Oct 01

The Shame of Republicanism

In Brief — A frank look at why Republicans should be ashamed of their membership in a regressive political party. [Written in May 2017.]

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Backward-looking and Mean-Spirited  —

Imagine aligning yourself with ignorant scoundrels. A once-respected political party — Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt must be spinning in their graves — has abandoned governing in favor of obstructionist partisanship. Instead of negotiating with their political opponents, the representatives of the party have chosen to stomp their feet and turn their backs like spoiled children. Their supporters are proud of their representatives and far too often display racism, homophobia, ignorance and sexism. For the moment Trump leads the sorry parade and Republicans like McConnell and Ryan smile enthusiastically and follow.

It’s time to look at the definition of conservatism, the badge Republicans proudly wear.

The dictionary defines conservatism as clinging to traditional values and limiting change. Politically, conservatives want lower taxes, smaller government, freer business, a strong military, and an individual to be responsible for his/her personal needs in such areas as retirement and health care.

Real-Speak’s Spotlight —

Translating this into real-speak, it means conservatives cling to the old ways and are afraid of change. They let fear of the unknown whisper assurance. They’re afraid.

Politically, they want lower taxes so the rich can get richer while everybody else gets crumbs, less government while the world grows more competitive and dangerous, believe businessmen know better than anybody. They want a more muscular and bigger military renowned for bungling and waste, believe that people should be responsible in preparing for their “golden years” and that each person should see to his/her own matters of health despite abundant evidence that the average person doesn’t understand the fine print.

Let’s break that down into realistic, bite-size pieces.

  1. Conservatives look backward to an imagined simple past and are uncomfortable with anything new like sexual equality, freedom to love another regardless of skin color and gender, or LGBTQ folks having full rights.
  2. They want to pay lower taxes, particularly to benefit the rich folks who already get a bigger share of the pie. Simultaneously, the arts, science and people of color get the shaft…and a thumb in the eye.
  3. They believe that government must shrink even as the world becomes more complex and competitive.
  4. They believe that business is more efficient and more honest than government despite copious evidence saying the opposite.They believe that greed is rare in business whereas government is overflowing with people who are dishonest and inefficient. Let’s hear from readers who have worked in corporations…or government, for that matter.
  5. They want to give more money to a military that’s already acknowledged to be wasteful and bent on killing. They want other countries to dance to America’s tune.
  6. Conservatives believe that everybody has the money, foresight and knowledge to adequately prepare for old age despite abundant contrary evidence.
  7. To them, good health is assumed and insurance is simple, available and affordable for even the least of us regardless of income AND they’re doing all they can to assure Obamacare’s failure. Additionally, they believe everybody is knowledgeable about their own bodies, capable of predicting the future and familiar with the intricacies of the rich insurance industry that’s not noted for charity.

Do any of these beliefs conform with reality?

At the beginning, I said that being a Republican is worthy of shame. I’ve said that Republicans, whether in congress, at the state or local level, even as individuals, are backward-looking and mean-spirited. Additionally, too many are consciously or subconsciously racist, homophobic and sexist. Far too often, they wear their religion on their sleeve and are anti-science. As bad as all this is, supporting Trump is morally depraved.

The Proof is in the Pudding —

Undoubtedly a prime example can be found in the 2016 Republican Party platform. It is undeniably the scariest political document ever written. A party platform is the blueprint of what the party stands for…a wish list, if you will.

I know most readers feel they are too busy to plow through the propagandistic blather to find the juicy plums of substance. For those folks, be assured that the 2016 Republican platform is a political horror story. Please click on the highlighted area to understand why Republicans should be ashamed. [Using your cursor, swipe across the platform article to return to this blog.] On their face, many of the wishes buried in the platform’s blather look reasonable, but what the Republicans are actually doing shows the dishonesty of their weasel-worded platform and their true face. This is reality.

Readers who label themselves Republicans should read the Republican platform to see if they agree with the wish list of the Republican Party. Then they should honestly examine their beliefs against the values they hold. If they don’t agree, why are they voting for Republicans who are eagerly destroying everything America says it stands for?

