Even though the title might suggest otherwise, I’m not exactly a liberal. Quite frankly, I don’t much care for the Democratic Party. I don’t like the idea of welfare or social security, and I believe that if the Democrats got what they wanted, we would be left with a bloated bureaucracy, soaring taxes, a work force unmotivated to work and total government control of the economy. All in all, they want a bigger federal government with more control, and I’m strongly against that.
Plus, Democrats tend to come off as so dang smug. The perception I often get is something along the lines of: “Democrats are truly educated on the issues while everyone who votes Republican is an ignorant redneck.”
I’m also rarely in favor of endorsing one party or the other. I think it’s typically better to look at the individual candidates instead. But in this upcoming election, I’m going to make an exception because as much as I dislike the Democrats, I loathe the Republicans.
The Republican Party has a monopoly on the federal government: it controls the presidency, both houses of Congress, and, with Bush’s two new appointments, has the Supreme Court under its belt as well.
Although the Republicans have had the opportunity to make the country a better place under their leadership, it’s my opinion that quite the contrary has happened. Government corruption has become quite apparent in recent years (Jack Abramoff, Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, the CIA leak scandal. and that’s just instances where people got caught).
Then there’s the war on terror. President Bush has gotten a blank check to do whatever he wants for “the safety of our country,” even if it means sacrificing civil liberties. There have not been nearly enough outcries in Congress about Guantanamo, the monitoring of international calls from the United States, keeping records of domestic cell phone calls, and secret CIA prisons in Europe.
And remember the days when the Republicans represented smaller government and fiscal conservancy? Well, not any more. Since 2001, government spending has grown from $1.86 trillion to $2.48 trillion, a 33 percent increase.
This has resulted in a 54 percent increase in the national debt, from $5.6 trillion when Bush took office in 2000 to about $8.5 trillion in 2006 (meaning each U.S. citizen’s share of the debt is over $28,000 per person).
Another thing that concerns me about a Republican-dominated government is the implementation of a far-right agenda. The Republican majority can pass a bill in both houses of Congress, and conforming to party lines, President Bush of course will decline to veto that bill (in his first term he didn’t veto a single bill).
The checks and balances, which are so essential to U.S. government, are simply not working, and as a result we are stuck with right-wing policies that don’t reflect the majority of the American people.
So this election I strongly urge you to vote Democrat, then maybe in a few years we can complain about how they are screwing up the country.
Andy Nicewicz is a senior political science major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.