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I consider myself an active Republican. I vote in elections, attend events for the party, and participate in rallies. However, it seems like every day I turn on the news to find another speech or quote that has me questioning why I’m even voting for Romney and Ryan in the first place.Young Republicans, who consider themselves socially liberal but fiscally conservative, have no candidate. The Republican Party has strayed from its origins of individual freedom and small government by ignoring the rights of certain individuals who might otherwise want to call themselves a member of the party.
Today, the Republican party skews itself in an ultra conservative light, encroaching upon certain personal freedoms without allowing room for the party to evolve. Ronald Reagan, the father of modern day conservative philosophy, once said, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” I find this to be very descriptive of the problem we are facing in this upcoming election. There are Republican social platforms in the 2012 election which try to dictate people’s lives, and in my opinion, this doesn’t protect the people nor stay out of their lives.
Romney has promised to nominate Supreme Court Justices that will overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision that many women fear would take away their personal rights and freedoms. He is also in favour of a Federal Marriage Amendment that would state marriage is strictly between a man and woman. Romney has been quoted various times stating that he doesn’t believe in evolution, and even plans on cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
These social policies seem so 1950’s. I’ve grown up believing same sex couples should be accepted, not shunned, and that women should have the right to choose. To me, there is no conflict between religion and science and the notion of de-funding Planned Parenthood seems unthinkable. These are the ideals that make me question the Republican Party’s ability to move into modernity. Romney’s ideology concerning social issues clearly signifies how the party has lost touch with the majority of Americans who are politically moderate. The social platforms of the Republican Party have only intensified a sense of alienation for more moderate members.
The juxtaposition of social equality and fiscal responsibility has never been so evident. This election, many young voters must choose between social and economic priorities. To me, the most glaring mistake of the Obama Administration has involved his economic policies. Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan which aimed to expand jobs and create an economic stimulus, has created some new employment opportunities, but mostly failed to live up to its potential. With gas prices rising and unemployment at 7.8%, Americans want another option.
Governor Romney believes in handling the federal deficit in a fiscally responsible way. Instead of imposing high taxes, an action which the Obama administration plans to take, Romney wants to cut federal spending, creating an economic stimulus; something that this country has needed for the last four years. In addition to cutting government spending, the real crisis in America is unemployment. Romney’s plan is based on creating jobs by increasing trade and providing Americans with necessary skills and education to acquire these jobs. Additionally, America has the highest corporate income tax in the world, making it easier for companies to export American jobs overseas; Romney wants to cut the company tax to help create more employment opportunities domestically.
Romney’s fiscal principles make his ticket a viable option for young moderate Republicans who are seeking new economic hope. The Republican Party has held true to its beliefs on conservative fiscal policy and seems to be the reason why myself and so many other young Republicans will ultimately vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Come this November, I will be faced with a choice between two candidates, neither of whom represents my beliefs to their fullest extent. But, like many other people in my generation, I will be voting based on my economic values. In the next four years would it even be possible for social policies to change that drastically? Like many issues, it’s an unravelling process that will take time no matter what political lens you view it through. However, the economy could drastically change depending on who is elected. It might just be time to stop thinking with our hearts and start thinking about our livelihood.