Republican? Why?

OK, I’m totally serious here.

I can think of only a few rational reasons to vote Republican.

But I am not a Republican, and my imagination is limited. Can you help me? Tell me why you are a Republican. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, so I’m no posting this to GD, though I suspect it invites argument more than is usual in this forum.
To make this easy, here’s what I came up with:

  1. I am anti-abortion and this issue is more important than any other.
  2. I am wealthy, and I feel I will pay less taxes/make more money with the GOP in office.
  3. I feel the GOP manages the economy better, which benefits me even though I am not wealthy.
  4. I feel the GOP handles international relations better.

I make no claims that this list is exhaustive, and specifically invite other rational reasons to vote GOP.

Answers that are IMO irrational:
A. I am not wealthy and don’t buy #3, but I feel my taxes will be lower under the GOP.
B. The Democrats are bad, so I vote against them even though I am pro-choice or not wealthy (and don’t buy #3) or both.
C. My family always has voted for the GOP, though I am pro-choice or not wealthy (and don’t buy #3) or both.

Feel free to dispute that these are irrational choices, but please help me out by explaining how your feelings in this regard trump the observation that your self-interests can’t be served by voting for the GOP under A, B, or C.

I am a modern conservative in the American political tradition. The GOP most closely matches my beliefs, which concisely stated are for the maximum amount of personal freedom consistent with law, order and the American tradition.

Besides which, I grew up in an overwhelmingly Democratic area of Pennsylvania, specifically the Mon Valley outside of Pittsburgh. The hypocrisy and corruption of the Democratic machine and its asshole politicians was repulsive. The corruption on this side isn’t nearly as bad.

I’m not a republican, either, so I’m not so privy to the real reasons, but I think some of them were not cool or were insecure growing up and resent people who were/are cool and secure. I don’t quite have the words for it, but intolerance seems to loom large in the republican mindset. Lots of anti-sex, anti-creative-self-expression, anti-sympathy for the poor mixed in there.

I know I’ll get lambasted for this, but I get the impression that mean people gravitate towards republicanism, since their credo seems to be rather harsh: screw the poor, let’s go to war,etc. I’m not saying that republicans are mean, just that mean people seem to me to gravitate towards that party.

And I’ve never heard or read any republican give a positive reason for being one. It’s always “because I hate stinking hippie liberals” or “I hate taxes” or “because I hate the democrats”, etc.
It always comes down to stuff they’re against. Even things that seem positive on their face have negative connotations between the lines, i.e. “bring back the good old days” (when women and minorities were in their place).

Having spewed all that crap, though, I would really like to hear from some of the republicans on this board (whom for the most part I can understand and repect the opinion of, even if I don’t agree). I’m sure they can give you good reasons.

I’m not really either Democrat or Republican, but…

A. I am pro-life, and it is very important to me.
B. I am not wealthy (we make around $20k a year), but I already received a larger tax return because of Bush.
C. I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about “give people more money, and they spend more money.” Spending money is good for the economy! Plus, my husband is making about a third of what he is worth. The companies who can afford to pay that, can’t afford to hire anyone. Maybe if they paid less taxes, they could afford to hire more people, like my husband, and we could afford to pay our rent.
D. I homeschool, and Republicans tend to be more supportive of that.
E. I believe in personal responsibility. The Democratic Party seems to be more about helping people NOT face the consequences of their actions. Just my humble opinion.
F. Tom Delay. :slight_smile: His office is right by here, and I think he’s nifty.
G. I’m for the war. Well, no one is really for war, but it seems to me it’s like dealing with children. If you keep telling a kid “Stop that, or I’m going to spank you!” eventually you have to spank them, or they won’t ever listen to you again.

There are other issues that I tend to side with the left on, but right now I’m mostly with the right.

I’m not a republican, but I think the reason the vast majority would say they are, is that they are FOR personal freedoms.

Most of them I know are not against gays, or minorities, or women’s rights. They believe that minorities should have the same opportunity as whites to attend college, be executives, whatever.

The difference is that they don’t feel it’s the role of the government to bring this about. They are for using the free market as much as possible to bring about such changes.

Pro-war? Please. I know an awful lot of republicans who were not pro-war when it came to Somalia or Kosovo (and to be fair, a lot of Democrats who were). Republicans often seem to have a more law and order approach, but that’s really another instance of using different means to bring about the same goal - peace.

I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat, but I did vote for Bush. In general I feel that the Republicans are the lesser evil. I don’t like how they pander to the religous right, but that’s really a small, albeit vocal, minority.

