The main question is what should the government do for people, isn't it? Republicans believe that the less government does for people, the better off society is. Democrats believe the more that is done, the more we move closer to the Great Society. If I haven't described the essence of the major issue and difference between the two major parties, I would like to hear about it. But I do believe that people who think government doesn't need to do anything for people beyond the basic necessities generally view themselves as Republican. The 'tax and spend' label attached by those who think like this to the Democrats effectively summarizes my point. But wait, there's more. There's a twist to the above generality that perplexes me. The best example I can think of is how those who consider themselves Republicans demand the taking of personal responsibility by members of groups, such as African Americans and illegal immigrants. The members of these groups who seek assistance in basic living needs from government are stealing dollars of hard working taxpayers. On the other hand, these Republicans do not hesitate to pay out more than seventy billion dollars each year to farmers to either not grow things, or to grow things without risk of loss. I guess that is why most voters in states in the farm belt are Republicans. Oh, and build fences to keep illegal immigrants out, but not my illegal immigrants. I need them to work in substandard workings conditions at less wages than I am willing to pay legal Americans so that I can generate additional profits on top of my federal largesse. Typical of Republican thinking on acceptance of personal responsibility is the example of the current mortgage crisis. After guaranteeing billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out Bear Stearns, a major player in the real estate speculation market whose top five executives will participate in a $165 million dollar bonus pool for 2007, the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, stressed Republican values when he stated “it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.” The taking of personal responsibility has another twist as well. Republican efforts have resulted in mandatory and lengthy prison sentences for users of illicit drugs to such an extent that our jails and prisons are now busting at the seams while these same Republicans quietly negotiate the avoidance of prosecution with major corporations whose daily activities hurt and kill many more Americans annually than all the drugs, other than the carnage of legal alcohol, have caused in the history of man.
I guess it's not as simple as tax and spend. Someone ought to tell Republicans that President Reagan tripled the deficit while he was in office, a feat only duplicated and then doubled again by He Who Would Be King. What is this business of being a Republican? I am hopelessly confused. Does this mean I am a Democrat? No it does not, but it means I, like a lot of other Americans, am looking for some good in the people I am willing to vote for in an election where promises to change the way government thinks and acts are being made. I have tried hard to properly characterize the Republican approach this past seven years. After much thought and before I can state my conclusion, I need to say this to my grandchildren. Block your eyes, stop reading now. Your grandfather is about to use a bad word. The Republican approach is bull shit of the first order of magnitude.