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I wasn’t born here but I have always favored the Democrat US Presidents over the Republican ones while growing up in Brazil. I moved to the US during Clinton’s second presidential term – and the beginning of a retrograde in American life the way the world perceives it.
I could not understand why such a private matter with the President was considered as a reason to impeach him. I could not understand it at all. Not that I endorse cheating, but I thought it was not a matter of State or political agenda – it was a matter between a husband and a wife. After Bush “won” the election, I understood it was the beginning of a false moralization movement to gain Republican vote. I also understood that there was a great number of Americans who wish they still lived in the 50’s – and when I moved to Texas, I confirmed not only that, but also the use of religion in politics, most specifically, Christianity as a way to compel and convince people that they (the Republicans) were the good guys because they were against abortion, pro gun, pro death sentencing, against gay (and many other minorities), and pro rich.
But I digress: my intention here is to explain why I can’t be Republican. My husband’s family was Republican until Obama (not sure if they are Democrats, but I believe they voted democrat in the last Presidential election), except for my husband, who has been a democrat since College. We first lived in Arizona, a Republican state and then moved to Texas – a supersized Republican state – so, I’ve been surrounded by Republicans most of my American life (16 years so far). We are a middle class (struggling) family with no pretension of looking and acting as if we were rich – we live from pay check to pay check (I lost my job in February – so our pay check to pay check has been tightened…), hardly go on vacation, focus on our kids – and pay our taxes, no matter what – we have no investments – just our house. I had to cash most of my 401K to make ends meet. I don’t mind paying taxes, because I do enjoy the benefits of paying taxes: roads, schools, health care, culture, libraries, arts… I don’t enjoy paying the same (or more) than a person who makes 20 times more than my husband and I make together. It is just not right, period. The very small percentage (getting smaller and smaller) of millionaires also use the roads, the schools, culture, arts – in fact, I think they are the ones that take most advantage of it – even with health care, because of all Federal Grants that can be awarded to medical research and help with treatment that most likely will be available to the ones who can afford it first!
What I notice is that, most of the Republicans that I meet, fell for the Republican message that they need to protect the rich because they will be rich one day!!!! And the poor are just lazy, incompetent, and made a bad choice in life (I actually heard these exact words from some people). Some bought into the whole “moral” discourse (which is just a discourse, but not lived by the majority of them) – Christians should behave and follow Christ’s example of love…
The majority of Republicans just love a “bully” – a “leader” who won’t take no for an answer, etc. Yet, if Obama shows any sign of being fed up with the Republican boycott to our economy, he is not fair, he is a “communist” (that’s quite funny in my opinion)… oh, the double standards. I think that’s one of the things I dislike the most – together with the racism I perceive, the intolerance, the selfishness, the ego trip. If Republicans were to follow the rule they proclaim as theirs: small government, no government messing with our business – then the corporations would be even more ruling than they are now (yes, because if a corporation is viewed as a people and have the same rights as I have in Campaign contribution, then they should pay taxes as I do – in Texas they pay much less than small business owners). Corporations control how our political, economical, legislative state go – they don’t even need lobbyists anymore – they just “buy” their politicians with campaign contribution and control the course of our lives. I think that, in a near future, if we don’t scale down campaign rules, we won’t have politicians any longer – it will be only Corporate CEO’s determining how much more they can profit by making the middle class and the poor pay for it.
But, again, I digress – I can’t be a Republican simply because I grew up with the understanding that even if you are more privileged, you share, you care, you do your part so the world is a better place – in all aspects. I don’t see that sentiment in the Republican politicians – it’s all about greed, money, and telling lies – all about this supreme power that is beyond their control and their reach, but that they feel compelled to protect, because, this way, they will have their interests protected (money, money, money with a taste of power). I can’t be a Republican because I don’t believe in their discourse, because I’ve only witnessed serious character scandals on them that jeopardize the country, the unethical “playground” rules that they enforce, and their hijacking of the Christian beliefs. I’m neither pro-life, nor pro-choice – I am pro-education – and during the Republican years I’ve experienced so far, children and young adults were robbed of their rights of being educated – the campaign in schools for abstinence were ridiculous and unrealistic… (Let’s be frank: how many more teenage pregnancies resulting in dropping out of school occurred during Bush’s administration? And how about venereal diseases? I don’t think educating kids about the risk of contracting a disease or becoming pregnant means that I am encouraging them to have sex. But telling a horny teenager that wearing condoms will not prevent them from getting someone pregnant and abstinence is the only way, will not stop them – in fact, I think it will give them carte blanche to not wear a condom…) The pretend game Republican leaders play scares and worries me… I can’t be a Republican because I don’t want to live in the 50’s when it was OK to be a racist, to be ignorant, to be selfish, and not to care about our responsibility in preserving the world’s resources. I can’t be a Republican! Period.
But I have to say: I am not that happy with the Democrats either…
***Note: I started writing this on October 1st, 2011. Since then, lots more have happened that just corroborate my feelings: Occupy Wall Street and We Are 99% movements, the Republican presidential candidates circus – Cain, Perry, Bachmann, and, the worst: Gingrich (a serious threat to this country’s freedom and constitution and a step back of another 50 years… come on, child labor is OK? among many other scary things he says), GOP skipping town to make the poor pay more taxes… Oh, my, what are my choices? Isn’t it obvious? But I do need to learn more about Ron Paul.