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Why People of Faith and Family Values Should Vote Republican

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Message James Stresen-Reuter
When I was growing up I was taught "If you messed it up, you clean it up" and "If you broke it, you fix it". These directives from my parents were meant to imbue perhaps one of the most important of family values, that of personal responsibility. Another family value taught was that of "Don't spend more than you earn and don't borrow more than you can pay back", meant to leave me with the solid behavior trait of fiscal responsibility. I was also taught the golden rule, and to apologize when I did something wrong and to forgive when others did wrong. In my 62 years I have tried, sometimes unsuccessfully, to adhere to these and the many other Judeo/Christian ethics I was taught. I learned that when I had to own up to the consequences of the wrongs I committed, I was more likely in the future to stick to these family values than if I didn't have to own the consequences.

One of the more entertaining movies, and probably relevant to most parents in the U.S., was "Home Alone" . In this movie parents leave for a weekend allowing their unsupervised teenagers on their own, and chaos results. It demonstrated that children who may know about these sorts of "family values" may not have the desire or self-control to adhere to them. But as parents (and former children ourselves), we know that in order to raise the child up to an adult's expected levels of responsibility and self discipline, we must make our children clean up the messes they made, pay back the credit cards they used, and recognize and apologize for their misdeeds. We know that if we don't insist on this that we may be raising irresponsible, lazy brats instead of mature, hard working adults.

A home with children, parents, and grandparents living in it could be seen as a metaphor for the current U.S. government. In this metaphor I see the Bush Administration as the child, and the Republican House and Senate as the parents and grandparents. I see the last six years as a very, very long "Home Alone" weekend for the Bush administration. The parents and grandparents have really enjoyed the weekend themselves and are now just returning, cracking open the door to their beautiful home and starting to experience the sights and smells of the mess and the chaos created inside their home. (And the credit card bills haven't arrived yet.)

What is the mess they see? When they turn the lights on and go in they see a few problems that weren't there before they left for the long weekend:

· An Iraqi civil war, and a country with a crumbling government and infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of fresh graves.

· A similar view of Afghanistan, but with a much bigger and better opium industry.

· An answering machine disgorging complaints about juvenile delinquency from formerly friendly neighbors.

· A notice from the utility company that rates have doubled, and to prepare for rationing. Also they will no longer accept payments in U.S. dollars, but only in euros or yen. (The yuan is also under consideration).

· Ten letters from credit card companies and their mortgage holder that rates are going up. Apparently, all current credit cards are "maxed " out, but there were also some new offers.

· A letter from the school board stating that they will be going on split sessions due to lack of money caused by the cost of testing for the "no child left behind act". Also, no more recesses, PE, art, music, or theater classes- but, "with your generous contributions, we will be able to continue football, basketball, and baseball-- for boys".

· Grandpa gets a notice from Medicare that he's responsible for the next $2500 in Rx bills since he's reached the "doughnut hole" in his Medicare Rx plan. (He decides to go without drugs for the next four months).

· A newspaper article states that unknown people at their address are "people of interest" to Homeland Security because of unspecified internet activity.

· A lay-off notice from his employer stating that his job has been outsourced to China, the Philippines, and India.

· Etc., etc.

As responsible parents and grandparents with family values, we know what we have to do - make our children clean up the mess they made.

And that's why I'm voting Republican in the next election.
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Semi retired chemical engineer, worried about the world's furure.
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