Why Republicans Are Bad, but Also Good, for America

Many republicans claim to hold family values, high moral standards, and “tradition,” whatever that may mean, close to their hearts. Taking the most recent occurrences across the world, but most prominent to us in America, there is substantial evidence otherwise, both from the present day and from history. Don’t take this the wrong way, though; republicans have also benefitted America in many ways, sometimes inadvertently. Republicans have shown that they can be the most terrible, but also the best people through the 2016 election, the civil war, and other happenings across the globe and throughout history.

The most recent occurrence is the 2016 presidential election of Hillary Rodham Clinton versus Donald John Trump. The election caused both parties to bear their fangs, causing a divide that some looked at in a negative light, although Joel Stein, in his article "This Is the Most Enlightening Election In More than a Century, and Here’s Why" disagrees with the popular view. He proposes that the exposure of social and political issues, mostly spurred by now presidential-elect Donald Trump, is a good thing for America. In the column, after discussing how he feels that such blunt discussions on social issues and political issues is good for the country, Stein says, “[Historian] Brinkley and I both thought this election has done a lot of good for minorities, women, and immigrants by making their plights more obvious.” This means that Republicans will have inadvertently caused liberals to give minorities, women, and immigrants a less-victimized life by bringing their stories to the limelight! But Stein says this only after discussing how historian Douglas Brinkley describes the last time an election such as this occurred: “Before the Civil War, everyone was trying to make compromises on slavery and not talk about it. When Lincoln was elected, all the issues came to a head.”

Abraham Lincoln, when elected President of the United States, was a member of the National Union Party, which was the pseudonym used by the Republican Party of the time. You read that right: Abraham Lincoln, the man that ended slavery and worked toward equality between the races, was a Republican! If only modern-day right-wingers lived by his legacy. Lincoln’s election, paired with Trump’s, are just two examples of many that show that republicans can be simultaneously terrible for the country while also doing good. According to Joel Stein, “[After Lincoln’s election] we began the healing process of airing our disagreements, and 2.5% of the population was killed,” which could be something very similar to what we will see over the next 4-8 years (hopefully without the death, of course).

Also in 2016, Republicans put the issue of lying in the spotlight. Whether it was Donald Trump promising “...that Clinton started the birther movement instead of him...to save $300 billion a year from Medicare’s prescription-drug program, which costs only $78 billion a year...that millions of people had voted for Clinton illegally,” (Stein, In 216, the Lies…) or Republicans complaining about Clinton’s email scandals, there were lies left and right. Whether Republicans were pointing these lies out or making them up, they inadvertently caused yet another occurrence this election cycle: although it isn’t uncommon, 49% of American’s did not vote. But what isn’t common is that Obama, the current President of the United States, had his approval ratings soar over both candidates this year (Obama had 54% approval opposed to Clinton’s 46% and Trump’s 43%). This is evidence that, thanks to Republicans, people will no longer be tolerating liars in power! Although we will actually have to wait until the 2020 election cycle to actually see the effects of their selfless deeds.

And finally, another way that Republicans help America while simultaneously being bad for it, is the way they vote. In Joel Stein’s article, "Why Older People Shouldn’t Vote--And Other Opinions Unpopular with My Parents", he discusses the issue of elderly Republicans and how they vote; “In surveys in the US and UK,” he says, “people over 65--compared with people under 30--were nearly twice as likely to be against gay marriage; twice as likely to be pro-Brexit; half as likely to support legalization of marijuana; nearly five times less likely to want to spend money on education; 60% more likely to vote for Donald Trump; and nearly 50% more likely to say immigrants have a negative impact on society, despite the fact that they are being wheeled around by them all day.” This anti-education, anti-equal rights attitude inspires many people to counter their ignorance and bigotry by voting the opposing way, for the most part, thus bettering America as a whole.

These are just a few of the many ways that Republicans have helped America become a better country--whether it be intentionally, as in Abe Lincoln’s case, or inadvertently, as with the recent election cycle. Not all Republicans are terrible people, as I have proven, and many care deeply for this country. It is very obvious that whether they are making the changes themselves or inspiring others to do so (out of pure hatred), Republicans do the country well.


Columns in Times Magazine by Joel Stein.

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