I suppose the slogan of “keeping the government out of your bedroom” is pretty much officially retired amongst Republican circles now. The stated justification for this horribly intrusive, un-Constitutional, un-American, nanny-state action that the most hardcore Progressive would be proud of, is that “compulsive gambling is a serious disease” blah blah blah, Why is there no call to ban all forms of poker? Or all gambling? Or what about tobacco? Or alcohol? Is alcoholism not a serious disease? What about high-fat diets? Red-meat, perhaps? Of course, this issue, like virtually all, are shaped not by adhering to the desires of your constituents, or (and try not to laugh) adhering to “Conservative Principles” or things like the Constitution, but rather, is shaped by the interests of a very small group of very wealthy and influential backers of the Republican Party. (Read: Sheldon Adelson)
The lamest defense of all of those who have been instructed that they now are to oppose online gambling because their party leaders declare it so, is that the online aspect of it makes it easier for underage children to be exposed to it. If your underage child is able to forge identity documents, steal your credit card and routinely make online gambling charges to it, and sit on the computer all day compulsively gambling, and you are either unaware or unable to stop it, well you are a horrible parent and your child will have much worse issues than gambling. What happened to being the party of family values? I can’t think of anything more dangerous to the family unit than the implications that we are too incompetent to parent our children ourselves, and thus need the heavy hand of government to outlaw any activities that may lead to undesirable behavior. I’m pretty sure children have, on occasion, gotten their hands on their parents’ firearms to disastrous result. Any plans for adding a plank to the GOP platform calling for a ban on guns in households with children? Or would “conservatives” revolt at such a notion and correctly point out that responsible parents can take measures to ensure their child does not access their firearm?
What about being the party of creating jobs for the middle-class? Yes, I know government can’t create jobs and to even pretend that slogan makes any sense whatsoever will rightfully anger my libertarian friends, but they can stop doing things that impede job growth and creation. You know what’s a really bad way to create jobs? To outlaw a profession and literally drive tens of thousands of honest, tax-paying, economy supporting citizens overseas where they can make a living without being oppressed, all the while spending their money in a foreign country as opposed to here.
The reason the Republican Party is dying and will fail to unseat a President who is presiding over the worst economic crisis in nearly 100 years, while simultaneously abandoning all of his campaign promises and disenfranchising an enormous part of his own base, is because the Republican Party no longer stands for anything. Nothing. They stand for whatever issues their wealthiest backers desire and nothing else. To be fair, the Democratic Party is obviously identical in that regard. For decades they have ridden on the coat-tails of words and beautifully crafted speeches of limited government and freedom by people like Ronald Regan. But their actual actions and policies are indistinguishable from their supposed opponents of Democrats. Bailouts anyone? National debt? Abandoning the long-held conservative principles of being a strong, humble nation, who seeks to defend our country while avoiding nation-building abroad? If you don’t believe me just ask Taft or maybe George W. is a better example:
Perhaps it is time that conservatives who believe in the principles espoused by people like Ronald Regan (for instance, “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem!” and so forth) stop blindly supporting politicians and a party that no longer even pays lip-service to these ideas, let alone actually try and implement policies that would achieve them, merely because the have the letter R next to their name and the Republican Party leadership told them to.
There is only so long you can scream insults at the other guy to distract from the reality that there is no substantive difference between what he is doing and what you would do. The online poker is probably the least significant of all the issues the above commentary is true of, but maybe that’s why its so irritating as well.