Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why I am not a Republican

While I typically find it more pragmatic and constructive to define what I am versus identifying what I am not, I am compelled to do just the opposite in this case. You see, I am politically moderate even though many would classify my perspectives as excessively and colorfully Liberal. The reason is simply the Republican Party of today has deeply deviated from its positions of yesteryear. It is observable in much of today's Democratic legislation, which originated and was advocated for in the Republican Party. These issues include "cap and trade" and the current version of the Healthcare Reform Act. We have the Republican legislators of the 80's and 90's to thank for these antiquated ideas. So, instead of identifying my own personal political paradigm, I find it more constructive to identify why America should not only run from the Republican Party of today, but in fact be deeply concerned by the party platform and skeptical of its membership. I will articulate three areas where the party serves to choose, not the people of the United States, but the interest of large multinational corporations, many of whom originated and operate outside of the United States. These three areas include foreign policy, domestic policy, and social issues.

Let's begin with foreign policy as this is the primary focus of the Republican platform. Across the board, with a few exceptions, the majority of Republicans believe in free trade. What is free trade? Well, this notion came to full actualization during the 80's under Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher. The primary goal was to radicalize the IMF and World Bank to not only make recommendations to developing countries requesting debt relief or emergency loans, but to stipulate conditions for said loans. For example, one stipulation may be for a country to open its borders to outside commercial interest and to privatize government protected industry. This does not sound all bad until you realize that many of these sovereign countries had U.S. installed or backed dictatorships that elected to privatize protected industries against the will of its citizens. The end result included rapid local unemployment, exploitation of natural resources, and slave labor style working conditions for the affected countries. This is why when I hear Republicans use words like freedom and liberation I sigh in disbelieve because it either means the utilization of our military for economic means (Iraq) or it means the toppling of a regime via economic policy including using our influence at the IMF and World Bank to dictate bad policy. You might suggest that these policies, despite how destructive to foreign countries, benefit the United States. Well, that is the pitch; however, there is no evidence of said claims. In fact, since the Regan years we have only seen the widening of economic discrepancy in this country along with deflating international competitiveness because the aforementioned policies benefit MNCs who have no loyalty to any sovereign country but to its shareholders and to its profitability. I could surely write a book on this section alone but let's proceed.

Next, let's dissect the domestic agenda of the Republican platform which is intertwined with the above foreign policy. I don't believe there has been a free trade agreement House Speaker Boehner has not voted for but he surely has voted NO for supporting aid to those American workers who were disenfranchised by these agreements. This reflects a microcosm of the deeper and more expansive philosophy held by most Republican that suggest we should work hard to serve MNCs and then rely on a position of "self reliance" when managing the displacement of the American workers suffering from this destructive policy. The Republican vote against the Healthcare Reform act is an extension of this policy, which keeps employees dependent upon business for its healthcare. The "right to work" status many states seek effectively strips workers of their right to organize effectively and keeps these workers subject to less wages, poorer benefits than unionized members, and has led most Americans to transition from a one income family to a two income family. If you don't believe me, please check out the corollary statistics between union membership and household income. Do you remember when we were told that removing the unions would strengthen our productivity and subsequent global competitiveness? Well, it never materialized. We produce less and we are less globally competitive. I speak to this because the current Republican Platform seeks to enhance this position by going after Teachers and other state/city employees in an attempt to break up their ability to organize and reform these areas with an end goal of privatization. Again, this does not benefit the American workers but corporations who have an international not American agenda. This is only one example of many but for purposes of brevity I will move on.

The area where I disagree vehemently with Republicans is with its social agenda. This agenda serves to propagate fear among Americans which arouses support for Republicans among voters. However, most Republicans have little interest in implementing their social agenda unless it serves corporate interest, which in most cases it does not. If Republicans cared as much about these iconic social issues such as abortion, immigration reform, gay marriage, or prayer in school these issues would have long been resolved. We have had more than our share of times when Republicans dominated the three branches of government in the last thirty years yet there has not even been one realistic push for any of these issues. Why? Because the corporate interests don't share these same values (if you can call them values). Both global and domestic corporations support gay marriage, abortion and are laissez faire with respect to religion and all of them reap the rewards of illegal immigration. In short, these social issues are lures to attract voters particularly in the South and West who are highly religious. And let's not forget about global warming and other environmental issues which I should not have to elaborate on who Republican leaders side with.

In closing, let me say I don't pretend that what has happened to the Republican party starting with Nixon is not shared by several members of the Democratic party. In fact, both parties are shockingly similar in so many ways that I am reluctant to identify with the Democratic platform. However, I believe the Democratic party is the lesser of two evils and I can find good conscious among more of its membership. I also believe with the rise in power of MNC that we need to strengthen our federal government to better watch guard our society from intervening outside interest and preserve the rights embedded to all Americans in the Constitution as the individual is unlikely to accomplish on its own.


  1. Yes, yes, I agree wholeheartedly on this. I too consider myself a moderate but have been tagged a liberal by my republican friends. I see extremism as my largest deterrent in siding with anything Republican these days. Nothing to an extreme is helpful to anyone. "Everything in moderation" I believe is the old adage. I do see democrats as caring more for the poor, the environment, the disenfranchised....much more in line with my Christian beliefs. Funny that I have been told in the past that I was simply "unChristian" to not vote Republican. Again, extremism is not for me!

  2. In regards to extremism, I wholeheartedly agree. Nonetheless, my views are often dismissed as radical, unintelligent, and even hedonistic. This is even more true when people learn I don't believe in God. I think that is why I want to blog. I want to be able to express my views in detail and I want to solicit responses that are contentious and agreeable so we can all participate in meaningful dialogue and walk away from a conversation feeling refreshed. I know this will take awhile, but I'm willing to wait. Again, thank you for the response.
    On a different note, if you ever want to collaborate on a GLC blog let me know. I'm trying to sell the idea of a blog to the Board!!

  3. I'm a Christian and I understand the significance some of the moral issues have and how they can transcend into political platforms. It's unfortunate though, because there are many that believe in areas like less government, less taxes, etc. but don't feel the importance or necessity (or even in some cases legitimacy) in pushing some of the more moral agendas the republican platform focuses on...namely gay marriages. Personally, I think abortion is wrong, but it is not a black and white issue and one that needs to be approached with sensitivity, compassion and discernment.

    I'm personally a libertarian...I've become disgusted by all the political parties..and even though the libertarian is fragmented and doesn't seem to have much of a future in politics, it most reflects my political sentiments.

  4. Hi Jessica,
    I am happy you said the word "Libertarian" because I have a lot of respect for those that advocate Libertarian principles. While I can't with good conscious believe a Libertarian agenda would be the best form of government, I certainly believe in the integrity and consistency of the platform. Keep in mind the Libertarian agenda would probably not have led to the abolishment of slavery or the civil rights movement, among other great social advances. Surprising to some, I am very pro restriction with respect to abortion laws. I personally feel we need better, more clarifying laws stipulating when an abortion should be permitted, probably similar to that of Holland. As for other "moral" issues like gay marriage, I am in complete favor of letting religious institutions govern marriage and dismiss government involvement altogether. Of course, this would clearly pave a path for the legitimacy of gay marriage. Thanks for the comment!