Fresh Takes Opinion — 10 April 2014

Not to make light of the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — but lately I have an even bigger mystery top-of-mind.

How do people in this day and age continue to vote for Republicans?

Seriously.

On Wednesday, April 8, the “Grand Old Party” members of the Senate managed to block the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would have guaranteed women in the United States were paid the same amount of money as men for an equal amount of work.

And boy it’s a good thing they did too, huh? Just another liberal plot to ruin America by ensuring that women receive equal treatment under the law.

OK, I had my sarcastic hat on there for a second. Let me take that off and speak honestly — to me, the GOP will always represent the worst aspects of this otherwise fine country we call the United States of America.

Gender inequality. The persecution of gays. The ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor.

Those are just a few positions that come to mind immediately when I think of Republicans. Say what you will about Democrats, an imperfect political party for sure, but their platform is aimed at trying to help people, at least.

Republicans, on the other hand, stay in power and generate campaign funds by duping innocent people into voting against their own interests. By separating fools from their money and feeding and nurturing their worst instincts of fear, hatred and irrational self-absorption.

Yet here we are in 2014, an election year, and nearly every political pundit is predicting that the GOP will gain seats in both houses of Congress. They even speculate that they could regain control of the Senate, which would further deadlock a nearly frozen political process.

If at this point in history they can’t get on board with a law that ensures women are paid the same as men, what can they get behind? Their opposition of the law paints a picture of a party that actively tries to ensure women are not paid the same as men and really, given their recent history, that’s not all that shocking from them.

If the unthinkable happens and they do take back Congress this year and get a President elected in 2016, what does the country have to look forward to?

A giant leap backward, that’s what.

President Obama’s legacy has been mixed but the progress this country has made during one of its most challenging periods in its history is undeniable.

Preventing a recession from turning into a depression. Equal rights for gays. A large scale increase in the amount of Americans who have access to health care. Winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A more sensible discussion on marijuana policy.

Imagine all that wiped away in two election cycles. It could happen.

It’s a mystery to me why people still vote for Republicans.

Here’s to hoping someday, when the history of this time is written, Republicans will be remembered for what they were.

Wrong.

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