Republican vs Democrat

The upcoming election for President of the United States will be a choice between two very different candidates, with seemingly polar opposite views on the issues. But I believe there are many areas of common ground. For example, I believe good people of both parties don’t want to see poor children starving in the streets. We all want jobs. Most of us want to see equality in the workplace. And I could go on and on with issues that I see as “human” issues, not truly belonging to one party or another. Sure, there are differences that do seem to fit specifically into either the Republican or the Democratic mindset, but  I realize that I am “Republican” in some issues, “Democrat” in others, and sometimes wishy-washy. There is such overlap that I am driven to try to understand why I generally feel so Republican.

I think it boils down to this. I am the son of Mexican immigrants. They moved here legally, by the way. I moved to this great country when I was 6 years old. I remember sleeping on the floor of our first apartment. I remember my mother rationing out food. I remember my mother saving pennies for things we needed. I was acutely aware that they had no nearby extended family to rescue them in case things went bad. Yet they sent me and my brothers to private schools. My two brothers and I became two doctors and a lawyer. We have each in turn had families of wonderful, successful children who are hard-working contributors to society. And my parents did this with no help form anyone. There was no public aid or support. There were no grants or loans for college. My parents did it all through their hard work, as I did for my own family.

I continue to work hard, in a very stressful and responsible job. I have either earned enough money or have taken out loans to send my kids to good schools and to provide them with a decent life growing up. Apart from family support, none of that was given to me, I worked for it, and I have worked hard for it since I was in my teens. The life I have built might even be enviable to some. I live in a nice house, drive a nice car, and go on nice trips. Hard work in a great country has allowed all that to happen.

But if someone invaded my house and tried to take my stuff, that would be illegal. In fact, In North Carolina I could shoot them! Or if someone on the street tried to steal my wallet I might want to punch them in the nose. Maybe they just wanted to have a nice house too, drive a nice car, go on nice trips, but they are not allowed to do it by stealing from me.

So what is all this talk about “sharing prosperity,” or “leveling the playing field?” How does that work exactly? If the way it works is by the government taxing me more in order to provide free stuff to others, I don’t approve! To me it feels just like the guy invading my house or assaulting me on the street. If anyone is going to be charitable with my money I want it to be me! I worked hard for my money and I want to decide how it is spent!

Everyone has to take responsibility for his or her own life, no matter the circumstances. We aren’t all the same. We each are born to a different set of circumstances and that’s just the way it is. It is then up to each of us to navigate through life and fail or succeed as best we can. In the United States, a free society, we should not look to the government to take care of us. We should not expect life to be the same for everyone. We don’t live in a socialist country.

The reality is that everyone is different. Some people are born a genius and some mentally-challenged, with the rest of us falling in between in a roughly bell-shaped curve. Some of us are good students and some are not.  Some of us have a work ethic and some are lazy. Some of us are born to wealthy parents and some are not. Some of us enjoy good health and some do not. So some people are going to succeed in life better than others. That’s just reality. Even if you were to magically redistribute “prosperity” equally to everyone at some imaginary moment in time, it would not take long for the wealth to again find it’s way into the hands of some (probably the industrious) and out of the hands of others.

In this country, there is plenty of opportunity and freedom to have a wonderful life. If you want it, work for it. Go to school. Seek or create your opportunities. Take your calculated risks. Pay your bills. Invest some of what you make in things that are important to you. But don’t expect to reach into my pocket just so you can buy something that you jealously covet. And don’t think that it’s okay for the government to reach into my pocket for you. That amounts to the same thing.

I certainly don’t mind paying my fair share. There are certain things the government provides, on the local, state and federal levels, that are good. But I don’t want a government that forever wants more of the money I worked hard for, to spend in ways I don’t approve. Further, I don’t want the government to spend MORE than it has in its budget, expecting future generations to pay for it. That is immoral. I don’t want the government to hinder me in my pursuits, and I don’t expect it to rescue me either.

Democratic leaders don’t always “tax and spend,” but they tend to do that. Republican leaders generally support people like me. People that have worked hard, created businesses, created jobs for others, have been successful and generous. Even though I live paycheck to paycheck like most people I know, I make enough money that I am demonized by my current Democratic president. He paints me as a bad person, and wants to reach into my pocket to take even more money. Despite whatever deductions are available to me in my tax bracket, I already pay much more in taxes than the average guy. I have always paid MORE than my fair share. The top 20% of income earners account for 80% of all tax revenue. I am a Republican because the party understands that. The Republican Party understands the brave, creative, independent, hard-working America that our founders created.

Leave me a comment
  • finding pam September 7, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Well said, Ferd, you describe my thoughts exactly. It is sad to see the demise of this great county, America. Most of us have worked very hard for all of our lives. The gubment sure did not help me with my business, or with our children’s education. We did it ourselves. BTW your parents did a remarkable job in raising you and your siblings. I enjoyed your story.

    • Ferd September 11, 2012 at 11:08 PM

      Thanks, Pam. I think most of us work hard at what we do and take pride in our work. It would be nice to have a government that supports job creators.

  • Comedy Plus September 9, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    I love you Ferd. I figured this is where you were anyway, but it’s good to hear you say it. Yes, you and your family came to this country the right way. I applaud you for that. I applaud you for taking advantage of all you can be in America. Yes, I do doctor. You did the hard work so you earned it.

    California is full of illegals that aren’t interested in doing it the right way, and you’ll find them in the welfare office getting aid for the baby(s) that was born here, and our emergency rooms are filled with the same getting medical attention.

    One third of the welfare recipients in the country (THIS COUNTRY) reside in California. The democrats for the most part believe it’s the conservatives states with the highest welfare recipient population. Not true.

