Michael Stipe & Tom Gilroy
Tom Gilroy is a writer/director/frequent HuffPo contributor from NYC.  His new film, The Cold Lands, is due in theatres early 2013. Michael Stipe is a performer/artist living in NYC.

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REASON 23: Republicans seek to have America run by and for a permanent aristocracy.

America is a democracy founded on the ideal of all men being created equal, with equal opportunity, equal access to resources, equal power in a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Fulfilling this ideal means that transgender men get to work alongside fratboys at an investment bank. It means janitors who can't speak English should have access to the same health care as the CEO of an arms manufacturer. That the children of Atheists and Muslims should have access to the same quality education that Christians and Jews have. That women have the same freedoms that men have, and that the poor in a ghetto can drink clean water as easily as the rich on a golf course. Simple.

Fundamentally, democracy is a vision of a society where there is no permanent class structure, where all citizens enjoy the rights of equal opportunity, access, and a social mobility that is synonymous with "the American Dream."

The current Republican platform seeks the opposite of democracy. It seeks to create a permanent aristocracy—an entitled gentry that has greater access to this dream than most of the rest of America.

Literally every policy position of the Republican party can be explained in this light:

Obstructing or denying equal access to healthcare, public education, equitable taxation, legal protection; obstructing or denying marriage equality, workplace safety, voting rights, a living wage; obstructing or denying a woman's right to choose, and a fair-minded Supreme Court that would value the freedom of the individual over the power of corporations—this is how you create a permanent aristocracy, where only the rich can afford "equality."

If you're ok with America being changed like this, then do nothing, let it happen. If you're nauseated by it, vote. It's that simple.

Michael Stipe & Tom Gilroy
 New York, New York

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REASON 09:
President Obama will create support for at-risk youth, addressing juvenile crime and school drop-outs. read essay →

REASON 18:
Mitt Romney opposes marriage equality. read essay →

REASON 35:
Obama repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. read essay →