Thursday, November 20, 2008

How can you be a Mormon and Republican?

One of the reasons I wanted to write a blog that no one would ever read was to answer the most annoying question on earth: How can you be a Mormon and a Democrat? We surely will attempt to answer that question as we go along, but today I want to throw it back out there: How can you be a Mormon and a Republican?

I'd like to take a look back at the last eight years of near complete Republican control of all levels of government, meaning the executive branch, legislative branch, and judiciary. We've had eight years of George "W" Bush, six years of Republican control of Congress, and a conservative Supreme Court that became more conservative over the last eight years with three Bush appointments of hard right judges including the replacement of swing voter O'Connor. So lets turn it up a few notches from "Reconciliatory" to "Hyper-Partisan" and take a look at some of the things that have happened while the Republicans have been on the watch.

Seriously? Torture? Here is a nice timeline of the Bush administration's dalliance into the torture scene. From Abu Ghraib to Guantánamo, here are some of the delicately name "enhanced interrogation" techniques specifically authorized and utilized by the Bush administration: stress positions, exploitation of phobias, forced nudity, hooding, isolation, sensory deprivation, exposure to cold, waterboarding, forcing men to wear women's underwear, performing "dog tricks" on a leash, 18 to 20 hours of interrogation a day for months at a time, slapping, use of vicious dogs for intimidation, dietary manipulation, environmental manipulation, and sleep "adjustment."

Not only is torture immoral and should in no way be condoned under any circumstances, it is plainly against United States law and violates the Geneva Convention. Even more, studies are showing that torture does not yield reliable information. It is simply appalling that our government allowed this to go on.

Big Brother is watching. The Bush administration secretly created a domestic spying program to monitor communications by its own citizens, without the need for a warrant. A warrant is a simply way for the government to go to a judge and present some evidence that, in this case, it has a reason to collect information from someone believed to be a threat. Such a hearing can be completely confidential and allows for a system of checks and balances that our Founding Fathers envisioned. This may be the most appalling, to me, abuses of power the Bush administration perpetrated. So next time you hear a strange clicking sound in your phone, hang up fast.

Iraq War
The biggie. I won't go into all the detail, it is pretty well known by now, but here is a rough overview. We were told that, contrary to all credible information, that Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11. We were told that Iraq had WMD's, which turned out to be false. So those were the big reasons we were sold on to go to war, we're talking war here, and those were bunk. So when the bottom fell out of those excuses, we were told to just be happy we were liberating Iraqi. We were told the soldiers would be welcomed as liberators. They were welcomed with IEDs. And, as a nice little bow on top, the adminstration had no feasible plan for the occupation, which is now nearing the six year mark.

The cost for overthrowing a regime that, while admittedly horrible, had never attacked us and was no threat to attack us in the future? Try 4,201 US military casualties, over 30,000 wounded, $602,819,000,000 and rising, and a number we don't hear that often because it is liable to make us sick, nearly 100,000 documented Iraqi civilian deaths. How Christian.

I could go on, and I likely will later, but let me finish up with one thing the Republicans did not do for all of their control and power over the last eight years. There are many single-issue voters in this country, and I suspect even more so among religious people. And I suspect that the largest single-issue voter issue is abortion. So for everybody that votes one party on that single issue because that is the only issue they care about, or for people that might otherwise be more independent or even liberal but for this issue: You may have wasted your vote.

I will state here that I support the Church's stance on abortion found here, that abortion may only occur in very limited instances: rape, incest, health of the mother, if the baby cannot survive beyond birth.

However, there has not been a bit of movement or even attempted movement on this issue for the past eight years of Republican control. The appalling secret is that abortion is a political issue used during the election cycle to get votes and then left dormant by politicians until the next election. Politics is simply not the way to make a real difference on this issue, and voting Republican because of this issue will get us nowhere.

I realize these are fightin' words. And I certainly don't mean to suggest that you can't be a Mormon and a Republican, that was a little rhetoric to get the ball rolling. There is no "good Mormon" political party, both have serious flaws and both have serious virtues. But I don't want to have to answer the question of how I can be a Mormon liberal because the premise of that question is that you cannot and you must be a Republican, which is false and wrong and I reject it.


Iliana said...

I agree on almost everypoint. Not that you care. But since you do have a small readership I comment anyway :)

Jacob S. said...

I actually care a lot. Thanks for reading.

SO said...

I agree with Jake. Feedback and discussion is the only means to a better world.