Friday, November 2, 2012

Things That Bring Me Down

As the election draws nigh (literary, no?), two things that I keep hearing from people are driving me crazy. The things are said by people who are normally pretty moderate in the views and who are intelligent and thoughtful in their positions. But those who are voting for Romney have offered some form of the following reasons:

  • I really don’t like all those social issues that the Republicans talk about … but I don’t think that they’ll really do all those bad things; they’ll focus on the economy instead.

Or

  • I really don’t know what Mitt Romney will do if he’s elected President, but I just know that he’ll do a better job because he’s a Republican and Republicans are better for the economy because Democrats are … um … unions! and … um … taxes! Yeah.

Once again, time is short, so I’ll be brief.

To those who don’t think that Republicans will try to push on their agenda of social issues, let me ask these questions:

  • How do you explain the unending parade of social issue legislation that they’ve focused on in the House of Representatives over the last two years (not to mention in states like Indiana)? Just how many new jobs were created by trying to redefine “rape”?
  • How do you explain the fact that Republicans in the House of Representatives haven’t taken action on jobs bills?
  • How are you going to explain to your granddaughters that you prioritized lower taxes over allowing them to control their own bodies? How will you explain to your grandchildren that it was OK to discriminate against gays or people who look a little different or maybe have a different view of theology? In twenty years those kids will look back on us with the same sense of horror that we have when we think about Jim Crow and miscegenation laws. Do you really want to elect people who want to adopt social policies of the past?

For those who think on the economy that Republicans are better … just because they’re Republicans, then think about these issues:

  • Has the stock market performed better under Democratic or Republican Administrations? Go ahead. Check it out. I’ll wait. Or, if you want some help, you can check out these articles from Fox News, Bloomberg, and The Economist. Seriously.
  • Why is the economy in the mess it’s in now? Was it all the fault of Democrats? Or did two massive tax cuts (after President Clinton finally managed to balance the budget), an unpaid drug benefit, and two unpaid wars have maybe a little something to do with it? Oh, and don’t forget about reckless behavior on Wall Street. You’ll note who fought for and against the adoption of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • If Republicans had tried, even just a tiny smidgen, to work with President Obama instead of blocking everything that they could, might things be just a little bit better today? Or did a still weak and anemic recovery help Republicans try to get back to power? Yes, I went there. I do think that at least some Republicans intentionally tried to slow or stop the recovery in order to hurt President Obama’s chances to be reelected.
  • When you hear “unions” tossed off as if it’s they are a Democratic bogeyman, ask yourself how much influence unions really have these days, especially when compared to transnational oil companies and banks that are “too big to fail”. Remember when Romney said that “corporations are people”? Yeah, well what do you think unions are? For that matter, I’m curious: Who lobbies Congress on your behalf?
  • And before you say, “Don’t raise my taxes!” make sure that you understand: (a) how marginal tax rates work (because I’ve learned over the last few years that a large, large number of people who complain about taxes don’t understand even basic concepts); and (b) what Romney’s plans will really do (oh, wait… that’s a virtual impossibility because he won’t tell us his plans!).
  • I do understand both the need and desire to cut federal spending. But it’s easy to say, “Cut spending.” Tell me which programs you want to cut. More importantly, tell me how cutting those programs will effect people.
  • And why oh why, if President Obama is just so bad on the economy, would he have secured endorsements from Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, and The Economist?

Way back in February 2011 I asked Is This Why People Voted Republican? Do you really think a vote for Republicans today will lead to different results than what I talked about then?

For that matter, do you really think that a party with leaders that have largely rejected science and truth will be able to solve real problems? And how many new wars will they get us into while trying to solve those problems?

My guess is that they’ll realize that trying to solve problems is … um … like, hard, dude. So instead, they’ll focus their efforts on intruding into a woman’s vagina, making sure that gays are discriminated against, and furthering their goals of making us a “Christian nation”. Because social legislation is easy. It’s the tough stuff that takes thoughtfulness and care.

I’m out of time. Have a good weekend.

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