Friday, September 24, 2004

Republicans no longer conservative

USA Today columnist Andrew Kantor on why he's no longer a Republican:

A true Republican wouldn't think of amending the Constitution -- twice! -- to give the government more power. "Less government" means "less government." Yet that's what today's Republicans are trying to do with two separate proposals.

A true Republican would choke on the idea of giving the police not only access to our library accounts, but secret access. Yet that's what today's Republicans did with their precious Patriot Act.

A true Republican believes in fiscal responsibility, not driving the country down the biggest debt hole in history. Tax breaks on one hand and monstrous spending on the other? That's idiotic. Yet that's what today's Republicans are doing.

A true Republican wouldn't try to disenfranchise voters simply because they might not vote the way they want them to. A true Republican believes in the American system and in the right to vote. Yet today's Republicans are trying to prevent overseas voters from participating in the next election.

A true Republican wouldn't require people to sign loyalty oaths to exercise their rights. Yet today's Republican's do just that.

A true Republican wouldn't arrest people simply because they liked another candidate. Yet today's Republicans do just that.

A true Republican wouldn't think of having national ID cards, or of trying to circumvent judicial review, or of imprisoning people without access to attorneys (and without charging them with anything). Yet that's what today's Republicans are doing.

This represents an interesting conundrum. Where do true conservatives go today? In a lot of ways, it looks like the democrats are increasingly becoming the true party of conservatives, while the Republican party is becoming an extremist right-wing group. Is that assumption wrong?

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