The Difference

For my entire aware pseudo-adult life, the two party system has been explained to me like this: Democrats want more regulation and bigger government and Republicans want less regulation, more free market, less taxes, less government interference. The parties have evolved in the last two hundred years, but this general idea was the standard catch phrase for these modern political times.

My friend, Amanda, asked the world and then we chatted about it briefly off line, how we all decide on who to vote for. What are the sticking points? What if you don’t agree with them 100%? What matters most? The ability to function in today’s political system? Ideals? Religion? What wins?

My biggest problem with the republican party is not their philosophies on free market, it is not their tax policies (though it’s a ripple effect issue that I’m not a fan of), these things are differing economic plans of attack. It’s good to have disagreements on how to govern and have the ability to come at a problem from a variety of angles. But this kind of difference is not what the republican party stands for and it is not what they have stood for for years. That is why I don’t understand those who identify as a republican. If you’re looking at things from a “purley fiscal angle” you need to look a little harder.

The republican party is not for less regulation, unless you’re only talking about big business who certainly don’t need more free money, unless you’re talking trickle down effect – which didn’t work when Reagan tried it and continues not to work today. The republicans are pushing for more regulation in the worst places – my house, my bedroom, my body. It generates leaders and politicians and supporters who are fueled by the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mindset. The issues are not, “here is my plan to create a better life for everyone,” the issues are, “my way of living is more right than your way of living, so you should be punished until you agree with me.”

I don’t want to hear about their christian values. I don’t want to hear about making families strong again. I don’t want to hear about restricting women’s health, overturning same sex marriage, and all the finger wagging bullshit that comes with social conservatism. Where is the compassion and empathy for people who don’t have your same options or opportunities? Where is the desire to raise the bar for lowest quality of life. I’m done with constantly needing to prove that we’ve all earned it harder and better than the next guy. No one should have to earn the right to pay your bills and live somewhere clean and safe and have the ability to feed your kids and go to the doctor. That’s the stuff basic human dignity is made of.

So that’s how I choose. Who runs on a campaign of compassion? And who runs on a campaign of fear and anger and blame? I’m not interested in finger pointing and demonizing. The government should work to make the business of this country run without it impacting my world. It should not be concerning itself with my bedroom or my body or my personal freedoms. There are way way more pressing matters to be concerned with.

10 thoughts on “The Difference”

  1. Well put here, especially: “I’m done with constantly needing to prove that we’ve all earned it harder and better than the next guy. No one should have to earn the right to pay your bills and live somewhere clean and safe and have the ability to feed your kids and go to the doctor. That’s the stuff basic human dignity is made of.”. Thank you Lauren.

  2. And now we have the GOP fighting with each other, calling names, publicly denouncing each other… I have a feeling that in 15 years or so, we’ll be telling our kids about how we lived through this and how scary it was. I can honestly say I have no idea what is going to happen with the Republican party, and its terrifying! You want to be able to predict the next move of something that dangerous.

      1. I wish we didn’t run on a system of labels. Why can’t candidates say “these are my ideas, do you like them? well then vote for me”. The short-hand labels are giving voters the opportunity (even assurance that it’s ok) to vote without knowing what a candidate actually thinks. It’s scary times for sure. I like to think most people in our country are fairly similar to myself with some sort of values about basic kindness towards other humans, but the further we get in the primaries the less I believe it.

  3. You hit on a huge huge thing: it’s not about the governing (the collecting of taxes, the running of schools, building of roads, and providing defense) anymore but about the legislating (our bodies, our families, our morals). I just want that to STOP.

    I can respectfully disagree with economic policies and can evaluate potential tax plans calmly and rationally. We can discuss the place that America should take in policing the world. We can talk about services offered. But good grief, the scary rhetoric about religion (um, we have freedom of it in your beloved Constitution), women’s bodies (I’d like my liberty and pursuit of happiness as well, thanks) and more stifles actual debate and discussion.

    I mentioned on Facebook earlier today how much I respect Mitt Romney for speaking out against Donald Trump, the mascot of the anti-fact, spewing-hate political climate: this is just as important. Thank you for speaking up so eloquently for the American public.

  4. It’s been interesting watching the (slow) growth of a third party here in Australia. We’re mostly a two party system with Labour (roughly equiv. to the Democrats, although with a bigger union history) and Liberal/National coalition (the equiv of the Republicans). Now The Greens are slowly working their way into the Senate and Parliament – a party that originally ran on a single issue, and now is like the moral conscience of politics with more emphasis on human rights. They only hold a handful of seats but it’s changing that old binary way of viewing how we vote.

    To be honest, watching the US elections is nauseating, especially this primaries process, which seems to be an incredible waste of time and money. That so many people have voted for Donald Trump and genuinely think he’d be the best person to put in charge of a country with incredible power to affect the world… I can’t even.

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