a cheap shot, but I feel like it needs to be said. INVADING COUNTRIES DOES NOT SUPPORT THE TROOPS. REFUSING TO PULL OUT DOES NOT SUPPORT THEM EITHER. There, got that off my chest. Next time you casually toss around the idea of us sending in the troops to Iran or some other shithole country, you should stop and think for just a minute. No, really, spend 60 whole seconds thinking what you're suggesting. Thousands of men and women will literally burn away at least a year of their life to make your fantastic dream come true. In the year 2008, I spent all but 20 of those days in or in transit to Iraq. And this doesn't count into the fact that people... oh yeah, DIE, over there. Or get maimed horribly. Or see things that ruin their mind forever. Or, even better, their wives cheat on them while they're gone and they come home to a broken family through no real fault of their own. Yellow ribbons and care packages do not make me feel better, lobbying Congress to never waste my time like that again does.
7) Sarah Palin
Do I really need to explain this one? By the way, I adore it when she compares herself to the American Soldier... especially considering that my personal favorite line from the Soldiers' creed is "I WILL NEVER QUIT!" (Although, to be fair, the Soldiers' Creed was never intended for use by Governors or Presidential hopefuls)