By Tom Rhodes, 3/5/2013
The Republicans are attacking their roots, trying to “rebrand” themselves, and figure out why they lost and are not in power. The answer is simple, they don’t stand for anything, are inconsistent. “Big Government Lite” is not a solution to the leftist, statist, positions of the Democrats. The Democrats have credibility the Republicans don’t because they at least honest and unapologetic about standing for bigger government, more government control, and increased statism.
Consider the GOP position on gasoline taxes. As mark Hendrickson noted in his Forbes article, GOP legislators are against higher gasoline taxes to pay for infrastructure repairs to roads and bridges, actually complaining that motorists would end up bearing the cost of the tax hike. Duh! Motorists use the roads why shouldn’t they pay for their maintenance. The GOP position is that those who use the roads shouldn’t bear the cost of the roads? Taxes like fuel taxes expressly used to build and maintain roads are fair, just, and voluntary. Don’t want to pay the tax, ride a bike, live in a city and walk, etc. Want to pay less tax, drive less, get a more fuel efficient vehicle, etc.
Crying Social Security is insolvent and voting to reduce soc security revenue by 2% in 2010 is another example of inconsistent, non-policy. Does the GOP believe that government should be involved in citizens retirement funding? If so vote to fund it, if not get the government out of it, but take a consistent stand. The GOP claim of fiscal responsibility isn’t followed with voting or actions that support their claim. How is voting to reduce revenues for specific projects without voting to cut those projects spending fiscally responsible. The GOP claims they want to limit government spending, but then consistently claim that decreasing part of planed increases to spending is cutting spending. At least the Democrats are honest about not caring about deficits, and wanting to ever increase the size and power of government, they are honest statists.
Every time a Republican votes for some unfunded or underfunded government spending, they are loudly proclaiming their hypocrisy. Voting to try and improve the welfare state, rather than getting rid of it, is in direct conflict with the ideas they espouse. No rational voter can be assured of what the GOP will do, Obama won in 2012 with less total votes than he had in 2008, yet a higher percentage of the vote. The reason is clear, the GOP offered a statist, Romney, whose promise wasn’t to make government smaller, but protect big business. GOP voters didn’t bother, as the author of Romney care, the foundation of Obamacare, clearly didn’t represent the ideas the GOP claim to espouse.
As I’ve been claiming for years, the reality in voting patterns and protection of individual liberty the GOP is not functionally different than the Democrats. The reality is with Democrats promising food, clothing, and shelter to all at the expense of tax payers, and more Big Brother to take care of you, and the GOP promising smaller government but consistently delivering more power to Big Brother, why vote GOP, they are liars?
Last Night on John Stossel’s show arch conservative and Republican cheer leader Glen Beck boldly proclaimed that he was a Libertarian, renounced many of his past positions as wrong. Welcome aboard Mr. Beck, your newfound conversion to limited government is welcome. You have learned and now agree that voting for the GOP isn’t going to make you freer, reduce the size of government or even, as promised, reduce your actual tax burden. Voting for Democrats you will get what they promise, bigger government and more taxes. There is a clear different choice, but . . . . . that choice actually attempts to do what it says, reduce the size and scope of government. The Libertarian Party where elected won’t give you anarchy, but will wherever it can actually reduce the size of government and work to limit the power and authority of the state. That means it will let you keep more of what you earn but it won’t take care of you. Having the freedom to keep what you earn assumes you are responsible to provide for yourself.
As Libertarians, we need to welcome those abandoning the GOP with open arms. They don’t have perfect libertarian philosophy, but only accepting perfect libertarians hasn’t worked out so well for us. We are better off with and can make a bigger difference with libertarian leaning conservatives joining us than kicking them out because they are still learning and don’t quite get the minutia of this libertarian thought.