Letter to the GOP Candidates by Pete Rearden

Pete Reardon photo by Steve Watkins
Pete Reardon photo by Steve Watkins

GOP candidates,

Well now, it seems that your little clown car is filling up rather quickly isn’t it? From Lil’ Jebbie towards the center to the Don on the far right to Graham Cracker out in the right field parking lot, you guys are all promising a vibrant and booming economy, job growth, and lower taxes. I, a pragmatic independent voter would like to ask some questions about this and a few other matters which I am curious about.

First question: since WWII the United States has suffered through 42 quarters of negative GDP growth. Of these 42 quarters, 31 of them have been during Republican administrations. How, exactly, is that not a sign that your economic policies aren’t weaker than those of the Democrats? It would seem to me that having almost 3 times as many quarters of negative GDP growth as your opponents is a sign that your economic policies don’t work. Granted, I am not possessed of an advanced degree in economics, so I may be missing something in the nuances, but as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. In the past 70 or so years your pudding hasn’t tasted that great.

Let me ask you about taxes now. It has often been said that the tree of liberty must occasionally be nurtured with the blood of patriots. Since this is quite obviously a metaphorical statement, could that blood not also, metaphorically speaking come from the wallets of patriotic individuals and patriotic corporations? It would seem to me that when the nation isn’t being invaded, that those taxes could realistically be considered the blood of patriots needed to nurture the tree of liberty.

Moving right along, let’s discuss social issues shall we? For a group of individuals who claim to be all about liberty, freedom, and personal accountability, you sure don’t act like it when it comes to a number of social issues. Take marriage equality. Other than the fact that you wouldn’t be able to treat a class of American citizens like second class people, there are no down sides to it. It is a personal choice two people make. No one is going to force religions which don’t accept gay marriage to perform same sex weddings, and in fact, your strong stand against marriage equality violates the religious freedoms of many religious sects in the United States.

Women’s reproductive rights are another matter you take strong moral issue with. Why? If you are so big on freedom and liberty, why oppress the freedom of women to determine the course of their lives? I’ve known women who have had abortions. It has never been a choice they made flippantly, and in many ways is the height of accountability. They will have to remain accountable to themselves for the rest of their lives.

If you are so dead set against abortion, then why not make safe, effective methods of birth control available to women, along with evidence based sex education? Those have been proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, to reduce abortion numbers far more effectively than restricting access to abortions. Seriously. Do you guys live in the real world, or in some fantasy?

Before you trot out Jesus, God, and the Bible, answer me this: where in the Bible does it unambiguously say that God opposes abortion? I’ve read the whole book a couple of times through, especially the more salacious bits, of which there are many. Nowhere in the book do I find a specific and unilateral injunction against abortion. Quite the opposite in fact. In the Bible forcing a woman to miscarry (aka an abortion,) is a civil matter involving a weregild. Since I am sure you aren’t familiar with the concept of a weregild, it is a monetary remuneration for the lost life. It wasn’t an offense which called for death. It wasn’t called an abomination. It required no ritual ablutions or ritual exile to cleanse the guilty party. It was a monetary transaction. I bet you didn’t know this, but according to the Bible you love to thump so much, between the ages of birth and one month, there wasn’t even a fine for killing a child. They were to be considered ‘as water.’ Between the ages of one month and five years the weregild was reinstated: three shekels for a girl, and five shekels for a boy. The Bible is unambiguous about that.

Speaking of God and the Bible, I note that many of you are quite willing to invoke his name and his will. It is only the savage who claims to know the mind and the will of God implicitly. What we can glean of the mind of God, through the Bible is that he is a champion of the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden, and those rejected by society at large. Did Christ hang out with the wealthy, the powerful, the elite, rabbis, and the like? Nowhere in any bible I’ve read. He associated with tax collectors (traitors to their people and their faith,) whores, fishermen, lepers, beggars, Samaritans (blasphemers,) and criminals. In fact, Jesus was forced to his death by a group of devoutly pious individuals who wanted only to protect their religious freedoms. Wouldn’t it be more honest of you to identify with the Pharisees, Saducees, and the Sanhedrin? I for one would be more willing to vote for you if you were that honest with yourselves and me.

These are all the questions and comments I have for you right now. Rest assured, as your campaigns progress I will have more uncomfortable questions to ask, but ‪#‎JebBush‬ ‪#‎ScottWalker‬ ‪#‎DonaldTrump‬ ‪#‎MarcoRubio‬ ‪#‎TedCruz‬ ‪#‎LindseyGraham‬ ‪#‎CarlyFiorino‬ ‪#‎BenCarson‬ ‪#‎RandPaul‬ ‪#‎MikeHuckabee‬ ‪#‎RickSantorum‬ ‪#‎GeorgePataki‬ ‪#‎RickPerry‬ ‪#‎ChrisChristie‬ ‪#‎BobbyJindal‬ ‪#‎JohnKasich‬, if any of you have the courage to reply with concise and articulate answers to these questions I will be more than happy to read your answers with an open mind.

One last thing, and this is directed specifically at Jeb, Don, and Scott; why do you feel it is morally acceptable to use the hard work of musicians for your own self aggrandizement without first asking their permission, or offering remuneration? That is called theft, and I believe your Bible has some pretty unilateral injunctions against stealing.

A concerned voter,

Pete Rearden is a photographer, photojournalist, and opinionated commenter on America.

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are those of the author and should not be attributed to Cognitive Relevance (CR).