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Guest: Republican Party — fear over facts

BY DUSTIN KRUTSINGER - GUEST OPINION | APRIL 01, 2010 7:30 AM

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I am a registered Republican because the GOP supposedly shares the principles I hold most dear: upholding the Constitution, the principles of the Founding Fathers, limited government, and personal liberty and responsibility. Traditionally, Republicans are also the party of less intervention into the affairs of other sovereign nations; that was, until they were taken over by neocons.

Unfortunately, I have found that once in office, the promises they made on the campaign trail quickly fade away as they grow government, increase the deficit, ignore the Constitution, bail out national banks instead of holding them accountable for their own actions, and take away personal freedoms.

About a month ago, UI senior Jeff Shipley wrote a guest opinion in The Daily Iowan about this very subject. I was hopeful that it would serve as a warning to the parties, especially the GOP. You see, Mr. Shipley, me, and many other young freedom-loving Americans have recently been fighting this battle. People like to talk about the parties as tents. Well, if that is the case, we have had one foot inside the tent and the other outside. We have been continually shouting into the tent, trying to call the party members back to their principles. We give fact after fact, and they push back with fear after fear.

On March 6, we took the battle to the Johnson County GOP convention. We took several bold stands on issues, offering amendments that would call the party back to its principles. Yet with each amendment, the response was fear.

We first took a stand against farm subsidies. I do not fault any individual farmer for taking a subsidy; the government has put you in a position where you must take it to compete with your neighbor. But subsidies are unconstitutional and allow the government to pick winners and losers by usurping the free market. One attendant’s response: “I am usually against unconstitutional subsidies, but I make an exception for farming because I don’t want to starve.” Fear over facts.

We then took a stand, supporting the Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s recommendation to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, which would allow for its regulated medical use. We see this not only as a valid treatment for several debilitating conditions, but a personal liberty and responsibility issue as well. Physicians should be allowed to prescribe whatever medication is most beneficial to a patient, regardless of the public stigma attached. One attendant’s response: “This is nothing but a radical leftist agenda, with the goal of legalizing all drugs.” Fear over facts.

Last, we took a stand against the endless wars we are involved in. We are tired of seeing the death and destruction it causes. We cannot expect to have a limited government domestically if we have an empire abroad. Thomas Jefferson warned us not to get entangled in the affairs of Europe saying, “They are nations of eternal war. All their energies are expended in the destruction of labor, property, and lives of their people.” The same could be said about much of the Middle East today, and we should take Jefferson’s advice and stay out of it. One attendant’s response: “We must kill them there before they kill us here.” Fear over facts.

To the GOP, I ask that you return to your principles of personal liberty and the Constitution. Stop using fear tactics and start using the facts. The youth of the nation are not easily fooled by fear; please end the fear-over-facts campaign.

Dustin Krutsinger is a second-year medical school student in the UI Carver College of Medicine.


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