The Republican Party’s Core Beliefs

December 13, 2012

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One of the most interesting things about the modern Republican Party is their strange penchant for pushing and/or believing in ideas that can be factually proven as incorrect or at the very least incompatible with their “core beliefs.” I’m not entirely sure what Republican “core beliefs” are, but from what I can gather from Fox News snippets and what my friends say, they want small government, low taxes, and lots of personal freedom – or at least the freedom for their state to choose what defines personal freedom.

On the first issue, small government, let me start out by saying that the single biggest expansion of federal government since FDR came from … no. Not Barack Obama. Not Bill Clinton, either. It wasn’t Jimmy Carter. Not even JFK. The single biggest expansion of the US Government came from George W. Bush and his creation of the Homeland Security Department . The Reagan administration, after lambasting Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential campaign for governmental spending, actually spent MORE than Carter did.  So according to what they say, Republicans favor small government and lowering government spending, but according to what they do, they actually increase government size and spend more? I wonder why Mitch McConnell is so intent on criticizing President Obama for government spending, yet he voted along with the vast majority of George W. Bush’s spending, and Bush’s rate of spending was higher than Obama’s.  I don’t remember him ever once criticizing Bush’s spending record.


Next we get to Republicans wanting low taxes. This one they actually seem to deliver on, wanting to lower taxes across the board, but especially on those poor, overburdened millionaires. Yet the reasons they claim taxes should go down just don’t seem to mesh with reality. First and foremost they say that so-called “job creators” aren’t hiring because their tax burden is too crushing. Yet history disagrees with that assessment – in fact whenever the marginal tax rate on upper brackets is lowered history has shown lower growth. In fact the Congressional Research Office came to the same conclusion:

There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth. Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth.

I would love to get Mitch McConnell or John Boehner in a room and get their opinions on those facts.

Finally we get to the issue on personal freedom. One of the Tea Parties greatest cries against that “socialist, fascist” Obama is that he’s crushing our personal freedoms. As I wrote about in my last article, the NRA supported Mitt Romney in this most recent presidential election, dredging up scary stories that Obama was going to be personally taking all your guns and this was despite the fact that in Obama’s first term he actually loosened gun laws, and in Mitt Romney’s term as governor he signed a gun restricting bill into law.

In addition, Republicans seem to be on the side of banning “gay marriage” (or as my gay friends call it, “marriage”) despite the fact that no factual evidence to say it’s better or worse than heterosexual marriage. Go ahead, search the internet and find a non-biased site that offers peer-reviewed and cited facts showing somehow that men marrying men or women marrying women is somehow worse for society, children or the marriage itself. If it’s no worse for people, does not infringe upon others, and is not being forced on society (legalizing same-sex unions will not force churches to marry anyone), why is it being suppressed by Republicans?

Finally on the personal freedom issue, I was very happy to see that Washington State has legalized marijuana for recreational use. Two of the most recent Republican presidential candidates agreed with me. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson actually said they would not only legalize marijuana but also consider even more sweeping changes such as ending the war on drugs and pardoning anyone in prison for non-violent marijuana crimes.  Sadly the rest of the mainstream Republican candidates ranged from a non-stance – Rick Perry stating he’s personally against any use, but ok with states deciding medical use – to a psychotically harsh stance -Newt Gingrich sponsoring a bill that would see the death penalty used for people importing more than 2 ounces.  Seeing as there’s little evidence that marijuana is worse for you than alcohol or tobacco and much stands to be gained from the taxation of legal marijuana, including a drastic reduction in violent crime, I wonder once again why Republicans would go against their stance on personal freedom here.

So to sum it up, I have a hard time giving any support or even credibility to a political party that says one thing and then does the polar opposite. I’d actually LOVE to see a more viable Republican party because frankly I’m sick of the vast majority of Democratic politicians. As a friend of mine says often, “We don’t need a 3rd political party, we need a 2nd one.”


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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steve Nicewarner
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 21:16:17

    Let’s break this down
    1. Republicans, especially the Republican leadership, aren’t against big government. They differ from Democrats on which parts of the Federal government should be larger than other parts, but they like big government just as much as Democrats. For example, when have you seen Republicans talk seriously about cutting the military? Farm subsidies?

    2. Republicans do a terrible job at this message. They would do far better to say “Look, we just don’t think the government should be large enough that it needs $1.4 Trillion every year – almost $50,000 for every man, woman and child in America” Of course, that arguement runs into issue #1 but . . . .

    3. The Tea Party always argued that Obama was crushing economic freedoms, not personal freedoms. They were OK with crushing personal freedoms, as long as they were doing the crushing.

    [As an aside, I think historians will look at the Republican co-opting of the Tea Party as one of the pivotal points in the fall of the Republic. when the TP was just about taxes and spending, they were a force for good. When Dick Armey took them over and added all the social issue crap it delegitimized everything else they were doing. The original TP wasn’t Republican, it was Libertarian and it met the fate of every Libertarian in the Republican Party. But that is a topic for another time.]


  2. Peter Shaw
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 15:26:30

    The only Congress in my life time to cut spending was the Republican Congress elected in 1994. We added almost $0 to the debt during their reign. The Repbulican Congress 2000-2008 added about $500B to the debt each year. We voted them out and handed Congress over to the Democrats. It’s gotten alot worse since then.

    Here is the Republican ‘core beliefs’.

    What the people belive in and what the politicians vote for too often are different things. You may have noticed that Boehner removed fiscal conservatives from committees so he could ram through the fiscal cliff bill. This bill actually spent all the revenue generated by the tax increases and more. Republicans suck at spending they just suck less than Democrats.


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