The GOP Is Pretty Bad

The GOP Is Pretty Bad

We have been reduced to a group of elected officials who are so terrified of giving up the power that was arbitrarily given to them, that we forget what this country was based on
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Written in response to Jennifer Rubin's Washington Post op-ed: "Just How Bad Are Republicans?"

Many have argued that the lowest point of modern day Republicans was the election of Donald Trump, whose inclusion into the Republican Party had more to do with exclusion from the Democratic Party than actual alignment with Republican ideals. However, since Trump's election, Republicans are evidently showing their true colors.

Look at the decisions made by the GOP a la Trump: a health care plan which eliminates every good thing about Obamacare, while exaggerating its negatives. Their plan was to remove millions (yes, millions) from healthcare while continuing to give tax cuts to the super-rich, who are the last people in our current economy who need tax cuts. This was barely supported by the rest of the party (famously, John McCain made several speeches about how inhumane and unethical this plan was), and certainly wasn't supported by the Democrats.

After the massive failure of TrumpCare, the GOP a la Trump continued to make decisions based on what would benefit themselves, rather than the mass percentage of the American population. Their new tax plan is the same as their healthcare plan, but with added tax cuts for corporations. So, to summarize: still fucking over millions of people in the lower and middle class who would actively benefit from tax breaks, and giving the majority of the benefit to Trump himself and his friends.

Even environmentally, this administration is royally screwing up. The head of the EPA is an avid climate change denier, Trump recently lifted the ban on importing hunting trophies (shocker: his sons are all avid big game hunters), and the GOP is trying desperately to revive the coal industry. The coal industry, might I add, is dying because we have realized the massive and awful impact burning coal has on our environment.

What is especially concerning about Trump's GOP is the power and admiration they have for foreign leaders. Calling them leaders is putting it diplomatically, and frankly, I'm sick of being diplomatic. Trump has an obsession with glorified dictators like Vladimir Putin of Russia and the Turkish president who literally stole an election. How is that not a giant red flag about the state of our "Grand Ole Party"?

This is all without even discussing the morons he is putting into his administration, like the federal court appointee who has never tried a case, or the lifetime federal judge nominee in Alabama who did not realize that his wife being one of Trump's lawyers was a conflict of interest. These are all just the most recent "What the fuck" moments from the Trump administration, but it feels as though they are multiplying the longer Trump adjusts to his time in the White House.

Even without Trump's obvious lack of compassion for the people who is he now makes decisions for, this behavior is concerning. It's especially concerning because the Republican party was once based on strict interpretation of laws, whereas they now seem to be based on whatever comes out of Trump's misogynistic, bigoted asshole.

The most telling quote from Rubin's op-ed was:

The Trump GOP does not believe in fiscal responsibility nor in federalism (as evidenced by its attack on localities that don’t do the feds’ bidding on immigration enforcement) nor in legal immigration. It does, however, believe in mass deportation of “dreamers,” who came here illegally as children.

The GOP president believes 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally based on no evidence whatsoever but doesn’t think the Russians meddled in our election despite the unanimous findings of our intelligence services.

The GOP president does not believe the media should be able to write whatever it wants nor that a sheriff found in contempt of court for abusing the rights of suspected illegal immigrants should be convicted and punished.

The GOP-led Congress is content to tolerate Trump's nepotism, massive conflicts of interest and possible receipt of foreign emoluments. It looks the other way as a president monetizes the office, hawking his properties at every opportunity.





I'm not sure what's worse: the idea that the Grand Ole Party has been reduced to a group of racist, misogynist, elitist bigots, or that it has been reduced to a group of spineless jellyfish who blindly follow their leader rather than stand up for the principles upon which their party is based. I cannot claim that I agree with Republicans all the time or even the majority of the time, but before the election of Donald Trump, I could at least understand their point of view.

Now all I see is a group of old white men who are terrified of the "other" taking something from them that we haven't had in awhile. We have been reduced to a group of elected officials who are so terrified of giving up the power that was arbitrarily given to them, that we forget what this country was based on in the first place.

And frankly, I don't know how much longer I can bear to be a part of it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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