Don't be fooled, GOP is dead What happened to the Republican Party? Why has it become almost necessary for true Republicans like myself to clarify what it means to be Republican? Why must a Republican like myself consider, if for only a second (although I admit, I considered for a longer amount of time), supporting Democrat John Kerry? The answer is quite simple. The Republican Party, the true Republican Party that once stood for less funding, that once stood for small government, that once stood for the moral right, is dead. And its corpse is being showcased like a puppet on a stick in a constant parade of imposters by our current GOP. Politics have always been dirty. I am not trying to claim that there was once a time of honest people running the country in a fair and sensible manner. I could question the Republicans of years ago just as easily as I am accusing the Republicans of our modern era. Any time you give money and power to a select few people, those select few people are going to do their damnedest to make sure they and their friends get to keep that money and power until they die, or longer. This is no secret. However, one can’t help but notice the striking differences between what I refer to as a strange cult of Neo-Conservatives, and the Republican Party your grandfather knew. In its four years of office, George W. Bush’s administration has spent roughly $225 billion on the war in Iraq alone. According to Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus, this is not the most expensive war if inflation is factored into the equation. In today‘s dollars, the Vietnam War cost us $500 billion. However, that was over a period of eight years. We are only two and a half years into the War on Terror, and we have already paid nearly half as much as we did thirty years ago. Disgustingly, big spending on military efforts has become the norm for Republicans, rather than the focus on agriculture, education, and civil rights that we’ve seen from Republicans of the seemingly distant past. And then there’s the rest of the funding, in which President Bush is hoping to save face. It has been recently reported that the Bush administration has prepared an aggressive budget cut that would all but cut off funding to agriculture, veterans, and science, along with severing several Federal programs. It would also shift funding of more costs, like Medicaid and housing, to state and local governments as opposed to the Federal government. These are all changes that I would support if they were not over-shadowed by the constantly growing military budget. However, this administration’s focus on large government still remains. President Bush can slash funding all he wants, but his focus on creating constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage, abortion, and stem cell research still remains. I can understand the reasoning behind a Christian man opposing homosexuality and abortion. But when a president stops thinking of what’s best for the entire country, for every single person in the nation, and starts thinking of what is right according to his personal belief system, hasn’t that, historically, been time to call a president self-serving and unfit? When Lyndon B. Johnson embarked on a crusade through Vietnam to stop Communism, not acting in the best interests of all the people, but in the best interests of the few like-minded people, was he not criticized by millions, and is Vietnam not known as a mistake? And is Ronald Reagan’s sale of arms to Iran to fund guerilla warfare in Nicaragua not known, in modern day, as one of the worst acts committed by a president? Granted, gay marriage and abortion probably won’t lead to the deaths of thousands or millions of people, but the idea remains. These are not acts of politics, these are acts of religion. And it is agreed by all that a diplomat has no place acting on personal bias. The ideas of morals have been slaughtered nearly to the point of obsolescence by Neo-Conservatives. At one time, the moral right stood for privacy, equality, and independence. The Patriot Act and other actions taken by Neo-Cons have destroyed our right of privacy, even if an extent of it was necessary to ensure security. Our rights of equality are being stripped from us with Affirmative Action (solve the problem, don’t create a loophole to get through it) and the desired illegality of gay marriage. And, most importantly, our rights of independence are being lost as more and more Americans lose jobs and the economy sinks due to the Neo-Cons’ excessive military spending. The moral right no longer stands for the ability to choose for oneself; the moral right now stands for what is right according to the morals of those in power. It should not be easily forgotten, and yet it has, that the Republican Party was originally formed for the Abolitionist movement. I can not imagine these pauper-in-the-prince’s-clothes Republicans supporting the action of abolition, as the government stripping someone of their property is a Socialist act. I am almost amused at the thought of President Bush’s administration dealing with slavery. However, my amusement quickly gives way to concern, as I realize who is running our country. So who should we accuse for the death of the Republican Party? Should we fault the imposters operating under the name of Republicanism? Or should we blame the American people for allowing such a travesty to occur? I, for one, accuse both.