The many faces of Romney captivate an astonished nation. Since the Republican primaries, Romney morphs and shape-shifts his positions. The presidential debates clearly exposed Romney's shifting positions on virtually every issue with the exception of tax cuts for the very wealthy. More is at stake here than a mere candidate for president who apparently lacks a moral core.
During my lifetime, the Republican Party transformed itself from a bastion of white protestant businessmen into a strange amalgam of religious fundamentalists, anti-government activists and pro big business advocates. A single core belief seems to separate national political factions. Conservatives and Republicans see people as basically evil and something that must be controlled, often by strong leaders. Moderates and Democrats tend to view humanity as basically good. Reality is almost certainly in between either view but leaning toward good.
As the Republican Party transformed itself, its ideals metastasized from Ronald Reagan's benign conservatism into the extremist positions exhibited by Republican candidates at every level. If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would be driven from the party as too liberal. Historically, political extremists populated both party fringes. However, few extremists captured as many candidate or elected positions that now define the Republican Party. Currently, a vote for any Republican candidate is a vote for extremism and failure. Previously, I identified fatal Republican foreign relations and economic policy flaws. Now, here are five, additional flaws for your consideration.
- The Republican meme that government does not create jobs is false. At every level from local road maintenance to the federal government Mars program, jobs are created. Occasionally, I encounter a counter argument that without the private sector, those jobs would not exist. As long as people exist in communities, services will be required for survival. Government provides those services perhaps with private sector assistance. New York metropolitan recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy demonstrate this synergy at its best.
Government research and technology produce employment and growth in often unsuspected ways. When we watched U.S. rockets exploding on launch pads at the beginning of the space race, few imagined that we would land on the moon. Today our government is literally exploring Mars and the private sector is heavily employed in space from GPS and communication satellites to resupply ships. All are surprising offshoots boosting U.S. and global economies.
- Republicans embrace religion over science. Religion is separate from, and a poor substitute for, science. Facts are the world is older than 6,000 years and humans did evolve and continue to do so. The U.S. Constitution reflects the values of the Enlightenment. The principles of the Enlightenment heavily influenced the worldview and the religious beliefs of our founders. Straying from the founders' intent and Enlightenment principals, Republicans encourage Christian Churches to interfere in the political process in an attempt to negate laws at their whim.
- Republicans denigrate women. Worse, Republican legislation actively works to limit equality. Women will never be equal and free until they can control their fertility and receive equal pay. High birth rates are generally associated with poverty and lack of opportunities for all.
- Sitting here in the heart of a Mid-Atlantic region recovering from the super storm, Hurricane Sandy, the challenges of coping with a changing climate are forced home. The cost of doing nothing far outweighs the cost of adapting to climate change. The Republican Party makes light of the risks and remains captive to both huge energy interests and religious beliefs. The Department of Defense, State Department and the CIA identify climate change as creating huge defense and economic challenges. The vast majority of relevant scientists agree. Republican legislation and language belittle the risk even going so far as to designate climate concern fraudulent.
- Republicans support limiting constitutional rights, personal freedoms and states' rights while claiming the opposite. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is but one example. Proposing federal laws restricting state and local gun regulations is another. Removing birth control from women's health care plans but allowing male performance drugs, is still another. Essentially the Republican Party wants to provide the federal government access into our homes, bedrooms and very bodies.
The Republican Party appears to be sinking into a miasma of ignorance and prejudice that is beginning to damage the economic and military future of the United States. Voting for any Republican in the current election cycle only encourages more extremism coupled with fewer freedoms. President Obama and Democratic senatorial candidates earned election.
Further down the ticket, Democratic candidates for federal, state and local offices, even a few of marginal quality, deserve election to office. The pathology infecting the Republican Party, plainly on view in the current House of Representatives, establish that party as unfit for elected office.