Republican vote takes more than just taxes

| Staff Columnist

It seems that recently, a number of Republicans have written in to complain about various issues. They’re complaining so much, you’d think they were Democrats! I’d like to point out one op-ed in particular, however, that I felt compelled to write about. Ryan McCombe argued “In response to College Republicans R.I.P.” that “Being a Republican means far more than being a conservative, Christian, closed-minded thinker, or a flagrant supporter of a certain former Texas governor. I’m not particularly religious and I’m not a proud member of the 22 percent of Americans who think George W. Bush is doing a fantastic job as president, but when it comes down to how I’d like my tax dollars to be spent, I side with the Republicans. And I’d like that to be okay with the rest of you.” Mr. McCombe: I’ll say it. It isn’t okay with me.

See, here’s the thing. First, I’m pretty sure you’re not paying a whole lot of taxes right now. So they’re not “your” tax dollars. Maybe they’re your parents’ tax dollars. Maybe I’m making a mistaken assumption and you’re completely independent of your parents, paying your own taxes. If that’s the case, I apologize. And of course, you have every right to have a say as to how you’d like your taxes to be spent.

Even if, however, you are paying a significant amount of taxes, I still have a problem. Tax policy just isn’t enough. Do you own a corporation? No. But I bet you have a female friend. Or a gay one. Or a black one. I bet you appreciate the environment. I bet that you or someone close to you went to a public school. I bet your grandparents benefit or have benefited from social security. I bet you have an appreciation for science, knowledge and research that keeps us competitive in the international arena. If you really care about conservative fiscal policies, vote for Ron Paul, not for John McCain.

Republicans aren’t about taxes anymore. They cater to the religious right. They want government to legislate bedroom “morality.” They want to devour the line that separates Church and State. They ban books and disenfranchise minorities. They claim to want small government, except when it comes to the military. That they want very big. They want to dig for oil as if it were a part of a long-term solution to the current energy crisis. It’s not. They come up with euphemisms to make coal sound clean, safe and fun. It isn’t any of those things. Neither is nuclear power. Just ask any reputable scientist about how we can get rid of nuclear waste, or just how clean “clean” coal is. They won’t have a logical answer for you, because there isn’t one. Those policies are the policies of a disgraced administration and party that has lost its true conservatism.

I care about collecting the DNA of bears in Montana, because I understand the implications of the program for the long-term survival of the grizzly bear (and all the creatures connected to its fragile ecosystem). I care about gay rights and a woman’s right to choose. I care about kids from inner-city Baltimore. I’m going to be okay with paying a little bit more in taxes when I have a high-paying job because this country has given me so much, and I know that the opportunities available to me are available to few others.

This election is about so much more than taxes. Even if it were about taxes, I’d still vote for the Democrats. In this day and age where government deals with so much more than just taxes, why are you going to limit your horizons? For all you RFROs (Republicans-for-fiscal-reasons-only), stop feigning ignorance while your party continues to attack the environment, education and minority rights.

If you’re going to support your party, support the whole thing. Otherwise, vote for a third party. One that focuses on taxes. Or you could be a Democrat. I promise you: We care about way more than taxes. We’d love to have you.

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