Monday, May 22, 2017

On Politics part 2: Why I Don't Like Republicans

I know my previous post was very, very long. There are a lot more points as to why I don't like Democrats outside of just how they view taxes and economics in general. But that is one of the main reasons. And naturally, when you talk bad about one major party most people will assume that you are in favor of the other major party. For me, this couldn't be further from the truth.

 I was raised Republican. In the first election I was able to vote in I voted only Republican. And yet I always thought of myself as a conservative with some liberal leanings. 

In school, we would take these tests which would show you where you fell on the conservative/liberal scale, and I would always fall somewhere in the center, but enough on the conservative side to still call myself a conservative. And to me, being conservative meant being a Republican.

Republicans claimed to be for smaller government, but their actions seemed to say otherwise. Take for example the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act (or the USA PATRIOT Act [or the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001]) was pushed through Congress following the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the Anthrax attacks in 2001. The Patriot Act was introduced by a Republican from Wisconsin, Jim Sensenbrenner, and it is probably one of the most overreaching acts implemented. 

The Patriot Act completely bypasses our court system and violates the 4th amendment.  I don't care what the Supreme Court may say, and I don't care how they explain it with their legal jargon and political doublespeak (because, let's face it, the Justices of the SCOTUS are just as much politicians as they are judges), the Patriot Act violates many of the rights of US Citizens. And I can say this confidently because the plain wording of the 4th amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Patriot Act did away with needing Warrants with probable cause to seize people and things and allowed the seizing of people and things based on only suspicion.  

As well as doing away with the 4th amendment, the Patriot Act also allowed massive spying to take place. Now, I know the popular argument is that if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn't be scared of someone spying on you. Except, everybody should have the reasonable expectation of privacy. I don't think most people would be OK with me just waltzing straight into their homes and observing them going about their daily activities, and in fact, I could be charged with stalking and being a peeping Tom if I did this.

Through our court systems acting as politicians, instead of impartial and unbiased justices, we have had our rights eroded away to allow for our government to spy on us and charge us for just about anything we do. One of the most popular memes that I see from Libertarians is to name one thing that you have the "freedom" to do that isn't illegal, taxed, or regulated in some form or another. Honestly, it is hard for me to name something.

Even typing this blog post, I have to log on to the internet - which is regulated and taxed, either via my computer - the manufacturing of which is regulated, even though I bought the damn thing from Ebay and use a Free and Open Source Operating System, or via my phone - which I had to pay taxes on when I bought it, and the service for which is regulated and taxed. 

If I go for a walk I can be stopped and questioned by the police simply because I look suspicious and I can be detained for being a nuisance if the neighbors call in about me.

But why is this in the post about why I dislike the Republicans? Because with all of their posturing for "smaller government" they have done nothing to make the government smaller, but rather have been major players in making the government larger. Sure they may promise small forms of things that their constituents are against, but be assured that something else is being expanded in its place. They have done nothing to stop our rights from being eroded, but have often been at the forefront of such efforts all under the illusion of "safety".

I'm not a conspiracy theorist; I don't think that the government is poisoning us via chemtrails, or that they are all out to get us. I do think that anytime the government does something which violates our rights that they should be held accountable.  We have rights very plainly spelled out for us in the Bill of Rights, and it is said that those rights are not given to us by our government, but rather by our Creator. So when the government violates these rights they are going against the Constitution which they swore to uphold and defend - they become the domestic enemies they swore to protect against, and they are going against what are supposed to be our inalienable rights.

But all of this - in truth - is the fault of both the Democrats and the Republicans.

The one thing that I can not stand about the Republican party is its stance on foreign policy. I also can not stand the Democrats and their foreign policy. But with the Republicans, it seems that they are always willing to go to war or at least put troops somewhere. American foreign policy is very interventionist when we should not be so much. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert, I've only had one Political Science class, but I did write a paper on American foreign policy and got an "A".

That aside, since War World II (but starting before then to a degree) the US has been very interventionist because of the threat of Communism to the point of getting the CIA involved in the drug trade to fund government overthrows of Communist countries. Now, we are interventionist because of the threat of terrorism. President George W. Bush did us all a great disservice when he declared a Global War on Terrorism because he was essentially declaring war on an idea.

How can you possibly combat an idea? Well, you can't. Not really. You can not fight a war against thoughts and ideas. And since one of the ideas behind terrorism is to strike fear into your enemies then I would say that we have let the terrorists win ever since 9/11. Personally, I believe the proper response to 9/11 would have been to find those responsible and kill them as soon as possible instead of getting into a long drawn out war that has cost us thousands of lives and only spawned more terrorists.

Yes, while we have been trying to fight terrorism we have only created more terrorists, and some of those we have had a direct hand in creating! The US Government is manufacturing future enemies for us to fight while fighting our current enemies. It's almost like some politician is getting paid for his company's products being used by the US military and has to find the next conflict to line his pockets with the tax payer's money.

Add to this constant interventionism is the never ceasing pandering to the Evangelical Right, which I believe is a cause of our interventionist foreign policy.

I'm not ranting against the Evangelicals, but I am ranting about obvious political doublespeak to cater to the Evangelical voters. Trump said things like he didn't need to ask for forgiveness and other things, but when it was clear that he wasn't going to be getting the Evangelical vote he suddenly came out as a born again Christian. This move was so very obviously a staged political stunt that I'm surprised more Evangelicals didn't call him out about it.

Now, I'm not judging President Trump's religious beliefs, or how sincere they are. What I am doing is judging his timing for revealing that he was born again - which was after it looked like he wouldn't be getting the Evangelical vote. Once he got the Evangelical vote it pretty much cinched the GOP candidacy for him.

But much more than flip-flopping on issues (which is common to any party) is what comes with pandering to the Evangelicals - namely all of the billions of dollars we give to Israel. The UN has stated the Israel has violated human rights, other countries and entities have also stated as such. Now, we could do what the media does and cry anti-Semitism, or we could take an objective look and see why these allegations are being leveled against the state of Israel. We should also take a look to see why Israel receives more funding from us than any of our other allies.

People will say that it's because Israel is our only ally in the Middle East, but that is patently false. Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even Egypt are other Major non-NATO allies in the Middle East. Turkey is an ally (but not one I would count on if things turned bad) through NATO. Really, Evangelicals think that the modern state of Israel is the New Israel and that the Jews are still the chosen people of God - therefore whichever party seems to be the friendliest to Israel will receive the Evangelical vote. So it behooves the Republicans to play very nice with Israel, despite the apartheid conditions imposed on those in Israel who are not Jewish. To be clear, I'm not stating that the Jews aren't deserving of their own place to live, nor am I stating that the Jews are evil or the cause of all problems, etc. or anything to do with ethnic or religious Jews. I am stating that the political entity that is the Israeli government is a deplorable entity with many human rights violations under its belt.

I can not stand the Republicans because they often try to take the moral high ground while consistently funding those with deplorable morals, and defending the same. And I cannot stand Republicans because they are so far removed from the party that they once were.
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