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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.


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