It’s depressing to think we’re talking about the Republicans winning the Senate this year, when we should be talking about them losing the House. For what it’s worth, here’s my contribution.
Top 10 reasons not to vote Republican in 2014
10. They’ve got a race problem. There’s a reason just about everyone is white at most Republican events. The party has been race baiting forever, and it could be the party would’ve died a long time ago if it weren’t for the support of southern racists. Lyndon Johnson knew he was giving the South to the Republicans when he signed the Civil Rights Act, and it’s played out exactly as he predicted. The South is now the Republicans’ only stronghold, in large part due to a reaction against the Democrats’ support for minorities. From Reagan starting his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, to the elder Bush’s infamous Willie Horton ad, to the insane reaction to the first Black president, Republicans have shown their true colors for years. Or should that be “color”?
Because of their race problem, the Republicans will probably never do anything about immigration reform, which would result in great benefits for everyone, and they’ve stonewalled every attempt to do so.
9. They’re the real abortion party. In spite of their obsession with denying women the right to choose abortion, their opposition to contraception and sex education actually makes them the pro-abortion party. During decades of pandering to the religious right on the issue, they’ve actually attempted to do very little, suggesting that the party leaders are stringing religious fundamentalists along with empty promises.
8. Opposition to the minimum wage. They don’t just oppose an increase in the minimum wage; they would like to eliminate the minimum wage altogether, because it offends their anti-government, pro-business ideology.
They think business owners will give workers a fair wage out of the goodness of their hearts, or that the benevolent “market” will magically make everyone earn what they really deserve. We’ve seen how that works. In fact, a higher minimum wage was part of the growth of the middle class and the glory years of the ‘50s and ‘60s the Republicans are so nostalgic for. More money in the pockets of the middle and lower classes is good for everyone.
Their anti-government ideology means they would also like to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare (even though it’s essentially a private insurance program), gut public education and environmental protection, and limit government to building roads and waging war (which they never seem to mind spending money on — see number 5).
7. They’re the war party. The one part of the public sector they support is the military (although supporting veterans is another matter). As we saw during the Bush II years, Republicans are in bed with the military-industrial complex, and they will always support war, however unwise, unjust, or unwinnable. Despite their fixation on the national debt, they will never cut defense to the levels needed to reduce the deficit.
6. Opposition to equal pay for women. The latest example is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would do nothing more than ensure that women working the same job as men, with the same qualifications, would be paid the same as their male counterparts. Not one Republican voted in favor. No surprise coming the party of “legitimate rape.”
5. Opposition to equal rights for LGBTQ people. Republicans, many of whom pretend to be “libertarians,” want government control over our bedrooms. They have opposed gay rights and gay marriage forever and will continue to do so because of their reliance on the religious right for votes (see number 3) and their general discomfort, as conservatives, with the new and the different.
4. The gun fetish. On guns, the Republican Party has gone completely off the rails due to conspiracy theories, Fox News, and nostalgia for an America that never was or wasn’t as good as they think — in this case the Wild West. Only the fringe on the left actually wants to eliminate private gun ownership, but if you listen to the NRA, everyone with a D by their name wants to take away everything from hunting rifles to handguns. Their push for more guns in more hands in more places at more times is downright crazy. Most Americans want some reasonable gun control and believe it may have an effect on the horrific rate of gun-related deaths in our country. Most Americans are already tired of seeing gun rights yahoos carrying their sidearms at the school playground or city park.
3. Religious insanity. Republicans need religious fundamentalists’ votes because there aren’t enough rich people to support their anti-middle-class economic policies. As a result they have embraced a twisted history that paints the Founding Fathers as good Christians. Many of them want Christian prayer in schools, creationism in science classes, and Bible verses on the courthouse lawn. As a result of the Republican Party’s “deal with the (religious right) devil,” the lunatics have now taken over the asylum. Many Republican leaders believe the End Times are upon us so there is no point in protecting the environment or avoiding war. They are actually looking forward to global catastrophe, because it means Jesus is coming soon. This should disqualify them from holding public office, which requires a belief in protecting the people from catastrophe, not welcoming it.
Which brings us to …
2. Climate change denial. The Republican Party has become the anti-science party — not just because of all the fundamentalists who don’t believe in evolution and long for the End Times, but also because of the pro-business, anti-environment forces who care about nothing but short-term profits. A true “conservative” party would be looking 100 years down the road and taking the safest course to prosperity, not questioning overwhelming scientific evidence strictly to line the pockets of a small minority of super-rich.
Which brings us to …
1. They’re stealing from you! During 30-plus years of their pet ideology, “supply side” or “trickle-down” economics, being implemented on the local, state, national, and global level, real income for the vast majority of us has stagnated or declined, while the richest (folks you’ve probably never met) have seen their earnings and savings multiply. The numbers are in on this economic “theory”: It screws the working class and middle class for the benefit of a tiny minority at the top.