Why Republican Political Posturing Should Not be Rewarded in November
Before I even set foot in America, I was in awe of this great country. America was the land of opportunity and social freedoms. America was the land of possibility. Despite the rough times of late, it remains all of those things today.
Keeping America great is a collective effort that requires all of us fortunate enough to live here to work together to uphold the standards of democracy, regardless of race, religion, sexuality or political affiliations. As individuals, we may not agree with policies and beliefs that differ from our own, but what makes America great is our willingness as a nation to allow all Americans the freedom to voice our opinions and beliefs. Maintaining an open mind and an open dialogue can result in more than just tolerance, it can give birth to new ideas that will continue to propel our nation forward.
And yet, today’s Republican party seems to scoff at the notion of collaboration. In the GOP, bipartisanship – which requires compromise – has become as undesirable as taxes. Republicans won the House in the 2010 midterm elections on their promise to reduce the federal budget deficit and create a smaller, more accountable government. House Speaker Boehner and President Obama were close to a “grand bargain” on a long-term deficit reduction plan but Boehner eventually pulled out of the talks because of the plan’s proposed increased taxes for the wealthy. He knew he would not be able to get the House to pass the plan with this provision intact.
But if the Republicans’ primary mandate is to reduce the budget deficit, why do it through spending cuts alone? Why not even consider generating additional revenue from those who can afford to pay it? This would be akin to annual price increases that many corporations in the private sector implement to generate additional revenue. Any way you look at it, we can balance the budget faster if we cut spending AND generate revenue. The math doesn’t change based on party lines.
Even Ronald Reagan conceded that tax hikes are necessary to manage the country’s deficit. Do historical lessons not warrant any merit? In the past two years, the Grand Old Party has become the Grand Standing Party, hell bent on blocking the current administration’s policies without any consideration if raising the upper-income tax rate is proposed. This Republican obstinateness has been nothing short of irresponsible, coming at a time when Americans need action, not political posturing.
This is one of many reasons why I will be voting for President Obama again in November 2012. Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican President, described the U.S. government as the “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Republicans need to be reminded that he was referring to ALL American people, not just the ultra conservatives. This reminder is even more important in the wake of the restrictive voter registration law the Republican governor passed last year in Florida and the voter ID law proposed in Texas by Republicans to curtail a voter fraud issue that doesn’t exist. Fortunately, these laws are being blocked by federal judges.
I admit that Obama’s presidency has not been perfect, but he has prioritized action over political posturing, and he has shown a greater willingness to work with the Republicans than they have with him. To those who claim he has done nothing to improve America, read this Slate article which my friend Kathryn kindly forwarded to me.
In his keynote address at the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said “when there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than they worry about winning reelection, it is possible to work together, achieve principal compromise, and get results for the people who give us these jobs in the first place.” I had to wonder if he had forgotten where he was and who he was speaking to because I could not agree with him more, which is why I believe President Obama deserves a second term.Tweet