Friday, September 10, 2010

Our Bold Republican Future

For whatever reason I tend to be on any number of odd political lists. I tend to get a lot of e-mails for a wide variety of causes I don't agree with or have no interest in, but I rarely receive anything in the mail. So it was quite a surprise when I opened my mail the other day to find an NRSC Republican strategy ballot (direct from Utah Senator Orrin Hatch no less!). I'm not a registered Republican and I've never given money too any politician, so I'm not sure how I got on this list, but nonetheless, I've got the ballot. I was going to respond, just for the hell of it, and submit some responses to push the Republican party in a more libertarian direction, but that wasn't in the cards. What's troubling was how virtually no space was devoted to limiting the nature of government and how divorced this Republican strategy ballot was from even the most basic of tea party rhetoric.

Before anyone accuses me of taking political mailings too seriously, let me just say that I don't take them all that seriously - maybe I'm a bit out of the loop with the day-to-day workings of the parties - But if this is what we have to look forward too if the Republicans take back Congress (and perhaps the Presidency in 2012) color me unimpressed. I understand that this is a "strategy ballot" but the wording of the ballot specifically asks for opinions that reflect my values. Here are the questions from the ballot:

#1 Which issue(s) do you believe Republicans should highlight in the final months of this year's election campaigns?
* Permanent Tax Relief
* Saving Social Security
* Judicial Nominees
* Marriage/Values
* Medicare Reform
* Border Security
* Homeland Security
* Military/Defense Spending

#2 Which of the Democrats' liberal policies do you oppose the most?
* Raising Taxes By Trillions of Dollars
* Cutting the U.S. Defense Budget
* Undermining Traditional Marriage
* No Reform to save social security
* Blocking U.S. Energy Independence
* U.N. Control of the War On Terrorism

#3 Senate Democrats think taxes should go up so that Barack Obama can "spread the wealth around." Senate Republicans support tax relief for working families, businesses and seniors. Whom do you support?
* Senate Republicans
* Senate Democrats
* Not Sure / Undecided

#4 Senate Republicans support responsible judges who will follow the U.S. Constitution and NOT legislate from the bench. Senate Democrats want to confirm "activist judges" who will use America's judicial system to promote liberal policies and strike down anti-terrorism efforts and law enforcement efforts they view as "too conservative." Whom do you support?
* Senate Republicans
* Senate Democrats
* Not Sure / Undecided

I'm not sure of the point of questions 3 and 4 if this is a "Republican strategy ballot," although perhaps it's a clumsy attempt to weed out the non-Republicans like myself. I'd like to think it's an effort to gauge how turned off people are by the language used, but I doubt it. Then there are the first few questions, which basically only mention taxes in terms of real libertarian concerns. (And as I've been blogging recently, discussing taxes absent a discussion on spending is downright negligent.) Is this what I'm supposed to think is the Republican agenda should they regain power? Opposing gay marriage? Building a fence around the border? Further intrusions into our lives by the national security state? Hell, I even have to wonder what saving social security means, when we're supposed to be upset at the Democrat oppositions to social security reform. And the laundry list of "liberal Democrat" policies sounds more like a Republican's bad dream than reality. I wish the Democrats were serious about gay marriage and cutting the defense budget and I have no idea what U.N. control of the war on terror even means, particularly given that the Obama administration has doubled down on all the Bush-era anti-terrorism tactics and has failed to fulfill the pre-election promise of closing down Gitmo.

This is everything that's wrong with politics and why libertarians have no political home. For everyone who would ever try and convince me to vote or lean Republican, this is precisely why I can't do it as a matter of general principle.


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