Maryann Tobin

The rise of conservatism in America has come with a price. Under a thinly disguised veil of rhetoric, the arms of the government are reaching farther and farther into the personal freedom Americans have enjoyed for decades. How far will Americans let it go before they realize that politicians want to regulate more than just their way of life?

Birth control, abortion, and drug testing for Food Stamp recipients have all been brought into the spotlight in the 2012 election season. However, the message the GOP is sending does not bring more personal freedom to Americans, it brings less.

The road the Republican party is taking is more invasive than ever. Furthermore, it is treading a thin line between democracy and oligarchy, where too much power is concentrated in the hands of too few. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term oligarchy as a synonym for rule by the rich.

Laws in more than a dozen states have been brought to state legislatures, which are essentially circumventing the rights of the US Constitution. The separation of church and state may be the most obvious GOP assault right now.

Rick Santorum is leading the pack when it comes to crushing women's rights. He said, "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is the dangers of contraception in this country. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."

If Americans allow the Republican agenda to dictate "how things are supposed to be," particularly when it comes to individual choice regarding the use of contraception which is essentially a religious doctrine, it should be viewed as an assault on the Constitution and democracy itself.

Conservatism by current GOP standards is gathering social morality and attempting to mold it into a framework where the government decides how the population should use their bodies. Nothing could be a better example of this than proposed laws in states like Virginia and Alabama, which would allow the government to force women to have a probe placed inside their vagina as a prerequisite for a constitutionally legal abortion.

How exactly does such an invasive, unnecessary medical test fit into the Republican rhetoric of promoting less government and more freedom? Well, it doesn't. If anything, it proves that the hypocrisy of the GOP is manifesting itself into the greatest lie ever told to the American public.

America became the greatest nation on earth because the freedom and creativity of its people was encouraged, not squashed.

There is nothing more personal than love-making. Throughout history, it has inspired literature, music, art, and many of the intangible ideals that the human race values most.

Any government or politician claiming that the government should play a role in controlling the physical body of another human being should be chastised, not praised or encouraged, if America is to remain a free and thriving society.

The 2012 elections are turning out to be less about issues and more about turning the United States into a completely different country.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the current political climate is that too many people seem willing to support politicians who will ultimately make their lives less private, less prosperous, and much less free. The obvious question is why would anyone want to do that?

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