An ultra-conservative friend of mine recently wrote to me saying that he’s read my stories, but secretly suspects that I might not be as left-leaning as I come across in some of those articles. To him, I said “you’re probably right,” and wrote this open letter in response.
And for those of you scoring along at home, I’ve included copious amounts of links and citations. Feel free to check my work.
Is Editor Brian K. White Secretely a Moderate?
I’m still a registered Republican, but only because I don’t know how to change that to independent. I was raised republican by my loving, financially comfortable, debt-free parents. The first vote I cast, however, was for deficit-hawk Ross Perot in 1992. I didn’t vote for Clinton, but I tried to vote for Bush in 2000. I lived in a blue district, so the voter rolls had been scrubbed by Rove et al, so I wasn’t eligible.
I do consider myself to be in the middle. I own guns and support gun rights, but I think we need to draw them back a bit so crazy people and felons don’t have ready access to them. I support business, even big business, but I feel that those businesses should support their workers and not force them to rely on social programs to meet basic needs like food and healthcare.
What I’ve seen is the Republicans moving far, far to the right. All this focus on gays and abortion doesn’t fit with politics. I don’t care who marries whom, it’s not my place to say, and it has zero bearing on my life. Remember, those same books of the Bible that decry homosexuality also denounce shellfish and a comfy cotton/poly blend. They endorse whipping slaves to a slow death and polygamy and mistresses. The Bible should not be a template for modern life.
I mostly care about jobs and the economy, and I haven’t seen anything yet from the conservative right that would tell me they have a serious plan.
This endless demand from the right for lower taxes for the rich is just absurd. America was the most prosperous and innovative nation in the world when the rich paid their fair share. If we so desperately want to go back to the 1950s or earlier, we need to start by going back to those tax rates.
I’m not a socialist, but neither is Obama. The Democrats compromise so much that they are the new middle. Obamacare was a Republican plan, offered first by Bob Dole and then by Mitt Romney. I wanted to see more focus on cost-controls, but they compromised all the way to what the Republicans wanted. No single payer, no public option. The republicans should be thrilled, not dishonestly mislabeling it socialism or a government takeover, both of which it is not.
Putting more money in the hands of the cash-hoarders will not make individuals or businesses hire workers. Apple has over $110 billion in cash, and they aren’t spending it. Google and Microsoft also have tens of billions in cash, much of it sitting overseas, that they refuse to bring home and/or spend. Our corporate tax rate of 35% is too high, but not when you consider that no one is paying it.
Individual Americans may be sitting on $32 trillion in offshore accounts, but it doesn’t make them create more jobs. These are not job creators, these are cash hoarders.
Conservatives are supposed to be fiscally conservative, not simply anti-tax. Not specifically anti-tax for the rich.
Obama has expanded drilling and signed the bill to allow guns in National Parks. That’s not even a center-left president. He’s extended the Bush tax cuts repeatedly, and that’s a big part of what’s causing the deficit to balloon. He has shrunk government since he took office. That’s not typical blue Democrat behavior. That’s what the Republicans wanted, and they got it, and they’re still fuming mad.
The Stimulus was supposed to be a trillion in spending, but instead it was more than half tax-cuts and half spending, half of which they cancelled. So the spending side of the Stimulus was only 25% of what it was supposed to be, but the Republicans still got 100% of the tax cuts they wanted. Those tax-cuts did NOT stimulate the economy, so why can’t we put that myth to bed? It’s because monied interests have the spare nickels to buy ever-more “conservative” politicians, who promptly give them more tax cuts.
I loved McCain, just not 2008 McCain. I loved 2000-2004 McCain, and he wasn’t up for election. Then he picked Palin and it was over for me. No longer was I an Obama supporter, but an Obama volunteer.
I loved 2008 Romney, but just like McCain, he had to swing hard to the right just to get the nomination, and now his Etch-a-sketch can’t undo it. Then he picks Ryan, the guy that would lower Romney’s tax rate to 0.82% (yes, that’s the real number). That wouldn’t create more jobs, it would just allow Romney to hoard more cash while exploding the deficit. Somebody has to pay for the Ryan Plan, and the rich have made it clear they ain’t gonna pay their share willingly. And Romney is their guy. He’s the tax-cheat in chief, which is why we’ll never see his tax returns.
Thanks to the boom in natural gas, energy can be both cheap and clean. There’s no reason to destroy our environment. I’m not pro-recycling (I can’t get anyone to explain why we even do it, except for aluminum, which makes sense,) but I am anti mercury, arsenic and lead poisoning. I don’t think that makes me a lefty, I think it makes me a moderate.
What Americans do better than anyone in the world is innovate, and we’re destroying our future. College education is no longer affordable, not even close. You can no longer work your way through college. No minimum wage job will get you even close to covering that nut, but Ryan wants to cut Pell Grants and student loans even further. How will we innovate without college graduates?
The conservative vision I subscribe to says that the American dream is to earn a million dollars. The conservatives in office think the American dream is to earn a million dollars a month.
I don’t envision a Socialist utopia, but there are policies in place that work well in Europe, and failing to even look at them because of the bugaboo of socialism is just plain crazy. We pay more per capital for healthcare than any other nation in the world, but our outcomes rank down at 37th, right next to Cuba. We’re paying for the best healthcare in the world, we’re getting ripped off, and the Republicans want to stop any progress towards an improvement. They’ve controlled the House for two years and have introduced ZERO bills, save for the repeal of Obamacare, which they knew would never pass the Senate.
So am I really a liberal? If the only other thing I can be is a Paul Ryan conservative, then yes. I’m a bleeding-heart liberal. On the political spectrum, I still fall in the middle, but the Republicans are so far out in right field they’re practically standing in foul territory.