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Republicans: The Party That Should Have Known Better PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Bradley Harrington   
Wednesday, 10 September 2008 02:38

Now that all the hoopla is over in St. Paul, let us examine just exactly what it is that Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin are advocating for America.

McCain's Web site spells out his stand on the issues quite clearly, including, but certainly not limited to, the following:

• Energy. "McCain will commit our country to expanding domestic oil exploration. The current federal moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf stands in the way of energy exploration and production."

• Veterans. "McCain has voted repeatedly, throughout his career, to ensure that the Veteran's Affairs health-care programs receive the funding necessary to serve our veterans."

• Foreign policy. "McCain believes we must enlarge the size of our armed forces to meet new challenges to our security. ... Our existing force is overstretched by the combination of military operations in the broader Middle East and the need to maintain our security commitments in Europe and Asia."

Yes, we should be expanding oil production by abolishing the federal moratorium on drilling, among other things. Great idea. Problem is, up until 2006, McCain has repeatedly and consistently opposed such actions - yet we have been held hostage to the whims of Arab dictators on oil prices by such policies for several decades. More election-year politics.

And, while McCain constantly touts his military record, strength on defense, and support for veterans, he has repeatedly voted to nix increases in benefits for veterans, and he opposed the expansions in the GI Bill of 2008. McCain, apparently, would rather see a soldier maintaining our "security commitments" in Europe and Asia - continents that ought to be providing for their own defense - than go to college after his time is up. Election-year politics burns another strike right over the plate.

There was once a time, many decades ago, when the Republicans advocated liberty and individualism; when the GOP supported capitalism, free enterprise, and private-property rights; when the party opposed poverty-inducing schemes such as Social Security and food stamps; when they would have viewed institutions such as the Department of Energy or the Department of Education as unconstitutional; and when they believed that the proper role of our military was to protect our nation from attack - not to engage in costly, counterproductive, and imperialistic overseas adventures such as the floundering mess they have made of Iraq.

Today, the only Republican advocating such positions is Congressman Ron Paul - and what Paul got for his efforts was smeardom from coast to coast as an isolationist, racist, white-supremacist pig (with much of the smearing coming from his fellow Republicans, including John McCain).

We all know that the Democrats stand for the "welfare" state. What do the Republicans stand for? McCain poses and postures before the American public as a "maverick," but the facts beg to differ: McCain stands for the status quo, i.e., for the mixed-economy "welfare" state, just like the Democrats. He would merely exercise the federal government's near-totalitarian control over the citizens of the United States in a slightly different fashion.

Yet if the Republicans do not stand for liberty, individualism, and constitutionally limited government, they stand for, and represent, nothing. No principle, no value, no integrity remains (or is even possible) once that level of treason has been committed.

"A Cause Greater Than Self-Interest," trumpets McCain, as if helping millions of Americans protect themselves from the ravishing of a hurricane was not in the self-interest of the rest of us. It is this kind of intellectual befuddlement and lack of understanding of rational self-interest that has led the Republican party to sell itself down the river.

And that is too bad for us, and makes the treason much worse, because, of the two parties, the Republicans are the ones who should have known better. If there is anything worse than the slavery advocated by the Democrats, it can only be the Republicans talking out the sides of their necks about liberty and freedom while securing us just as tightly with chains of their own.


Bradley Harrington is a former United States Marine and a freelance writer who lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Comments (5)Add Comment
written by MadAmerican, September 11, 2008
There was once a time... seems to be the key here. We need to hold both parties to the FIRE to be obedient to the articles of the Constitution. Let's ask the tough questions... Why don't you support the Constitution as it is written? Why don't you support open, transparent government? Where does it say in the Constitution that you have power to do... ?

THEN... Vote them out if they can't give satisfactory answers.
written by Tom Mullen, September 11, 2008
Great article. To Madamerican, I say let's vote them out now and ask questions later.

It is truly a shame that the last two candidates that ran on individual liberty (Goldwater and Paul) lost the election and the primaries by landslides, respectively.

I would add that our main problem is a corrupted people. Madison said that he was more afraid of government acting on behalf of the will of the majority rather than against the will of the majority. Other than the war mongering, we get mostly what we demand - our small share of legal plunder - while the thieves keep the lion's share. We the people must stop demanding to plunder each other and turn that force toward government - in the end, politicians are weak. They will do what we demand if we demand the right things. No one wants to put responsibility on the people, but ultimately that is where it belongs.
written by June, September 12, 2008
The problem with the above commentary is that it continues the fantasy that all we have to chose between are Democrats and Republicans. Most states will have at least 3 or 4 independent and third party candidates on the ballot this year. I personally believe that if you want to vote for what the Republicans used to stand for the best vote this year is for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. But we can only expect real change if people stop accepting that they have no choices. A vote for any third party candidate this year is better than a vote for the Republicrats or not voting.

Which ever McSame wins, bad things are going to happen. Stand up sheeple! Stop doing the same thing year after year and expecting the results to be different (Einstein, you may recall, defined that as insanity). Take a stand. Just say no to the duopoly.
steven montross
written by daddysteve, September 12, 2008
Shout out to the Reader on the
campaignforliberty web page. Way to Go!
steven montross
written by steven montross, September 12, 2008
And good point , Tom. We have to put the blame where it belongs, in the mirror.

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