There are a multitude of reasons why I feel the Republican Party has been hijacked by radicals on the extreme right, but for argument’s sake, I’ll narrow it down to a few bullet points to explain to my friends why it is not an attack on their beliefs, just not in the best interest of my own beliefs. Hopefully, though quite honestly I doubt it, I can do so without offending someone.
First of all, I’m gay. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but the Republican Party is very interested in that fact. Specifically, they are interested in the fact that I have been in a long-term monogamous relationship that in every way resembles a traditional marriage except that it is with another man, and that is apparently a threat to their own marriages. The party platform has specific language that it will repeal and defeat any laws allowing same-sex couples to be recognized in any way, shape or form, while at the same time they “embrace the principal that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.” I’m sorry, but I cannot support a candidate who says that five to ten percent of the population of his country do not deserve to be treated as full citizens based on how God made them.
Second, I don’t mind paying taxes. I know what these taxes are going towards. I know the people they are helping. I understand the reasons behind them. Could the government be more fiscally responsible? Absolutely. Perhaps that is why the government is actually smaller now than it was during President Bush’s terms. However, that also leaves more people out of work because the private sector simply is not hiring. One and a half million more. To say this is due to government restrictions is bullshit. When Clinton was President, government regulations were greater and taxes were higher than today and the private sector economy was booming. Paying more taxes that are spent on building up the infrastructure of the country creates jobs, which benefit society. More people paying taxes means more revenue, which in turn means actually paying for everything we’re spending money on, like, say, the two wars we started a decade ago under the previous Republican administration. Giving tax breaks to the wealthy only benefits the wealthy. Personally, I think that if the Republicans truly feel the way they do, I should be given a tax break because of the simple fact that I am not allowed the same rights as my heterosexual friends, but then I would be called un-American for not wanting to pay my share instead of just my fair share. Or I could be like the Republican candidate for President and keep most of my money in accounts overseas to avoid paying taxes because that is apparently not un-American, just smart business practice.
Third, I don’t make more than two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, the amount at which voting Republican makes sense if you are interested keeping a majority of your tax dollars from going into government funded programs like the military, education, and healthcare. Hell, I don’t even make one-tenth of that! But even if I did, I grew up knowing how much better public assistance made my life because my family had access to food stamps and unemployment when times were tough. I went to public schools and was allowed to hear what was going on by way of state-funded hearing aids. These so-called entitlement programs kept us from becoming homeless and hungry, and me from failing in school, and were paid into when times were not so tough by that nasty T-word again, taxes.
I can’t vote Republican because I firmly believe that society should strive for equality, not promote legislation that, in essence, creates more government intrusion into our personal lives. I can’t vote Republican because our taxes should benefit everyone, not just the majority or those in power. In conclusion, I can’t vote Republican because I am a gay man who wants to marry his partner of sixteen years legally (not just ceremonially), have a family, and chase the American Dream. None of that would be possible if I ignorantly vote against my best interests.