Why I’m not a Democrat (or a Republican)

Phtoto courtesy of Donkey Hotey

By: Hayden Cunningham

I’m a registered independent. It was a decision that took a lot of contemplating due to my enthusastic interest in American politics. No party affiliation mostly means no voting in the primaries of my home state of Arizona, but to me it’s more of a symbolic statement thany anything.

Let me begin by sharing some of my points on how I view the two parties. These points are to be made about today’s political climate, and not the history of the parties or what they stood for in the past.

Government Reliance vs. Self Reliance

This is how I would choose to describe the two parties if I had to in the simplest of terms. It’s the great “feed a man a fish/ teach a man a fish” analogy. Democrats want to give citizens fish. By expanding welfare, cancelling student loans, universal healthcare, etc. everyone is given “fish” that they need to be fed. But although people are fed, they become reliant. These policies force individuals to look to the government. The alternative is not as gratifying. By making insurance more privatized, reducing welfare, lowering taxes, etc. Republicans force individuals to be reliant on themselves. In a world of instant gratification that’s not as pleasing.

Independence is a necessary component to a successful life for the average person.

“Facts Don’t care about your feelings” -Ben Shapiro

I tend to be skeptical of everything I hear. I see that as a positive trait while others see it as a flaw. Granted, skepticism in something pure turns into being cynical and that’s an unproductive way to live. The reason I remain skeptical is because I believe every political topic can be given a stance that is the closest to being the right answer. To find it, you must base your reasoning on facts. A stance formed off emotions and empathy will have a weak foundation.

Republicans are accused of being the terrible ones. Explain facts about the negative effects of illegal immigration and you’re xenophobic. Point out the differences of men and women in the workplace and you’re sexist. Recite demographics of low-income neighborhoods and the cultural issues coorelated with them and you’re racist.

Democrats rely on emotion. Rather than explain the factual basis of their argument, they use scare tactics and emotional appeal to convince voters to side with them. But here’s the thing: action should always trump emotion (pun intended). I wouldn’t pick a smooth-talking politician who weeps over a disaster when there is another who would be considered “emotionless” but is quick to act and solve problems.

The last few elections have taken this turn of voting with emotion. Without going too in depth, as I am writing an article about election tendencies, more people now see the Presidential election on a judgement of character and not a judgment of who is best to lead this country.

Respecting the law

Upholding the laws of our county is more crucial to governing our country than having empathy for those who choose to break it. I would define myself as a strict Constitutionalist. Our country rests on certain pillars that can be found in our Bill of Rights. Begin to remove those pillars, and our country collapses. It’s a document so important that each President must swear to defend it before they enter office. They swear to defend it from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Domestic can also mean a party who has a goal to tear it down and establish a new governing system.

Progressive and Conservative

Sure, Republicans are more traditionalist in their ways of thinking. But is that really a bad thing? To be a Conservative is to conserve policies and beliefs that worked in our society. Republicans aren’t against change, they just believe to keep the things that do work and any new ideas should be tested and slowly implemented. Liberals on the other hand want rapid change. People who label themselves are “progressive” are eager to change the entire structure of something to see if it works. You see this more than ever today with examples such as the development and expansive of Medicare and the call for less capitalism and more socialism. Why should we remove things in society that define what our country is? We watch many politicians who desperately try to keep the qualities of America that make our country great be dismissed as “old, white men.” Maybe we can learn a thing or two about those who have been around longer than us (to be fair, we do need more young representatives in politics. It’s not supposed to be a lifetime appointment).

I’m following so far… but why aren’t you a Republican then?

Some may say that the political parties are too devise, leading to gridlock in our legislative system. Others may see it as a necessary component in our country that gives members a voice in government. But political parties should not work in either of these ways.

Let me make this simple point: the parties are supposed to come and get your vote, not know they have it. When you affiliate yourself with a specific party you make them stronger, and you also put your name under that party’s platform. Presumably every voter would have at least one issue with their party, but when you register with them you accept all of their stances on every issue. I want to take things issue by issue. I also don’t want my stances on each issue to be immediately discredited by someone who simply says “oh you’re a Republican of course you’d think that.”

I’m an Economics major who has a love for American history. From my point of view, Republicans tend to be on track with the right answer more than Democrats. But there are many things I appreciate more from the Democratic party than I do from the Republican party, such as more funding for the arts and a greater stress on education. I just wish the Democratic party used to be what it once was: a place that valued the importance of individual liberty and free agency. Because of their step away from this, the Libertarian party has begun to grow. I think we may be seeing more of them sometime in the near future.

Democratic officials smear the Right. And as an independent, I often find I want to vote for someone because I’m against the opponent rather than voting for them because I want them elected. There’s a difference between the two. And right now, I see the left as a party with hypocrisy and large holes in their arguments. I’ve already been accused of being sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic. And my advice to anyone who feels the same is to question any accusation thrown at you and ask what’s so wrong about your stances. What’s wrong about thinking that people who come into this country illegally should be held accountable? What’s wrong with thinking that we need to uphold the laws in the Constitution? What’s wrong with thinking my tax dollars should not go towards those who are unproductive and lazy? What’s wrong with thinking a baby three weeks away from birth can’t be murdered? What’s wrong with thinking that healthcare can not be simply deemed as a “human right” and that there are economic factors that need to be accounted for? When you have a stance on a political topic with legitimate facts and evidence to support you, don’t let anyone convince you that you are extreme or irrational.

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