rather than just go on and on about u.s politics i thought i'd write a relatively brief essay on:
- why i'm a democrat. and
- why the republican party fills me with fear and worry for the future of the united states.
i don't want to indulge in more hyperbole in a political climate that's rife with hyperbole.
but first, why i'm a democrat.
i'm a democrat because i believe in the following:
the best possible free and low-cost education for all americans. well funded police and firefighters. a healthy and protected natural environment.
clean drinking water for all americans. workplace safety for all americans. affordable health care for all americans. well funded museums and arts programs for all americans. fair and progressive taxation for all americans. a woman's right to choose. progressive immigration policies, recognizing that we are a nation of immigrants and all people who choose to live and work here deserve respect. sensible gun control legislation. clean air for all americans. a progressive judiciary.
regulations that protect the rights of workers and shareholders. due process. a foreign policy that protects the rights of americans without impinging upon the rights of other cultures. and clean, sustainable energy.
i'm sure there's more, but those are the basic reasons why i consistently vote democrat.
all of these things are important to me, and for the last 20 years i've, unfortunately, only seen them represented in the legislative agenda of the democratic party.
why the republican party makes me fear for the future of the united states.
the election in 2012 is, as far as i can tell, primarily and broadly about the role of government in the united states.
for the last 20 years i've travelled to almost every country in the western world hundreds of times.
and, up close, i've seen the benefits of government spending.
countries who liberally spend money on their people generally have: good roads, good schools, healthy citizens, clean water, clean air, good public transportation, good museums, good arts programs, etc. etc.
here are a few of the countries i'd put in the list of countries who spend money well on their citizens: canada, australia, new zealand, denmark, germany, norway, sweden, finland, france, belgium, the netherlands, the uk, japan, etc etc.
countries with fairly low defense budgets and fairly high budgets for roads, trains, education, health care, etc.
and the quality of life in these countries is remarkable, especially when compared to the united states. their crime rates are lower. their murder rates are lower. their infant mortality rates are lower. their literacy rates are higher. their life expectancy rates are higher. their rates of disease and obesity are lower.
paul ryan and mitt romney and the republican party in 2012 want to slash spending on: roads, public transportation, education, health care, environmental protection, police forces, fire departments, museums, clean energy research, women's health, and almost every social program that benefits the majority of the people who live in the united states.
paul ryan and mitt romney and the republican party in 2012 want to increase spending on the military and subsidies to oil companies.
they also want to cut taxes on the wealthiest 1% of americans.
they also want to raise taxes on the other 99% of americans.
all of these things both worry and frighten me.
not to indulge in hyperbole, but empirically speaking: a romney/ryan/republican united states would contain: less educated people. sicker people. people who live shorter lives. water that is unsafe to drink. higher crime rates. air that is unsafe to breathe. closed national parks. closed museums. closed public schools. more people dying of treatable illness.
see, i'm not indulging in hyperbole, as IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING. 8 years of ronald reagan and 4 years of george bush senior and 8 years of gw bush have already
left the united states behind almost every other country in the western world as regards: education, health care, environmental health, public transportation, etc etc.
the republicans want to take money from the government and give it to the very wealthy, defense contractors, oil companies, and industries who donate
to republican politicians.
these are simple facts, borne out by republican policy, republican legislative initiatives, and the legacy of the bush/reagan years.
simply: i think that the united states benefits by having clean water, clean air, a healthy environment, healthy citizens, educated citizens, well funded public
infrastructure, national parks, museums, public transportation, progressive immigration policies, etc etc.
and i do not think that the united states as a whole benefits by giving huge tax breaks to millionaires. nor do i think that the united states benefits by giving hundreds of billions of dollars of indirect and direct subsidies to oil companies and defense companies.
we do, of course, need a strong military. but we don't need a military who receive two TRILLION dollars a year. we could cut military budgets in 1/2 and still have the most well funded military in the world.
so that's why i vote democrat, and why paul ryan, mitt romney, and the republican party of 2012 worry and frighten me.
oh, in closing: the sad irony is that the vast majority of people in the red states who vote republican are also the people who are most hurt by republican policies.
people in red states don't have health care, their jobs are sent overseas, their kids are sent to pointless foreign wars, they can't trust the safety of their drinking water, they can't pay for college, but yet they keep voting republican...
the republicans have done a good job deceitfully convincing people that the republicans are concerned for average americans.
but the truth, as evidenced by decades of republican rule and policy initiatives, is that republicans are ONLY concerned with: subsidizing oil companies and defense companies, increasing the wealth of the top 1% of republican donors, and letting pernicious corporations get away with anything.
thanks for reading. and i hope you join with me in november in voting for democrats on the state, local, and federal level.
democrats are far from perfect, but, as we've seen, they're a million times better than any republican alternative.