Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on May 18, 2011
The Republican Party continues to try and paint itself as advocates and promoters of “limited government”—a talking point and self applied label they use often. But their self anointed declaration as staunch advocates of limited government is nothing more than a massive lie told and retold thousands of times to win elections, and it’s time that we more consistently call them out on it.
Both the Salt Lake County and Utah State republican platforms declare that: “We strongly oppose the forfeiture of private property from innocent owners,” but these Republicans have continued to stand in the way of those who wish to change the laws to make it easier and clearer for gay and lesbian families to share property and control its transition after death—essentially allowing government to stand between “innocent owners” and their property rights. This is not limited government.
The State and County Party platforms attest to their “support [of] capital punishment when appropriate”, but giving the government the most ultimate of powers—the power to kill its citizens—is hardly an element of limited government.
Republicans nationally and in Utah advocate the idea that “Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman,” thereby asserting the influence of big government in telling you who can and who cannot be part of your family unit. This is intrusive government, not limited government.
The State and County Parties assert their opposition to “abortion, euthanasia,[and] assisted suicide,” a stance that places government in between an individual, their families, and their medical providers in making intimately personal decisions. This is not limited government.
The County Party believes “Government should not influence or compete in private markets. We are in servitude to the state when the state usurps the power to determine the value of our labor or our property” while at the same time supporting government control over the alcohol and liquor market in the state. This is not only not limited government, it is rank hypocrisy.
The 2008 national Republican platform announced their intentions to “lower their tax burden by doubling the exemption for dependents” as well as reaffirms the party’s support for “the child care tax credit” thereby forcing the subsidization of families by single persons and those without children. This is not limited government.
The RNC further declares that: “No health care professional–doctor, nurse, or pharmacist –or organization should ever be required to perform, provide for, or refer for a health care service against their conscience for any reason,” which works to place government in between an employer and an employee dictating what an employer can require of an employee to reasonably fulfill their job requirements. This is not an element of limited government.
The national party wants to use government to eliminate the existence of “school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception” essentially using government to obstruct a youth’s access to medical services and devices that protect them from disease and unwanted pregnancy. This is irresponsible big government.
The national platform asserts: “We support the law prohibiting gambling over the Internet.” The Republicans wish to use government to tell you how you can and cannot spend your time or what you can and cannot spend your money on in enterprises that do no harm to the public or other persons. This is the party of limited government? I don’t think so.
Finally, the national platform declares that:“By whatever legislative method is most feasible, Old Glory should be given legal protection against desecration,” thereby using government to restrict the Constitutional right to free speech and restricting the accepted uses of one’s own legally owned property. This is not limited government.
The list could go on and on, and yes, there are many instances in the Democtratic Party platform and belief system that could similarly be declared to be contrary to “limited government”—but the point is that the Democrats do not use “limited government” as a rallying cry to win elections.
The Republican Party’s self anointment as the party of “limited government” is a blatant and calculated lie, and it’s time that Americans—and more importantly Utahns—stopped believing it.
Guest Post by Isaac Higham