Friday, January 30, 2009

First and foremost, Rudy is an idiot.

I think that there are two problems that haunt the Republican Party and hurt them. The first is the tenacious, mindless devotion to the economic philosophy that has had so many different names: Supply-Side Economics, Trickle-Down Economics, even Voodoo Economics by a doubting George H. W. Bush.

I completely get the idea, I understand the principles behind it, but there is one fatal flaw in the equation: human nature. People are greedy by nature. Just look at Exxon. They broke their own record for earnings by earning 45.2 billion dollars in 2008. It's easy to make that kind of money when you're charging $4.50 a gallon for gas. I was and am still dumbfounded that I was paying that much for gas 6-7 months ago and am now paying $1.79 a gallon. There is no explanation for that. Why did that charge that much? I understand that OPEC cut back on production, they had to work within shared-production contracts with the refiners, etc. But that shouldn't triple the price.

How did prices get that high? Free markets... The notion that market's can and should be self-regulated is absolutely preposterous. Deregulation is what was at the heart of the Great Depression and is the source of our current economic woes. I understand and appreciate that over-regulation and excessive control of the markets will hinder or even stop growth of the economy; I'm not looking to live in a socialist country, but there has to be safeguards in place to ensure that consumers aren't raped by unchecked greed of large powerful corporations. Companies should not be allowed to become so big and have such a substantial influence over the economy that if they fail it means that the whole economy will collapse. Over the last eight years economic power has been consolidated in the hands of powerful, self-serving corporations who in addition to being able to exploit consumers also have been getting huge tax breaks and credits from the government.

And this is one of the cornerstones of Republican ideology...

The other ideology to which they continue to adhere, even as it harms their appeal and hampers their attempts to reach out to moderates is their affiliation with the religious right. Now, politically I am a very liberal Democrat however my personal beliefs lean very much to the right. I think that abortion is morally wrong. I think (like Mike Huckabee) that a person is born gay but can choose not to lead a gay life style and choose celibacy.

Having said that, if I was gay and knowing my personality and libido there is no way in hell I could live a celibate life. I could not enter the priesthood and just suppress my feelings and pray that I do not prey on poor altar boys. This is no longer the 19th Century. I don't expect gays and lesbians to stay out of public and be forced to hidden lives; I wouldn't want to do that. Why should they be expected to do so? Equality is equality. You cannot profess that you are for equality for minorities and women but not for equality for homosexuals. That is hypocrisy.

As far as the issue of abortion is concerned I do not believe that morality should be legislated. While I am morally opposed to abortion I do not believe that making abortion illegal is going to stop people from having abortions. It will only bring back the deadly, secret abortions in back alleys with coat hangers. People who are more affluent will simply go to Canada or {shudder} Mexico to have abortions performed.

And here is the real paradox in these two philosophies. When you put them together under the same roof, you are saying in one breath that you should not legislate morality on one hand (trust the corporations to be fair and let them govern themselves) and saying that you should legislate morality on the other hand (make abortion illegal and deny gays and lesbians the same rights and privileges that "normal" society takes for granted). That is damn near schizophrenic...

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