Your “choices” above are an example of why I don’t like modern liberalism - it is so self-rightous. If a person doesn’t agree with every liberal ideal, then they must be hateful, insane, ignorant, evil, or have some alterior motive such as protecting their enormous wealth.

If I had to choose from your options, I suppose ‘3’ would be the closest. Also, ‘B’ is accurate, but you list that as “irrational.”

When it comes down to it, I’m not convinced that whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in power could seriously affect U.S. Government policy or the quality of life of the average American. Most of the things I hear people complain about (e.g., the legal system, the educational system, the medical system) are the result of bureaucracy, short-sightedness, partisan squabling, and NIMBY-ism. It would take nothing short of a revolution to enact any profound, lasting change on our society.

In the meanwhile, I will continue to favor the party that purports to have the same basic philosophy as I do - maximum freedom, minimal government, economic growth, equal justice, free trade, scientific advancement, and a strong national defense - even if they don’t necessarily practice it.

At the same time, I will continue to be wary of the party that supports so many things I disagree with, such as big government, blatant racism and sexism, limitations on free speech and press, limits on scientific and technological advancement, and protectionist trade policies.

I realize that the above characterizations are oversimplified, but as I said before, I don’t think it really makes any difference which party is in power. In the absense of any real choice, I prefer the party that I agree with at least philisophically. But I would never actually join the Republican party unless serious changes were made to their platform.

An Arky, I know you didn’t say all Republicans are mean, but let me assure you that I am not a mean person. Maybe I am niave, but I tend to think that people do better when you don’t sit around telling them that they can’t.

I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. We are a single income family with three, almost four, kids. I was raised by a single mom with no college education. My mother worked very hard, she managed to keep us off of welfare, and now she lives in a very nice house in a very nice suburb. She managed to pay for some college for me, and will be helping my brother when he goes to community college next year. She made it, and I have faith that I will be there someday.

Anybody can make it in this country if they try. But telling them that they can’t do it because everyone is against them, that is counter-productive. Telling people that they need special help just to get even with everyone else is counter-productive. Telling them that they need freebies because they’ll never be able to aford stuff on their own is counter-productive. Maybe that’s not how Democrats see their views, but that’s what it looks like to me.

Frankly, I was insulted by the offers made to “help” me just because I was a girl and a Catholic. I’m going to have a good life for my family, and my husband and I are going to do it all by ourselves.

Maybe that is niave, but it NOT mean.

Shut up! That’s why!

seriously, my reasons are the $600 tax rebate/refund i received, and the fact that the military always seems to get higher pay raises when a Republican is in office. (I’m in the Air Force)

mike

Hey, Cessandra, I’m kind of in agreement with you on the handout thing. I don’t believe creating a system of entitlement for non-achievers (or achievers, for that matter) is the right kind of help. Give 'em a hand, not a handout. Teach a man to fish, if you will.

However, republicans tend simply turn their backs on the whole problem, saying “not my job, man”. No hands. No fishing lessons. No effort to even fake compassion. But they’ll bend over backwards to further enrich the wealthy.

I grew up moderately well-to-do, and I am successful now. I should be a republican. But I’d rather see a impoverished child go to Head Start than a $600 rebate. Guess I’m naive, too.

So may I take it that abortion issues do not seem important to you, or at least that personal freedom in that area is less important to you?

I don’t think that being pro-life is inconsistent with being in favour of small government. One of government’s few important roles is protecting citizens from physical harm. If you believe that abortion is murder, favoring anti-abortion laws is no more “big government” than favoring anti-murder laws.

Thanks for answering.

I have to say I resent be labelled as self-righteous in this forum. I saw nothing self-righteous in what I said, and asked a simple question. I apologize if you felt I was attacking you; I did ask for other reasons that you might prefer to endorse and to explain why my characterization was wrong.

BTW, I disagree with your characterization of the Democrats, but I agree with much of your characterization of the GOP, except that more freedom would imply removing restrictions on abortion, rather than strengthening them, IMO. I also agree that it may not make much difference in the everyday life of many Americans.

If I may be allowed to paraphrase, it sounds like you mainly agree with the GOP platform and disagree with the Democrat platform, except that you would prefer freedom with respect to abortion, and you don’t think that’s important.

(PS, I am not saying that abortion IS murder – I don’t want to debate that. I am just saying from a pro-life POV this isn’t a hypocritical stance. I mean, I prefer the government to stay out of my life as much as possible. But I’d still like to be able to call the cops if someone is trying to kill me. Government does have a valid role in society, even if it’s a relatively small one.)

