When I was a teenager and Clinton was elected president (oh, dark of days it was), it was good to be a Republican. For as a Republican, you stood against the higher taxes and government entitlements and waste that the Democrats wanted to foist upon the country in effort to build their “government is daddy” utopia. You could actually hold your head up high and say that you stood for something different than the prevailing wisdom in Washington.
But now, in a time when Republicans own the government, it is not so good to be a Republican. Indeed, for me, the victorious feeling I had when Bush beat Gore (and he did, so get over it!) and when the Republicans gained complete control of Congress two years later, has turned bitter and cynical. The party I was so gleeful to see gain power after so many years as a minority has squandered their moral authority in less time than it took Clinton to get caught in an “inappropriate” relationship with an intern.
Now the inappropriate relationship is that of the Republicans and big government.
I don’t care about deficit spending. If we need to spend more money on defense and homeland security, do it. The government should never be running a surplus, because that inherently means that the government is stealing from the taxpayer.
But I do care about waste and ever-ballooning government programs. Spending billions of dollars to find out if Mars was ever wet is a waste of taxpayer money. Billions of dollars being flushed down the toilet of the NEA is a waste of taxpayer money. Billions of dollars being sent to third-world countries is a waste of taxpayer money when that money does nothing but enable poor economic policy. And spending even more Federal tax dollars on education is a total and complete waste, when all of the research shows that the more money we spend on schools, the worse they perform — to say nothing of the inherent problem of making everyone drink at the trough of government welfare education.
It is sad to have to say why I am a Republican. I am a Republican because I am loathe to be a Democrat. I am a Republican, because if I voted for Democrats, I would be voting for even more wasteful spending, and side-orders of bad security policy and legalized infanticide on top of higher taxes. And I am a Republican because I am not extreme enough to be a Libertarian and I have to be somewhat pragmatic in the voting booth.
Oh, I know that there are still a lot of Republican representatives who are not big-spending, government bloating, vote-buying, NEA-appeasing weasels. And I hope that they knock some sense into the Republican leadership and get things under control. But until they do, I will be a Republican by default.