Political blogs are everywhere. This is not a political blog. Essential Listening remains devoted to music. However, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings have reminded me of my views and I felt like a random post would be nice.
I am a Republican. I do not support much of the presidency of George W Bush.
These statements likely contradict in the minds of many moderates and liberals today. Clearly (seemingly) my Republican status must make me a Bush supporter.
That is simply not the case.
The unfortunate reality is that, until the election of Barack Obama, the Republican Party was slipping away for me, becoming a shell of what I support.
In my mind, the Republican Party is summarized by Ronald Reagan (almost). The essential consideration is small, un-intrusive government. This means fewer social programs, less bloat and less spending.
This should again raise a flag for all liberals. How can a Republican support less spending if Bush spent so much?
Therein lies the problem: George Bush was more a Democrat than Republican. Instead of being conservative with the budget, he spent. Instead of cutting down the bureaucracy, he expanded the role of government in education and surveillance. Suddenly, the government was huge and powerful.
This is not what a “real” Republican ought support. Quite suddenly, Bush seemed no better than the liberals he “opposed.” And somehow, the “republican” politicians followed. They spent, they grew government and alienated their base.
It is interesting now to see the Obama economic policies unfold. Essentially taking over where Bush left off, this president is lending money to banks, taking over the auto industry and attempting to stimulate the economy through huge spending bills.
So where is the money? If we’ve spent this much, why isn’t every state feeling the impact right now?
I don’t like the idea of government running my life. Blame it on my enjoyment of freedom, if you must. But having government seemingly in control of so much of the economy (essentially becoming the farmer feeding the companies), it feels as if there is a sudden connection between government and employment or government and purchases.
I don’t want to rely on government to regulate my choices. I’m a strong believer in competition resulting in a better living environment. Furthermore, why does government know what is best for companies? And why do all companies necessarily need to survive right now? If a market is shrinking or no longer exists (like the market for American-made cars), why try to artificially prop it up?
The larger the government, the less power the individual holds. By taking over industries or interjecting in healthcare as a new provider, government gains power. Other competition falls (how do you compete with a multi-trillion dollar “company” like Washington?), and we’re left with one choice.
Clearly that goes to the extreme, and I recognize the failings in the current systems (especially healthcare), but the suggestion that government provides all the answers is absurd and generally foolish.
Innovators exist within our country, working to improve their fields. By shutting of their voices with a single answer via government, we all lose.
I’m happy to see that current Republicans are “suddenly” remembering their root core as supporters of small government. However, this quick change in the Obama world is awfully fishy, and seems just as a counterpoint to the Democrat policies.
I am a Republican because I support small government. But I want those who represent me to actually mean it when they claim that Obama’s spending is over-the-top. A quick reminder would serve well: they’re the same people who were giddy about giving Bush more money for no reason.