Monday, November 24, 2003

Rights and Reason: Just what do Republicans stand for?

I'm not the only one angry at the Republicans. I received this from David Burton, a tax-reform lobbyist and Republican friend of mine:

Once upon a time (actually a mere 15 years ago before the Bush family took control of the Republican party), being a Republican meant supporting individual liberty, free markets, peace through strength, federalism and limited government. One could even argue that the Republican party still held to these principles as recently as 1996. How times have changes. Now being a Republican means supporting:

1. protectionist tariffs;
2. the largest new entitlement program in 40 years;
3. the largest increases in domestic spending since LBJ (more than either Clinton or Carter);
4. the largest federal intervention in education ever;
5. huge federal intervention in the energy market, including massive subsidies for uneconomic forms of energy;
6. cooperating with European socialists to destroy financial privacy and tax competition;
7. Arresting Americans for alleged crimes and holding them indefinitely without having to prove anything in court or even charge them with a crime or provide access to an attorney, provided that the federal government declares them an enemy combatant or a material witness;

This, of course, is only a partial list of destructive things the Republicans have done once they gained power.
The Republican party has imploded, but in a certain sense, this should come as no surprise. When has a Republican candidate affirmed individual rights without compromise or concession? And if not the principle of individual rights, what principle animates the Republican party?

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