I am frustrated by the fact that voters seem to ignore evidence when it comes to the efficacy of conservative policies.
Here’s a quick review:
They wanted to shut down the borders for Ebola, which would have actually caused far more Ebola deaths because people would have found ways around the legal border crossings. To date there has been only one (1) Ebola death in the United States, despite their best efforts to create a sense of panic in their audience.
They were strongly against Obamacare despite it being clearly better for millions of people who didn’t have health insurance due to various reasons put in place by the private sector. This is so obvious at this point that many Republicans are now backing away from the issue because of how happy their constituents are with the outcome. It won’t be long before they reinvent the series of events to remember that it was Gingrich’s idea, and that they were only against Obama’s implementation of it.
Most conservative lawmakers are against sex education in schools despite the fact that the data clearly show it lowers teen pregnancy and all manner of problems associated with it.
They claim to be against pornography, yet they can’t explain why Atlanta has far more porn shops and strip club advertisements than San Francisco or Boston. Shouldn’t the liberal Meccas be plastered with sex shops and brothels while the South remains pristine due to higher values? Why is it the exact opposite? Why is porn use so much higher in conservative states? The answer is similar to sex education: when you prohibit something natural, and label it wicked, you produce warping in the minds of young people. And this is dangerous. But conservatives keep pushing these same policies despite negative outcomes that are clear to anyone observing.
Conservatives are angry that America is falling behind in things like broadband speeds, and they blindly place the blame on government. The reality, however, is that the countries who have exceeded us in these types of areas have done so because of concerted government efforts. They turn away from the truth that it is private corporations like Comcast that are keeping us behind the rest of the advanced world through anti-competitive and monopoly-like practices. It is precisely the government that should be fixing this problem created by the private sector.
Climate change is also obvious to all but those who don’t like the proposed solutions. Liberals choose to downplay how often home break-ins occur because they don’t like any evidence that shows it’d be good to have a gun. This is bias, and it’s silly. And the same thing is happening with conservatives and climate change. They don’t like government regulations, so they disregard any evidence that would necessarily lead them in the direction of needing more of it. This is bias, and it’s silly.
The conservatives thought it was necessary to invade Iraq. They think intervention is always the right policy. They love to send troops to places and get involved. To be fair, many Democrats also shared this view, but not nearly as many as the Republicans. It’s now become clear that these types of interventions are seldom helpful, and it’s time to rethink the pro-military obsession of the right.
On the topic of Miltiary, the conservatives talk endlessly about financial responsibility without noticing that they are the cause of most of our debt. Medicare and social security and other government programs are nothing compared to what we overspend on the military every year, and it more than anything has pushed us into ever-increasing debt. But most conservatives don’t know this for the same reason as climate change. They’re closed to problems where they don’t like the solution.
Many smart conservatives are now awakening to the blight of lobbying, and how bad it is for our democracy. But too few of these people on the right have realized that it is a problem directly perpetuated by the Republican agenda. The largest corporations are spending enormous amounts of money to keep their money overseas, to shut down competition, and to avoid paying taxes here in the United States. One party is overwhelmingly against protecting this behavior, and another party is overwhelmingly for protecting this behavior. Look at the data and it’s clear which is which.
Add to this list the policies on education and dozens of smaller topics, and we see that in almost all cases (there are exceptions like immigration, gun control, etc. where I think the conservatives are more correct) the policies promoted by the conservative side are extremely detrimental to the middle class and our democracy.
My hope is simple. I look forward to the day that moderate conservatives, of which there are many and who are smart, patriotic Americans, realize that the agenda of the GOP is not in their interest.
The goal will not be to make them Democrats, as that word has no value to me either. The goal is to get them to reject the GOP and become independents or simply vote Democrat to send a message that they will no longer support policies that destroy our union to the benefit of a few.
That’s what I’m waiting for. And I hope it won’t be long.