Why I won’t vote Republican

Despite our small-l libertarian leanings, we won’t touch the Republican or the Tea Party with a ten foot pole. Why? Our friends from Sunday’s wedding offer the perfect example.

We’re intensely proud of what they’re choosing to do with their lives. They’re building a new farm from scratch, turning an empty Missouri valley into a growing business that turns sun and hard work into fresh food, tax dollars, and employment for Missourians. One of them also works off-farm with children who greatly benefit from her services. They are a shining example of what Americans should and could be; hard-working, independent, entreprenurial, deeply respectful of friends, family, community, and the natural world. As every day goes by, they leave our state and our lives better than they found it.

Yet they’re both women. And because they don’t have the Biblically approved balance of chromosomes, they don’t (or shouldn’t) exist in the eyes of the American Right. Despite the hard and dangerous business of farming, they cannot share health insurance or possibly even afford it as individual coverage. Despite a deeper personal commitment than our Vegas-wedding culture can appreciate, they will share no legal or tax benefits to ease the burden of self-employment. If one is injured, the other will be a legal non-entity. If they choose to raise children in the immensely healthy setting of a working farm with stay-at-home parents, they will face immeasurable hurdles and harrassments thrown up before them. All because the American Right, so enamoured with freedom for themselves, has no concept of extending it to others. If our friends were Christian and heterosexual, they could probably run for governor someday. But they’re not, and thus are better swept into the shadows in this worldview.

Will the Right apply family values to all, or just their subculture? Will they remove agricultural subsidies for large farms and government interference for small farms in service of their pseudo-libertarian rhetoric, or simply cut government only where it’s convenient and doesn’t hurt their household budget?

When the Tea Party will accept a doubling in food prices so we can have a free-market food system, then I’ll start listening. When the Right accepts and embraces people on their merits rather than their genetics, I’ll start listening. Until then, however disgusted I am with the actions of Democrats, the freedom-for-us-alone hypocrisy of the American Right will get nothing but disdain from me.

Even if you hold your nose doing it, remember to vote today.

7 thoughts on “Why I won’t vote Republican

  1. I can see your point, but the examples you give for voting democrate are simply not at the top of my voting priority list. While I feel for lesbians and homosexuals, my personal needs are more important to me. I tend to vote my pocketbook and the social issues that effect my life. If that makes me cruel or selfish, so be it. Lower taxes, gun rights, health care and goverment spending are the issues that move me. I currently find the Repubs more in line with my views on these issues, and therefore they generally got my vote this fall.

  2. Chris,I hear you too, though I'd like to clarify that I was mostly pointing out why I disapprove of the Republican party, and not advocating any particular love for their Democratic colleagues (see second-to-last sentence).It's likely that I somewhat agree with you on the issues you stated. What frustrates me is that, with the possible exception of gun rights, I don't see the Republican party as remotely trustworthy or consistent on those issues. Rhetoric notwithstanding, I don't feel I've seen many significant efforts by Republicans to really change the system; when's the last time you heard a Republican advocate for eliminating farm subsidy programs in service of small government?While this is just an opinion, I feel like I know what I get with the Democrats: they're going to want to solve problems through government action. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it's not, but that's pretty reliably what they're going to do. Republicans, I don't see that consistency. They'll talk up personal freedom and small government on the campaign trail, then go right out and pass more subsidies and complex tax laws to benefit certain sectors, pass new laws to inhibit personal moral freedoms (pot, gay marriage, porn shops), and so on. Health care is a classic example; while I liked some of the counter-proposals raised during the recent legislative fight, none of that occured to the party during the six years they could have passed anything they wanted. It took the Democrats taking action to make the Republicans bother to pay attention. Anyway, I normally stay out of straight politics on the blog and mostly intend to do so. But I thought the example given here was a great one of the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy that I find so offensive about the current Republican party, and why I'm not a supporter of them despite my more public political leanings. And to point out that political feelings and leanings can be more complex than our monolithic two-party system gives credit for.

  3. "And to point out that political feelings and leanings can be more complex than our monolithic two-party system gives credit for."Amen brother. That is something we can certainly agree on.I also agree with nearly all your frustrations in regard to the Republican party. But after two years of the Dems in power, I am more fearful of the Dems action then the Repubs lack there of. And when it comes to spending and taxes, much more fearful. While the Repubs might not cut spending as much as I would like, they generally do not create new multi-billion dollar social programs that threaten to vastly increase our tax burden. I think it is clear we both see the evils on each side of the scale, we just disagree on the tipping point.Fun discussion Eric. It is nice see that two people can disagree on politics without flipping out. Why can't our leaders seem to do the same???? 🙁

  4. "I think it is clear we both see the evils on each side of the scale, we just disagree on the tipping point."I really, really like this line. There's a lot of truth there. The tipping point may be the division, but it's also the place to work on compromise.