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Stop voting for the Republicrats

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Before you read this column, I want you to take a brief quiz. Of the two major candidates in the 2004 presidential election, which one: supported the passage of the Patriot Act and the massive extensions of government surveillance power that came with it; supported military action against Iraq, despite limited or no connection between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; supported increased federalization of state education; was a self-described “fiscal conservative” and supported spending hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on abortion-on-demand?

If you said “both George W. Bush and John Kerry,” you are absolutely right! You are one of very few voters who actually pays attention to the left hands of politicians while they’re holding babies in their right.

While much of the nation has apparently become “polarized,” the politicians representing these supposedly different ideologies have snuggled even closer together. The favorite word of the McCain/Feingold era has become “bipartisanship,” which is a delightfully sneaky buzzword that basically translates to: “we barely even disagree anymore.”

So people continue voting along these continually blurring party lines. In the 2004 election, 62 million people voted for Bush and 59 million voted for Kerry, supposedly indicating that the nation is split right down the middle. Of course, 121 million people is only 55-60 percent of eligible voters, so it is actually slightly more than half of Americans who are “polarized.”

Why is it this way?

According to a September, 2004 Gallup poll, many Americans voted for Bush because of his “good moral values,” while people voted for Kerry because they wanted “to get Bush out of office.” Both of these reasons are asinine, and I hope that is obvious.

Most left-wingers did not care that Kerry wanted to send even more troops to Iraq than Bush; they did not care that he voted for the Patriot Act and tried throughout his career to expand the FBI’s power to invade the cyber-privacy of Americans. None of these issues mattered, simply because they wanted Bush out of office. It makes no sense.

On the other hand, the majority of right-wing Catholics on this campus are also oblivious to the fact that their once Grand Old Party has taken on decidedly more left-wing policies. Of course, there was that wonderful tax cut, which was promptly followed by $2 trillion in spending that had to come from somewhere (our children? Our grandchildren? Newly-freed Iraqis?). Party loyalty has become more important than principles, and I believe it is because of one very dangerous word: Abortion.

Why is the average conservative Notre Dame student content to ignore the big-government welfare-warfare state of the Bush administration? Because somewhere in the Republican Party’s platform is some anti-abortion rhetoric, and Republican politicians do their best to pay lip service to it. It is the only real issue that still divides the two major parties, at least in the minds of naïve voters.

However, consider the following: Planned Parenthood is the nation’s number one provider of abortions, and it receives much of its funding from American taxpayers in the form of bloated government programs such as Medicaid and Title X. This year’s massive Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill included over $250 million for abortion-on-demand, and – as he has not vetoed a single bill in five years – was signed by President George W. Bush.

I’m sure many left-wingers are rejoicing in this fact, which makes my point perfectly.

The fact of the matter is that Republicans may talk tough about abortion during the election cycle, and most of you may buy it; but when it comes to standing up for the supposed ideals of the GOP, almost all of them come up very, very short.

Let me be clear: I am only “pro-life” insofar as I believe Federal spending on abortion is completely unconstitutional. However, I also believe there is no blanket solution to the abortion question and therefore I do not support laws against it, so I suppose that makes me “pro-choice.” My goal in writing this article is merely to show that single-issue voting is not only ignorant, it is also assumes inter-party distinctions that barely even exist.

Even a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Most of the country voted Democratic in 1992 and 1996, and we saw an offensive war in the Balkans and an ever-increasing national debt. The nation voted Republican in 2000 and 2004, and we saw an offensive war in Iraq and an ever-expanding budget deficit.

It is time to stop the insanity. Stop voting for the Republicrats.

Scott Wagner is the president of the brand new College Libertarians Club and writes political satire for the Web site The Enduring Vision. He can be contacted at swagner1@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.