(Written responding to a friend asking about the party I support)
The fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats is one: the role that government plays. All the social wedge issues? Just talk.
I believe the government has the ability to solve many of our problems, and I also believe that Democrats over the last 100 years have been more consistent, more fiscally conservative (save FDR), and more in line with principles that I believe.
On the surface the parties do not represent what is core about each group. For example, on the Democrat's side you look at Occupy Wall Street, a sliver of what is representative of Democrats, and paint the whole party in a similar manner. What is interesting about the OWS movement, is the wealthy blue states pay for all the social programs of the red states. Also, of the richest 20 individuals in the US, 12 vote Democrat which is again inconsistent with the OWS sliver.
Let me give you another example to why I side with Democrats over Republicans; the only true conservative in the Republican primaries is Ron Paul. He is small government. He is, by definition, a true conservative. An actual conservative should embrace this guy like their own mother, but they don't. Why? The Republican party has an identity problem. They do not understand the definition of conservatism and wrap themselves in issues like gay marriage and abortion which has as much to do with conservatism as Chuck Norris does to baseball. Republicans vote socially, and instead of wedge issue legislation their leaders grow government, give disproportionate tax decreases which shifts tax burden, and funnel more money into the military and subsidies for industries that fund their elections. Jon Stewart said it best ... "Republicans are for limited government...limited to the stuff they want to do."
Economic policy is another example as to why I side with Democrats. Every single candidate on both sides of the aisle are Keynesian except one (RP). One of the fundamental beliefs of Keynesian is the idea that you can deficit spend (ie use government -- a core Democratic principle) to overcome recession and economic busts. Although Republicans like to pretend they are fiscally conservative, I struggle to find a concrete example of when they demonstrated this principle.
The most popular Republican president in the last 100 years was Reagan. People label Reagan as a true conservative, but he was far from it. He presided over two substantial tax increases because governmental spending was out of control, provided amnesty to three million illegals, had a very liberal foreign policy (which I like), and expanded government spending by 60%. Reagan was respected for the bipartisan deals he made, never went to church, and was very silent about his pro-life stance. Reagan would be crucified by the Tea Party, but today he is shrouded as a true conservative. Why? The Republican party has become the voice of the extreme, forgetting their core beliefs. Compromise is an ugly word and moderates, the same people that gave Reagan an astounding 49 state win in 1984, have switched sides, effectively giving Obama a landslide victory in 2008.
Democrats also have an identity problem but this is due to the wide umbrella the party casts on smaller groups. This is the reason Democrats have 20 million more registered voters than Republicans. I can be a pro-life, anti-gay marriage Democrat and be completely supported by my party. Could you be pro-choice, pro gay-marriage Republican and say the same? Democrats are more accepting of differentiated opinions and positions. There are examples of moderate Democrats, but after the 2010 elections, I struggle to think of any moderate Republicans.
Your question is a good one, and I am answering it because I know its sincere. You look at me and wonder why I support the party I do. I look at you and ask the same question.
President Barack Obama visited Osawatomie, Kansas last week to speak about the danger of the growing economic inequality in America and the threat this currently poses to the middle class and our country as a whole. I thought this was the most important speech of his Presidency thus far because it clearly illustrated the monumental challenges we face in dealing with a weak economy, high unemployment, and an eroding middle class. He emphatically connected the success of the middle class with the success of America and described how investments in education, infrastructure, and science and technology along with tax and financial industry reform are critical to our economic recovery. The speech was 55 minutes long, so I highlighted what I thought were his key points:Read more
As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has recently become the latest fad in the never-ending search for an 'un-Romney' in the GOP Presidential Primary race, I think it is important to reflect on a matter of character. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles noted in an interview a few years ago that while the Church is politically neutral, it teaches its members to "seek out and find good, honest men and women of value, with values and virtue and honesty and integrity and encourage them to run for office, and then to use their agency to vote for whomever they choose." (I was pleased to see that Elder Ballard mentioned we should seek out good men and women. As one might expect, earlier statements from Church leaders, particularly from earlier generations, typically only mentioned men, tacitly but perhaps unintentionally leading members to believe that women had no place in running for office.)Read more
Less than two weeks after I wrote a post praising Mitt Romney (and Jon Huntsman) for their admirable stances supporting science's position on climate change, Romney changed his position! In June, Romney stated the following to an audience in New Hampshire, affirming the existence of global warming:Read more
How can the GOP claim that it seeks to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act if the GOP frontrunner, Mitt Romney, is the architect of a plan that is almost identical to the one Obama signed into law? This is compounded by Romney's quote in the video below where he acknowledges applying a similar program at a national level would be a good idea. How can Republicans claim that economic stimulus act destroyed our economy and aggravated the recession when the GOP frontrunner supported the notion of economic stimulus in the form of government spending in 2008 at the height of the recession? Any Republican who supports a politician like Romney but attacks Obama for these signature pieces of legislation is guilty of immense intellectual honesty.
WhichMitt.com is a hilarious website put out by the DNC. Take the quiz! Mitt Romney's constantly changing opinions make him a really easy target. This highlights his contradictions on abortion, the need for an economic stimulus plan during the current recession, health care, and more. Romney's penchant for flip-flopping makes John Kerry look like an anchor of resolve.
Here are a few of the infamous Romney quotes:
So far, it appears that the person who targeted Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona for assassination, in Saturday's shooting rampage that left 6 people dead and many others seriously wounded, was not directly inspired by the virulent and violent political rhetoric that has been dominating the public discourse over the past 2 years and beyond. And in this post, I am not trying to assign blame for the shooting rampage to anyone aside from the deranged, homicidal gunman, Jared Lee Loughner. But this national tragedy has provided an opportunity for us to reflect on the type of political conversation we engage in both in public and in private. Last March, I posted about some of the recent violence and violent rhetoric. In the aftermath of the passage of the health care reform bill, many prominent opponents of the bill used inappropriate and irresponsible rhetoric that included implicit violent and hateful messages.Read more
During the early 1990s, when President Bill Clinton tasked First Lady Hillary Clinton to lead the effort to overhaul the nation's health care system, Republicans proposed an alternate idea to Hillary's proposal, which envisioned a larger role for government in health care than what President Obama signed into law last March. That Republican proposal was a health insurance mandate that would require all Americans to have coverage, precisely the same obligation that Republicans have vehemently lambasted in the recent health care reform bill. Polled individually, all of the major elements of Obama's health care overhaul are very popular with the notable exception of the health insurance mandate. You'll be hard-pressed to find a politician or citizen anywhere who thinks it is a bad idea that parents can keep their children covered under their insurance plan until age 26, or that insurance companies can no longer deny children with pre-existing conditions coverage, or that insurance companies cannot cancel someone's plan when they become ill.Read more
A recent nationwide survey found that a majority of Republicans believe that Obama "sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world."
According to the poll, 14 percent of Republicans said that from what they knew of Obama, they thought such allegations were "definitely true"; 38 percent thought the allegations were "probably true." Meanwhile, 33 percent of Republicans thought they were "probably not true" and 7 percent thought they were "definitely not true."