George L. Barnett: Why vote Republican?

Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 8:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 8:49 p.m.

I have a few wealthy friends who are Republicans and I can understand their feelings easily. After all, they can afford their own medical care, they donít need Social Security for their retirements, and they can afford to send their kids to private schools. Why would they want to pay taxes to educate and care for poor and middle income folks?

I am confused, however, when I see some old, beat up car or truck that has a Bush/Cheney sticker on its bumper or window. How can someone vote Republican who has inadequate or no medical insurance and has to wait in a crowded emergency for his or her self or for his or her sick kids or his or her elderly parents, who has to struggle to meet mortgage payments and who does not know how he will be able to live when he or she is unable to work anymore?

Over the last seventy years, Republicans have opposed every major piece of legislation that was designed to improve the lives of poor or middle income people; the right of unions to organize; social security; medicare; minimum wage laws, civil rights Republicans opposed all of these things and several others that were designed to improve the average personís life. During this current Republican administration alone, government agencies such as FEMA, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency and others have been emasculated so that they have been unable to offer the protection of the public welfare that they were created for.

Instead of raising the income of our military personnel or providing adequate medical care for our veterans, this Republican administration has given billions of dollars to private military contractors such as Blackwater, to perform services that our military could have performed at a much lower cost.

Why would any average person want to vote for Republicans who protect chief corporate executives who receive millions of dollars per year and stock options when the rank and file of their employees struggle to make ends meet? Why would any person want to vote for Republicans who continue to oppose adequate veteransí benefits? Why would any person want to vote for Republicans who want to further reduce taxes on the wealthy, so we cannot build more schools or pay adequate salaries to teachers and other professionals we need in our government?

Why would any average person want to vote for Republicans who, to avenge the deaths of about 3,000 Americans and other people people on 9/11 at the hands of about 19 Saudi Arabian terrorists, killed more than 5,000 American military personnel and over a hundred thousand Iraqis who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack? Weapons of Mass Destruction? Dictatorship? Well what about China, North or South Korea, Sudan and Zimbabwe? One or more of the reasons given by this administration for the Iraq war would apply to any of those nations. Makes you wonder doesnít it.

Why would any average person want to vote for Republicans who chant that they are for the average person and then turn their backs on average folks as soon as they are elected?

George L. Barnett,


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