Okay, I admit it, Im being blackmailed. A Republican friend of mine (one of many it turns out) indicated that while he did find last months column somewhat humorous, he thought it would be fair if, for a change, I said something nice about the Republicans. Ordinarily, I would blow off this request.
However, this particular friend is the purveyor of many fine foods and spirits, and he gladly allows me to partake of the same. He also freely shares his multitude of boy toys, large and small, which go bang. Since I enjoy both good food and toys which go bang, I have agreed, quite willingly, to be blackmailed into saying something nice about the Republicans.
Here goes: I like their elephant better than our donkey.
Seriously, Im not Fox News, but I try to present a fair point of view and a somewhat balanced one. Regular readers will know that while I admit my columns being slanted toward the left, both sides have received my ire from time to time.
I thought it only fair if to seek out what the Republican Party actually states as their tenets. Hence, I turned to the most reliable source I could think of. No, not Fox News, but www.GOP.com. Hows that for being fair?
It turns out, as I suspected, the Republican Party and I share a number of similar values. Ah, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. Column space doesnt allow me to expound on this subject as much as Id like so Ill have to pick and choose a little. If you wish to see more, please go to the web site listed above.
The Republican Party believes:
1. Were fortunate to live in America with our inalienable rights. I agree.
Where we disagree is when States Rights interfere with common sense. One example is that, my marriage and CDL drivers license are both recognized in all 50 states, yet my CCW permit in only 32. Why not just develop minimum national standards to obtain a CCW and make the problem go away?
Also, there is talk of having welfare recipients drug tested prior to getting approved for benefits. Some states are for this and others are against it. I happen to be for it. However, this program shouldnt be based on luck of the draw regarding your state of residence. If its good for the goose, its good for the gander.
2. . . .in the value of volunteer giving and community support over taxation and forced redistribution. I agree, and practice what I preach. However, from where I sit, I dont believe any vast number of communities or individuals could, or would, give the adequate amount of continual financial support to those in need, especially those who need it most. What happens to the remainder of the needy?
3. . . .Our armed forces defend and protect our democracy. Absolutely agree. However, lets admit that while we view our military as the best, they certainly arent the most efficiently run, or budget conscious, organizations in our government. Our military is so large, no one knows the exact numbers of bases we have around the world. Good guesses put it at between 460 and 1000. Cant we make them just a teeny bit smaller and reduce that deficit we keep talking about?
4. . . .is supportive of logical business regulations that encourage entrepreneurs to start more businesses. I agree. Im all for entrepreneurial spirit, starting businesses, and hiring people. Im for decreasing unnecessarily burdensome and costly regulations.
Unfortunately, when companies are left to their own devices, they have proven, time after time, that greed wins out over doing the right thing. All one has to do is look at oil and gas industries, mining industry, manufacturing industry, or farming industry to get an idea of what would happen without regulations. If you know of a Republican congressperson who supports business regulation, please call me quickly as he wont be in that position long.
5. . . .support energy independence in an environmentally responsible way. I completely agree. Im just not sure the Republicans mean it. If running an oil pipe line from Canada to Mexico, Fracking for natural gas and oil, clearing mountain tops out of existence for coal, or drilling for oil in ANWR is considered environmentally responsible, then Im a monkeys uncle.
Our main goal now should be to reduce consumption of these products (which we seem loath to do), meanwhile pursuing clean, truly environmentally-friendly alternatives namely wind and solar power. They will produce just as many jobs and be much better for our health and the environment.
6. . . . We believe in a world-class educational system allowing everyone to reach their full potential. We also believe that parents should have the right to send their kids to better schools. I agree, as long as the parents pay for it themselves, not the tax payers. Remember, we want smaller, more efficient government with fewer entitlements. Our governments provide more than adequate levels of fire & police protection as well as a top notch educational system. If a citizen wants a private education for their children, they, not the tax payers, should be responsible for the tuition.
A couple of closing thoughts.
I support several other things which I believe the Republicans also directly or indirectly support. I support government-issued photo IDs for drivers licenses, voter registration cards and concealed carry permits. Do we want to know whether people are who they say they are and whether they are here legally, or dont we?
I believe Tort laws should be drastically reformed. I believe that damage awards have become insanely high and we all pay the price for those awards. Im squarely with the Republicans on this one.
I believe in free market economy. However, we all have to live with it. If gas prices go to $6.00 a gallon, then too bad. We dont need to drill for more oil. If you want the prices to come down, then reduce your consumption. Supply will go up and prices will come down. Just sayin!
Last thing. I believe in keeping my financial house in order - not spending more than I can pay for, and hence, I dont have a deficit. I dont believe the U.S. should have a deficit either and Im willing to reduce, or completely give up my pet programs if you are deal?
So there you have it. That's where I can agree with the Republicans and where I think we differ a little. Maybe one day well work to minimize the areas where we disagree and proactively work on areas where we agree. Its a novel concept, I know.
Thats my opinion, whats yours?
Rick Godfrey writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.