Why I Support Republican Ideals

By Jason Besley

Like many young people, while in college I thought that socialist policies had some merit. Lots of visible public good seemed to be accomplished by government intervention – parks, freeways, universal education and myriad other benefits.
But then I moved to the People’s Republic of China after college and experienced firsthand a state that enforced its own view of the public good in nearly every field of human experience. I remember the first time I asked a Chinese college student my standard conversation starter, “Why did you choose your major?” They answered, “I didn’t.” It turned out that each student was assigned a major based on their aptitude test scores. Wherever the state determined that society needed you, that’s the career path it put you on. Your individual desires were not a consideration.
Couples wanting to marry must wait until the man was at least 22 years old and the woman was 20. And college students were not allowed to marry, so they had to either wait until they both graduated or drop out to get married. Then, they were allowed to have one child. No more.
Obviously, the US is far from this level of totalitarianism, but I’m concerned about some trends. In 1930, government controlled about 12% of the economy. Today, it controls 40%.  

In 1900, there was no federal income tax. Today, the tax code is 74,000 pages long.

In the past, a family could choose how to educate their children, how to save for retirement, and how to insure for medical expenses. Today, the state collects by force for each of those things, and the family can choose private school, private investments, or alternative health care only if they can afford these options with the leftover income.
My other big concern is how the command-and-control tide can be reversed once it has gone “too far.” If 40% of spending in the country is directed by government, it’s reasonable to suppose that nearly 40% of workers are employed by those tax dollars. (Another 21% of the population are currently receiving social security benefits.) How likely are these individuals to vote for lower taxes and thus cutting these cash flows? As we approach 50% of the country dependent upon public funds, it becomes harder and harder for the other 50% to halt and reverse the growth of the state.
I have lived in a one-party state, and I don’t want my home country to become one. These are some of the reasons I support the Republican party.
[Jason Besley is a writer and editor from the Kent County GOP Public Relations Standing Committee.]