How much does anti-gay rhetoric set back the GOP?
I’m fiscally conservative, but socially liberal.” The number of times I’ve heard fellow students use this line to describe their political views has led me to wonder why it is so popular.
I eventually figured it out: Students are afraid of giving people the idea that they oppose gay rights.
Students should not allow the closed-mindedness of conservatives who voice opposition to gay rights prevent them from identifying with the Republican Party.
The pinnacle of Republican-led intolerance was reached at a GOP debate last November. During the debate, audience members booed a gay soldier who addressed a question to Rick Santorum.
Instead of reproaching the audience members for disrespecting Army Capt. Stephen Hill, Santorum launched into a tirade against gay sex in the military.
The actions of fundamentalists like these give the entire Republican Party a bad rap, especially among socially progressive voters.
As a result, many conservative-leaning students are reluctant to voice their political affiliation for fear of criticism and improper labeling.
Occurrences like the Santorum debacle must not be used to tarnish the image of Republicans, especially among college students who, according to a 2011 study by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, tend to be supportive of gay rights.
Rep. Ron Paul, for example, supports the privatization of marriage and the ability of all people to make marriage contracts without government involvement.
Fittingly, Paul’s core group of followers is largely composed of young voters: In the Iowa caucus, 48 percent of voters under 30 chose Paul.
Despite many people automatically associating Republicans with Christian family values, Republicans are most concerned with fiscal prudence and limiting government powers. “Preserving the sanctity of marriage” is hardly emphasized among more moderate mainstream Republicans.
Core Republican values ring especially true today, during a time of crushing federal debt. The most important issue is climbing out of debt and putting Americans back to work. Until then, social issues will have to be kept on the back burner.
Most Republican presidential candidates — or, at least, viable ones such as Mitt Romney — are focusing their time and energy on promoting free-market principles instead of wasting time preaching about gay marriage.
The philosophy of the Republican Party as a whole allows individuals to live without government oppression. A new generation of open-minded conservatives passionate about promoting this philosophy without forcing a certain definition of sexual morality is emerging.
Now is the time for young conservatives to dispel these misconceptions by standing strong in their views and by showing how educated and tolerant the emerging generation of Republicans can be.
Sarah Cueva is a sophomore majoring in Middle East studies and political science. Point/Counterpoint runs Fridays.
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As stated above..
Decreasing school costs is quite simple. Schools are only able to charge such high rates because the government makes subsidized loans easily available to students. The loans allow colleges to maintain outrageous prices and years down the road, when broke students finally graduate and are unable to pay off those loans immediately, the government cashes in on interest, which is redistributed to God knows where. Without these loans, college kids would be unable to afford school and univerisites would be forced to either contract or drastically lower prices, leaving the money in the hands of educated and productive societal members. Even through contraction, students would choose more realistically priced universities (given factors like merit based scholarship) and finish college without mountains of debt to pay off.
If the choice is between “big government” in matters of business or “big government” in telling me who I may and may not marry, I’ll go with the former, thank you. And until mainstream Republican candidates are *at least* neutral on gay issues, that’s what it amounts to.
(And that’s if you trust them to do the “small government” thing on the financial side. I saw no evidence of that during the last Republican administration.)
“The philosophy of the Republican Party as a whole allows individuals to live without government oppression.”
A government that does not allow me, as a gay man, the same rights as anyone else is oppressing me, so you more than anyone should be championing gay marriage.
It is easy for you, as someone whose identity is not being legally discriminated against of course you think “social issues will have to be kept on the back burner.” You and I agree that something must be done about the federal debt, we, however, disagree about what it is that should be done, though that is beside the point. I will not allow social issues to be pushed to the back burner, because I am not a second class citizen. I am as much an American as any straight person, and I deserve the same treatment. Also conservatives got “protect marriage amendments” on ballot on at least two states this year, so much for the back burner.
2011 was prehaps the best year for GLBT equality in the history of our movement, despite the Republican attempt to delay our progress with a hollow “we need to focus on the economy” or “social issues aren’t important when people are unemployed.” Really Republicans are hypocritical babies when it come to GLBT rights. When a court affirms equal protection for all Americans they’re “activist courts,” but a conservative decision like citizens united comes down judges are lauded. Hopeful 2012 will continue this positive momentum, the vote in Washington State seems to demonstrate that it is. Civil rights can’t be on the “back burner” if we are truly a free country. Shame on you for insinuating that some people deserve fewer rights because of the state of the economy.
