04-08-06It's hard for me to figure out what the political parties really stand for these days. Supposedly the Republicans have this great "message machine" and have mobilized voters and all that, and obviously they have great success, but what really is their message? A huge amount of the message is negative, about the supposedly out of touch fat cat latte-sipping liberals of myth. Ok, they've done a good job creating that story. The other big chunk of the message is religious-right stuff, anti-abortion, stem cell nonsense, anti-right-to-die, anti-marijuana, anti-condom, anti-morning-after, funding for religious schools, religious charities, etc. etc. Okay, that's nice for the bible bangers. The other big chunk of the message is anti-tax. Recent Republican presidents have indeed been big tax slashers, mainly for the rich, and they've run up big defecits. This is a clever piece of messaging where the majority who are actually hurt by the tax cuts still think they're great (they might save $500 in taxes and lose far more than that in service cuts and future costs paying back the defecit).
The reality of both parties is that they're pro-big-government, pro-pork, pander to special interests, don't actually simplify regulation, pander to specific industries and regions to win votes (like Florida hurrican relief for those with no damage and the tarrifs to protect the steel belt recently). They funnel money to their croneys in private businesses that they're related to. The dems and reps each have their own industries that they tend to coddle more (and it seems to me the recent administration has been particularly awful, but it's nothing new). Neither party really has any kind of coherent foreign policy; they both either mess around in world affairs or not depending on their perception of US interests and how the wind is blowing at home.
Still, I strongly reject the idea that because they're both bad you shouldn't vote for either. There's nothing wrong with picking the lesser of two evils - it's the better choice. Not voting because they're all bad is equivalent to the morons who boycott elections in protest or who resign their posts because they disagree with their superiors - you're just making it easier for them to win and accomplishing nothing with your high and mighty stance.