At some point, I actually would like to vote for a Presidential candidate who has the balls to really tackle our budget problem. Because, as a country, we really do have hard choices to make. And now is the time to have leaders who are actually willing to lead (read: make unpopular decisions), instead of spineless yes-men who quake at the thought of saying or doing things that most people don't want to hear.
And given that the folks who say they will take a hard line on those sorts of fiscal decisions tend to be Republicans, I assume that to vote for such a fiscal conservative, I would probably be voting for a Republican.
And I would would be fine with that.
Except for one thing...
Thanks to the radicalization of today's Republican party, voting for a Republican fiscal conservative would also mean supporting Republican Religious Aggressives who want to expand the scope of government to such an extent that the government will be telling me what I can and can't think and do on certain subjective moral and cultural issues--and enforcing this legally.
And that's a non-starter.
I always thought Republicans were the party of "small government"--the party that encouraged "freedom" and allowed Americans to make their own choices and live and let live.
And, if I'm not mistaken, the Republicans did used to be that party.
But now the Republicans have become the party of absolutely massive government--a government that goes far beyond collecting taxes and providing basic services but a government that wants to re-combine church and state (sorry, Christianity and state), restrict my freedom, and tell me how to think and what is and isn't okay.
And there's just no way that I'm going to support that.
I understand that some Republicans think the following things are "just wrong":
- gay marriage (and, for that matter, homosexuality)
- abortion under any circumstances, including rape and incest
- believing in any God other than the one true God (you know the one I mean)
- teaching evolution (science) in schools
- teaching and providing birth control in schools
- and so on...
Now, to be clear, to address just one of these issues, I am not "pro-abortion." I am pro-choice. I believe that life begins at conception (when else would it begin?) If I were ever in a situation in which I had to make a personal decision about abortion, I would have a very tough personal decision to make. And I am highly sympathetic to the emotions and beliefs of those who might not choose to have an abortion.
But the key word there is "choice."
Even if I personally would not choose to go forward with an abortion, I would never support stripping other Americans of that choice, especially in cases of rape and incest. Because although I believe that life begins at conception, I understand that some people don't believe that and/or that some people might, given certain circumstances, choose to terminate that early life at a point when it is not even remotely human.
And the same goes for religious choices, sexuality choices, the teaching of basic science (and religion) in schools, and other social choices.
In short, I support freedom.
The Republicans do not.
The Republicans support increasing the size and scope of government to such an extent that it strips away freedom and limits the choices Americans can make because some people believe these choices are "just wrong."
And that's a bummer.