  1. I am pro-life, and that issue is important enough to me to sway my vote.

  2. I am also pro-personal responsibility. You choose to sleep with everything that has a penis, don’t expect me to pay you to have children. Use birth control, if you can’t use self-control.

  3. As seen in the “What’s up with Americans and Income Tax” thread, I don’t mind paying taxes to support the common good. I don’t make much, (around $30K/year) but I’m glad I make enough to contribute to society. HOWEVER - I don’t feel that means I have to pay to bail everyone out. It’s a sink or swim world - you’d better get off your ass and start swimming.

  4. I think International Relations (or Foreign Affairs - they both sound dirty) is presently a no-win situation.

  5. Most Dems seem pompously PC, seeming to espouse virtues of tolerance, meanwhile being intolerant of anyone Christian or conservative or Republican or otherwise not matching their values. Tolerance is a two-way street.

StG

Honestly it doesn’t matter what anyone is…
I did not have 1 person to vote for that shared all of my views ever in my life…
and I most likely never will…

People I know who are republican… the issues are usually anti-gun control…
and are rich…

I didn’t really say that you or your post was self-righteous. What I said is that modern liberalism is self-righteous. All utopian belief systems are self-righteous and ultimately fascist to some degree, whether it’s socialist, theocratic, libertarian, or whatever. They are all based on a narrowly defined world-view and can only work if everyone buys into that same world-view. Anyone who doesn’t share that view is automatically characterized as the enemy.

In your OP, you did this by implying that the two main reasons anyone would be a Republican are to deny people abortions or to protect their wealth. However, there are people both for and against abortion in both parties (or neither), and there are both wealthy and poor people in both parties (or neither). So it is an unfair characterization.

(BTW, all of the weathiest people I know personally are either Democrats or Greens)

However, I can’t really blame you since the schools and the media are pounding this notion into your brain on a pretty much constant basis. But that doesn’t make it true.

What specifically do you disagree with in my characterization of the Democrats?

Abortion is a tricky issue. It is not as black and white as you seem to think. I hate the term “pro-choce.” If choice is the issue, how about the choice to not get pregnant in the first place? People should take responsibility for their actions.

And also, the current laws are unfair - a woman can choose to end a pregnancy, but the father has no say in the matter. She can have the abortion even if he is willing to take full responsibility for the child. However, if she chooses to have the baby, he is required to pay child support even if he didn’t want the child. This is being discussed over in the Great Debates forum right now.

An abortion is the taking of a life - this is a scientific fact. But does that mean that abortion should be illegal? Not necessarily, IMO. In a perfect world, there would be no unwanted pregnancies, and therefore no need for abortions. But this is not a perfect world, so the option should be available.

At any rate, making it illegal doesn’t make it go away. Much like drugs, prostitution, and gambling, prohibition only drives it underground, making it more dangerous and more expensive. It should be legal, both as a practical matter and as a matter of personal freedom. This is inline with conservative philosophy, even if it is not currently supported by the Republican party’s plaform.

I don’t understand point 2. Bush has spent just as much tax money as clinton. Reagan & Bush sr. ran up 3 trillion in deficit with government spending over 12 years, and Clinton ran up 2 trillion over 8 years. Where did the idea that republicans are against government spending come from, these are equal spenders as far as i can see.

Most republicans i know view it as an extension of their personal values. They have conservative, individualist values and the republican party does too. Same with people who hate racism & vote democratic because of it.

Also, i know a few rich people and they aren’t republican, they are libertarian. Libertarianism is siphoning off republican votes, because they are the ultra example of republican values like ‘personal responibility’ or ‘isolationism’.

I am a “conservative / libertarian,” which means I usually vote Republican. But it’s not so much because I like Republicans; I just consider them the lesser of two evils.

Democrats? There’s little good I can say about them. In all honesty I believe most Democrats are Marxists at heart. ‘Nuf said.

I think you are missing a very large part of Republican thought. Republicans are not against helping others. They read the Constitution, and notice that nowhere does it give the Federal government the ability to provide the programs and services that it continues to develop. Instead, they believe that they should be free to contribute to charities to provide those services should they choose, but should not be forced to through government confiscation of their earnings. As taxes go up, charitable contributions necessarily go down. In my opinion, any service provided by the government is inherently inefficient as it takes two bureaucrats at least for every actual person that is being helped. Private charities make much better use of the money they receive as they do not take it for granted the way a federal program is.

Your forgetting the whole gun-control debactle. I oppose gun-control laws, and that is one of the reasons I vote Republican, as their stance on that issue is the closest to mine.