School costs have been rising for decades, not just during Obama’s term of office. Ron Paul is simplistic if he says school costs so much because the economy sucks. How does he propose to reduce the cost to $5,000. He doesn’t really offer solutions. He is an extreme candidate that wouldn’t be able to get any of his ideas into practice.
People who believe that voting for Republicans based on the fiscal position of the party are completely fooling themselves if they don’t acknowledge that less government does NOT equate to staying out of social issues. Republicans are perfectly happy and doggedly determined to have the government dictate how people should behave on a myriad of social issues (gay rights and abortion are just two examples).
Actually, decreasing school costs is quite simple. Schools are only able to charge such high rates because the government makes subsidized loans easily available to students. The loans allow colleges to maintain outrageous prices and years down the road, when broke students finally graduate and are unable to pay off those loans immediately, the government cashes in on interest, which is redistributed to God knows where. Without these loans, college kids would be unable to afford school and univerisites would be forced to either contract or drastically lower prices, leaving the money in the hands of educated and productive societal members. Even through contraction, students would choose more realistically priced universities (given factors like merit based scholarship) and finish college without mountains of debt to pay off.
Also, while I agree the Republican party is in the wrong for dictating social issues such as gay rights, abortion is a much more touchy subject. It would be fairly ignorant to compare ideology of gay rights and abortion.. lets not lump them into one giant cloud of “social issues.” Abortion is a life/death argument.. my simple response to those who are pro abortion is this- while you may believe aborting a fetus is not the same as ending a life, you must agree it is the equivalent of ending the potential for life. In other words, are you satisfied knowing that had your parents aborted you, you would not be here? And if so, when we have the ability to time travel, you would be okay with it should I convince your parents of doing so? I mean come on.. think. People talk a mean game, but when it comes down to it, who wouldn’t want to get the opportunity to live in this messed up world?
I think the anti-gay rhetoric sets the GOP back a lot. The younger generation is for gay rights, because odds are, they know someone who is gay, a relative, a classmate, a favorite teacher, etc. I personally will never vote for an anti-gay republican, no matter how much I may like his fiscal policies. One needs to simply take a look at Rick Perry’s debacle of an ad denouncing gay service men and woman.
Or maybe students just don’t know what “fiscally conservative” means. Ask a group of those Ron Paul supporters if they think Pell Grants should be eliminated and let’s see what they say.
Pell grants should be eliminated as soon as we eliminate the need for them. Education, like a lot of things, costs WAY more than it should. Ron Paul wants to drive down the price of education et al so that we can all afford to go WITHOUT the government’s so-called help.
Think about it: if a year of college cost $5,000 rather than $20,000, we could all go. Those that couldn’t get merit-based aid could work their way through college, maybe get loans that aren’t so huge that no one can ever get out from under them, and when they get out of school, start an actual career and pay off any loans a hell of a lot more quickly and fairly.
Why do people need Pell grants? School costs too much!
Why does school costs so much? The economy sucks!
Why does the economy suck? We keep electing greedy jerks–Democrat AND Republican–who only pretend to care about us when they need our votes!
Ron Paul is the only person running for president who has been saying the same things for decades, no matter who’s (not) watching. On top of that, it turns out he’s been right the whole time.
I cannot understand how any decent person could want to vote for anyone BUT Ron Paul unless they’re rich or uninformed. Hopefully, the latter can be corrected, despite the efforts of the mainstream media and Wall Street.
Ron Paul has a lot of great ideas that resonate with many centrist Republicans/Dems(including myself) but many of his policies are also very polarizing and extreme which unfortunately pushes many potential voters away from him. For examples, things you already know:
He wants to close:
Dept of Energy, Interior, Commerce, Energy, and HUD.
Drastically cut budgets for FDA, CDC, DHS, NIH, EPA
Eliminate all foreign aid(AIPAC would never allow this).
Also drop corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%, eliminate capital gains/dividends taxes(!?!), permanently extend the bush tax cuts which make up a substantial portion of our deficit, eliminate gift tax and estate tax, and repeal dodd-frank and sarbanes-oxley(?!?!?!)
All of the above are things that promise he will never be elected though him winning the GOP primary would definitely force Obama to discuss a lot of key fiscal issues which would be good for the country.