    I am proud to call you my friend Ferd. Proud!

    Big hug to you and Princess Gail. :)

    • Ferd September 11, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      I’m proud of my parents for taking the risk of leaving family, friends, and all that they knew growing up, for the chance at a better life in the USA. I’m proud of the way they did it. I’m grateful for their courage and their example. They taught us to be contributors/givers, not takers.
      I can remember how my mother became a citizen at her first opportunity. She even cheers for the USA World Cup soccer team over Mexico’s, and that says a lot. We are American!

  • MichaelLAX September 23, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Ferd: you are of course entitled to post your political beliefs as you see fit. However, this post seems to me to be a naive approach to where we are now as a country and equally as importantly, how we got here.

    As you may recall, when President George W. Bush took over the Presidency in 2001, the Federal Government was operating at a surplus. It was projected that if this surplus continued, the complete Federal Deficit would be paid off in 10 years!

    However, President Bush, ignoring the Federal Deficit, announced to the public that this surplus represented the moneys of the American tax-paying public and it should be returned to them. However, he and his Republican Congress did so in a very aggressive tax cut, not for one year to return the surplus, but to last for 10 years!

    Even if President Bush ignored paying down the deficit, which at that point has been largely created under the terms of Presidents George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, he might have thought about keeping some of that surplus for “a rainy day!”

    That rainy day arrived on September 11, 2001! Instead of running back to Congress and suggesting they end that tax cut early, so that he could finance two wars that resulted from the events of that “rainy day,” President Bush and his Republican Congress passed a 2nd tax cut to last throughout the remainder of the initial 10 year period (as you may recall, Vice President Cheney has to give this 2nd tax cut his vote after the Senate deadlocked at 50-50).

    Well some would argue that wars will eventually end and the tax cuts had an expiration date, so their effect in dramatically increasing the Federal Deficit at least had a light somewhere at the end of a very long tunnel.

    But there was no such argument when the Republican Congress and President Bush created a brand new entitlement: Medicare Part D – Prescription Drugs for our Senior Citizens and not paying for it.

    While I will agree with the argument that preventative prescription drugs for Seniors will reduce later illnesses and hence lower costs for Medicare, why does that law provide that Medicare cannot use its large bargaining power to negotiate down the price of prescription drugs?

    Under this law, written by the lobbyists for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Medicare has only two choices: pay retail or do not buy the drug. Is that how your business operates: pay list price? Of course not, you have the ability to negotiate and get the best price possible! The Veterans Administration, which does not have such a wasteful requirement, pays on the average 40% less for the same prescription drugs.

    Paying list price on a federal entitlement that is not paid for, not only adds to the Federal Deficit, it does so forever!

    Perhaps you missed the fact that Republican Billy Tauzin, who marshaled this Medicare bill through the Republican Congress, then chose to resign from Congress and find work in the private sector: as a $1,000,000 per year job as the head of PhRMA. After five years he retired: a nice $5,000,000 payoff for a job well done to the detriment of the American Taxpayers.

    Did you happen to notice that the current Republican nominee for Vice President, Paul Ryan, was a loyal Republican soldier in Congress and voted for every one of these deficit exploding programs?

    You say: “Further, I don’t want the government to spend more than it has in its budget, expecting future generations to pay for it. That is immoral!” Did you happen to know that World War II was financed by War Bonds; which caused the Federal Deficit to explode for future generations to retire? If the Tea Party had as much influence in Congress as they do after the 2010 elections, we would all be speaking German today!

    “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society” – Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. But where did you get the idea that: “But I don’t want a government that forever wants more of the money I worked hard for, to spend in ways I don’t approve.”

    Go vote and have a decision in how your tax dollars are spent. But too many people today lose out in these elections to determine how the money should be spent and in a response, they follow the dictates of Grover Norquist who has publicly announced that he wants to shrink the size of government so that he can drown it in a bathtub!

    Ask all of the elected Republican Congressmen and Senators who have signed the Norquist anti-tax pledge: how are they going to pay for the war against Iran? They have handcuffed themselves into a position that is directly against the national security interests of this great country! They have sold Israel down the drain…

    “Demonized” by your President? Are you aware that not only has the Middle Class paid less taxes under President Obama then they did under President Bush, but also he has kept federal spending to its lowest percentage increase since President Eisenhower?

    Say what you want, but these facts are incontrovertible and the issues you complain about have nothing to do with the Democrats, but the very Republicans you chose to praise.

    • Ferd September 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      Michael, I truly appreciate your thoughtful response, and will keep all of it under consideration.
      As a practicing physician for 30 years, who has seen a general deterioration of medicine as a service to patients, and as a career choice, I have repeatedly named certain elements of the system as part of the “Dark Side.” Namely, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and hospitals. They have inserted themselves in between the doctor-patient relationship and have taken control of everything, from access to care, to setting fees, etc. They have taken a huge piece of the health care pie and continue to do so, by raising fees and cutting “expenses” (services to patients and reimbursements to practitioners.) They have created the most expensive health care system on the planet, for their personal gain and to the detriment of patient care. We are close to last on the list of effectiveness when compared to other developed countries. I also blame our government, Republican or Democrat, when decisions are made to support this system. I was disappointed that Obama did not take a different tack with his health care reform. I had hoped he would take measures to redistribute the pie in ways that support patient care, and that he would make the pie smaller. I had hoped he would chop off the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and hospitals at the knees. But that didn’t happen.
      In this way, I agree with much of what you said. Again, I overlap greatly in many traditionally Republican and Democratic issues. This post relates mainly to my basic Jeffersonian thinking.
      Again, my friend, thank you for your thoughtful post.