During last year’s presidential campaign, many people had an urge to vote Libertarian or for some other third party.

But conservative Republicans told us over and over, in effect: “No, don’t waste your vote. A third-party vote is a vote for Al Gore. No matter how bad George Bush might be in some ways, we have to get the Democrats out of the White House – and electing George Bush is the only way we can do that.”

So now we’ve had a few months of George Bush. And if you voted Republican, you can see how much better off you are for keeping Al Gore out of the White House.

No Gore

The Republicans said we had to defeat Al Gore because the Democrats wanted to socialize health care. So George Bush has offered to put the control of prescription drugs in the hands of people like Teddy Kennedy, Tom Daschle, and other politicians. And most likely he’ll sign a “Patient’s Bill of Rights” bill – making health care even more expensive and inaccessible than it is now.

The Republicans said we had to defeat Al Gore to restore ethics to the White House. All together now: “No more renting out the Lincoln Bedroom!” So the Republicans have already begun a program of raising money by guaranteeing access to George Bush, Richard Cheney, and other top Republican politicians – reminding us that when you give power to the government, only the rich and powerful will be able to take advantage of it.

The Republicans said we had to defeat Al Gore because the Democrats were one-worlders who wanted to sacrifice American sovereignty to the internationalists. But last week George Bush used your money to bribe the Serbs to turn Slobodan Milosevic over to the World Court for prosecution. Needless to say, the “One Worlders” admire Mr. Bush’s passion for international government.

The Republicans said we had to defeat Al Gore because the Democrats were turning American troops into a world police force. But George Bush is continuing the Clinton policy of blocking food and medicines from reaching Iraqi men, women and children in order to enforce a policy that no one seems able to comprehend.

The Republicans said we had to defeat Al Gore because of all the big-government programs Al Gore would inflict on us. So now we have George Bush wanting to use your money to (among other things) reward his favorite charities, impose federal testing requirements on local government schools, impose federal rules on private schools through a voucher program (since those rules have worked so well for government schools) and put price controls on energy.

The Republicans said we had to defeat Al Gore because only George Bush wanted to give you back some of your money. But George Bush hasn’t proposed a single reduction in government’s cost, power, intrusiveness, or oppression. If government continues to grow, how are we saving money?

The Republicans said we had to defeat Al Gore in order to get rid of people like Janet Reno and restore respect for the Constitution. So now we have an attorney general who promises to escalate the infamous drug war – the worst assault on your constitutional liberties in American history.

Some things have changed

Lest you think nothing has changed since Bill Clinton left the White House, let me point out one major difference. When Democrats had the presidency, conservative columnists bombarded the country with articles criticizing big-government programs, questionable fund-raising techniques, the dangers inherent in international agencies, and the abuse of the Constitution.

But now, with George Bush in the White House, the eight-year vocal opposition to big government seems to have disappeared.

Don’t misunderstand me. This article isn’t a criticism of George Bush. He has never concealed his love of big government. He hasn’t attempted to deceive us in any notable way. My beef is with all those Republicans who told you that you must vote for Bush in order to keep Al Gore out of the White House.

Well, you voted for George Bush and what did you get?

Al Gore in drag.

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