Friday, October 6, 2006

Attention Republican Party

Dear GOP,

The cost of obtaining my vote has gone up. The new price requires rational and logical support for planks in the platform, and policies that are honest, accountable, and responsible.

My vote will no longer be obtained by appeals to neo-Fundamentalist values. I will not be swayed by a "pro-life" banner that contains mutually contradictory positions (anti-abortion but pro-death penalty and pro-war; anti-stem cell research but pro-invitro fertilization, et cetera). My vote will not be won by religiously-motivated "abstinance only" campaigns that have spent billions on an "education" program that has been proven (time and again) to be ineffective, and that often includes overt lying to children.

Furthermore, the trumpeting of conservative "family values" that represent nothing more than bigotry, thinly veiled oppression, fear, religiously-fueled discrimination, and hatred, will absolutely not convince me to vote in your favor.

I will no longer vote for a party who has shown repeatedly that it has no respect for scientific integrity.

My vote will not go to a party who's leadership has consistently engaged in illegal activities (secret military tribunals, unconstitutional wiretaps, blatant cruelty and torture and seemingly endless violations of the Geneva Conventions) and steadfastly refuses to admit to any wrong-doing. In fact, rather than own up to its deeds, the administration had instead asked for "clarity" in an attempt to re-write the rules and legalize the torture they've been caught doing. Such behavior is completely appalling and absolutely unacceptable.

Speaking of illegal activities... How many people in the current administration have been indicted now? Libby, Noe, Safavian, DeLay, and soon Frist, and others? My vote will not be had by any Republican who ignores or approves of such wide-ranging problems.

I will not vote for any candidates that engage in their party's new "strategy" of using name-calling and made-up-words to marginalize opposing views and obfuscate legitimate matters of importance. The new fad of using empty transitory slogans, one-liner (or recently, one-worder) epithets, and divisive polarizing rhetoric will simply not earn my vote, and should be recognized for what it is: childish and an obstacle to progress.

My vote will not be given to the party that repeatedly attempts to cancel programs that hold it accountable for its policies. Examples, such as trying to silence the SIPP because it proves an increase in US poverty, railroading the OSC by dispensing with whistleblower protection, and granting the Pentagon arbitrary immunity from the FOIA, are indicative of Orwellian government and should be exposed and decried, not tacitly approved of.

I will not vote for a party who's fiscal and economic policies have encouraged or caused one of the largest deficits in history (including a nearly 9 trillion dollar national debt), and promoted the enrichment of the rich. Furthermore, I will not vote in favor of an administration that seeks to increase spending on propaganda while cutting support for real reporting from PBS and NPR.

The above is a brief explanation of the many reasons I have for reconsidering how I spend my vote. It should be clear that even without considering the increasing problems and mistakes of the "war on terror" (and the administration-leaked NIE report that says invading Iraq has made terrorism worse), the reasons are plentiful. I would encourage others to think carefully and weigh the value of your vote, and join me in my resolve not to give that vote away for far too cheap a price.

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