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Reject Democrats and Republicans; embrace liberty

BY JEFF SHIPLEY - GUEST OPINION | MARCH 02, 2010 7:30 AM

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In many ways, the narrative for the upcoming election has already been written. Republicans are going to win, and probably big. A country frustrated by a depressed economy, war weariness, and the apparent inability of the political class to solve our problems will rebel against many incumbent politicians and the Democrats in power. The Republicans will pose as if they can they can shrink government and reduce taxes while mocking President Obama’s attempts to whimsically stimulate the economy and get re-elected.

It is somewhat unfortunate that the party that gave us eight years of George W. Bush and controlled both houses in Congress until 2006 would be rewarded after just after two short years of Obama.

The Republicans deserved to be pummeled in the polls. Obama’s compelling oration wasn’t the only reason he won in a landslide; he wasn’t a Republican and associated with such proud moments in U.S. history as shock and awe, the institution of a police state, and the near total meltdown of Wall Street.

Even I briefly thought that it would be difficult for Obama to eclipse the unbearable nature of our federal government under Bush. The rhetoric has marvelously changed to a gentler tone, but now we have naked-body scanners coming to airports. Now, the more sensible fronts in the war against Muslims are in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. I feel so great that now we spend money we don’t have on government projects instead of giving it to banks.

After attending the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, it is apparent that mainstream Republicans do not deserve the keys to power, either. I wish someone would stand up against endless war halfway around the world and financing the entire operation of the federal government on our Chinese credit card. I dream of an America in which I don’t stand around shoeless for five minutes before I board a plane and am permitted to use whatever medicine I desire. I would like to think each and every other American does too.

At least some Republicans do. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, won the conservative-conference straw poll by a wide margin, spoke to a capacity crowd of 10,000, earned a standing ovation by much of the ballroom, and his minion groups, Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty, visibly dominated the event.

Yet when the straw-poll results showing Paul had won were released, some booed. The conference hilariously awarded former Attorney General John Ashcroft the “Defender of the Constitution” award. Some people were wearing “Draft Cheney” stickers. I wanted to wear one, but then I found out they were advocating that the former vice president be drafted to run for president in 2012 — not be drafted into the U.S. Army.

Many Republican speakers addressed Obama’s mismanagement of the war on terror — namely, trying to grant enemy combatants due process of law and not the 27 civilians who were recently murdered in Afghanistan. It’s doubtful many Republicans this next election will mention ending our 40-year-long war on drugs, or question the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money, or suggest that Homeland Security is actually a redundant agency (we already have the Department of Defense) and should be abolished. Oh wait — the Department of Defense wages war around the globe, whereas Homeland Security wages war on the American people.

It should be interesting to see how long the American people withstand this meaningless right-left façade. Real political change in America might even involve politicians following the U.S. Constitution.

Jeff Shipley is a UI senior and president of the UI chapter of the Young Americans for Liberty.


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