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.