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Making a case for the Republicans

| Op-Ed Submission

I found Dave Shapiro’s recent column, “Republican vote takes more than just taxes,” presumptuous and offensive. The article responded to people who vote Republican for fiscal reasons and attempted to put all Republicans and John McCain supporters into a tight, little, intolerant box that hates women, gays and minorities. Besides the outrageousness of that implication, there are plenty of good reasons, fiscal ones included, why we should vote Republican next month.

First off, claiming we should not vote for lower taxes simply because we do not currently pay taxes is preposterous. Most of us will pay taxes within the next four years and thus we have a legitimate concern about the future tax policy. Besides that point, following the logic proposed in Shapiro’s article, we should vote Democrat so that we can ignobly donate someone else’s money.

Beyond the idea of voting merely for one’s personal interest, there is a whole theory behind Republican fiscal policy that resonates with many people. In simple terms, it theorizes that high taxes and lots of regulation preclude the creation of new businesses and pushes current businesses to streamline and find loopholes to stay competitive. Whether that means moving jobs overseas or mechanizing, blue-collar workers are the ones who face layoffs. While Democratic policy aims to create a safety net of social programs to combat this, Republican theory aims to stop it at its core. This is still the Republican position and is evidenced in McCain’s policy plans. Republicans do care about people, they just believe that the private charity sector provides more efficiently than government social programs can. (Consider the failure of the welfare system.) Republicans believe that each person should take responsibility to help correct social problems, rather than letting the government take and redistribute money in whatever way it wants.

The Democrats have brilliantly flipped the blame of the economic collapse onto Bush’s administration, and in the process, our “free market” and Republican economic theory has been unfairly condemned. The Clinton administration’s noble but unsound idea that everyone should be able to buy a house, whether or not they could afford it, created Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s lending practices. It was Democratic policy that created the problem. While McCain advocated for reform three years ago in a bill that the Democratic opposition voted down, Obama was collecting campaign money from Fannie and Freddie. Even beyond what one argues about the campaign money, Obama’s economic advisers are former CEOs of Fannie Mae. I have trouble supporting that kind of judgment; the person half the country wants to put in charge of fixing the current economic crisis is listening to the very people who helped create it.

Secondly, the implication that voting Republican means that a person is racist, sexist and homophobic is a mischaracterization of ideology. Implying that anti-abortion advocates are anti-women completely misses the whole issue. Pro-life supporters are not against women, but against what they see as murder. It is an issue of worldview, not misogyny. If you want to get into women’s issues, what about equal pay for women? Obama’s female campaign workers make 83 cents to the dollar compared to the males. In McCain’s campaign, women make slightly more than men do. It is good and well for Obama to be vocal about pushing for equal pay legislation, but he needs to follow his words with action.

People refer to Obama as a champion of gay rights, but as we learned in the vice presidential debate, the Obama/Biden platform does not support gay marriage. How can he be lauded as a huge advocate when he cannot support one of the biggest issues on the table? And if this is a political move to gain more moderate support, what does that say about his personal conviction?

The Republican economic theory is a whole lot more than “trickle-down” economics, and the Republican Party stands for a lot more than that. The Republican party may have changed, but it still has the same core values. A study by Albert C. Brooks found that while liberals earn six percent more income than conservatives, conservatives give 30 percent more to charity. The Republican mindset is that we all need to take personal responsibility to solve inequalities rather than deferring that to the government. So, if someone really wants to champion for the downtrodden as Shapiro suggests, that someone should come over to the Republican Party.

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