Don’t let fear, ignorance and outworn tradition stand in the way of embracing a promising future. The 2018 elections give Republican voters a chance to shed their shame and breathe the fresh air of freedom.

A vote against Republicans doesn’t necessarily mean voting Democratic. That’s just one option. A vote for an independent party also carries a message of disapproval of Republicanism, BUT know what you’re voting for! A better future for America depends on your vote. Unless Republicans turn their backs on Republicanism, It’s going to get worse…much worse!

The Weekly Sampler—

As a reminder, go to the Archives on the right side of the page and click on the month and year of that week’s featured Sampler. If you wish, go to the January 15, 2017, blog (“A Simple Reading Assignment”) for more thorough instructions.

If you want to read the entire piece, simply click on the box titled “Continue Reading.” When you want to read the next piece, simply swipe your cursor across the one you have been reading and you will find the next one. Do this every time you want to read the next piece.

Don’t miss the Comments and my replies. Even though the Sampler pieces are from the past, feel free to comment…or not.

Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on September 2016.

 

 

9 comments

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    • Dave Meyers on October 1, 2017 at 18:19

    Let’s talk about Conservative politicians and their (supposed) religious adherents.
    I think that GOP politicians have found a goldmine in the form of Americans who have strong religious beliefs. Pretending to be ‘one of them’, politicians can persuade these people to line up behind conservative views and agendas.
    MOST of the Republican platform is antithetical to actual religious teachings…tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, love, understanding, and sharing.
    When you combine this tactic with the spew that comes from conservative media in this country, most especially with conservative talk-radio, you get a lethal combination of untruths, conspiracy theories, intolerance, and hate.
    This is a carefully crafted movement to herd people into a voting block to help sustain the conservative platform. Never mind that this platform often is not in the best interest of the herd.
    It never ceases to amaze me that Americans who find themselves in financial difficulties will support tax cuts for the wealthy, somehow believing that they themselves will benefit.
    Or, that those most in need of health services will vote for those who are most willing to cut those services.
    And, that those same Americans who’s children are often less educated, less skilled, and often unemployed, will beam with pride as their sons and daughters put on a uniform as a way to survive, only to march off to the latest war where they will likely NOT.

    My notion that, when push comes to shove, most Americans will do the right thing, was shattered by the election of Trump. I’m no longer a believer.
    BUT…I still maintain that day by day as Trump shows more and more of his true self, he will fall, taking down the GOP and it’s radical conservation agenda…. or at least, setting it back so far that Republicans will be forced to rethink their views. They hitched their wagon to the wrong jackass.

      • Don Bay on October 2, 2017 at 06:43
        Author

      You raise so many issues that it requires a book to respond adequately.

      Briefly, Trump is a disaster on a massive scale, and we should hope that he drags the GOP down with him…but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. Religion is always a problem in that it limits the brain from being used fully and logically. Example: traditional Catholicism is opposed to the the death penalty, but it is also opposed to abortion. Where is the logic in that? Yet often thinking Catholics are liberal. Thus, their religion isn’t a problem in how they vote. It’s called “cafeteria” religious belief.

      You aren’t as skeptical as I am. I’ll capsulize it by saying that the voters will believe what they choose to believe.

    • Don Bay on October 1, 2017 at 19:00
      Author

    You said it all, Dave. Research shows that voters will return the same Republican miscreants to office to feather their own nests and forget all about the duty they own to the country. Let’s hope that the research will be wrong this time. 2018 is the chance the voters have to set America on the right course back to the constitution and send the Republican miscreants home in disgrace.

      • Dave Meyers on October 2, 2017 at 03:09

      I truly hope that this whole nightmare is turned around. I have no faith in the far-Right….but I do hope that Centrists who took a chance on Trump will see the errors of their ways.
      And, for heaven’s sake…don’t waste your vote on a third party that can not possibly win, just to make a statement!

        • Don Bay on October 2, 2017 at 06:21
          Author

        While I agree with your first thoughts, I’ll modify your second thoughts about Third Parties. Right now, it depends on which state we’re talking about. If the voter lives in a swing state, that is, one that could go either way, then the voter should cast a vote to send the Republicans home in disgrace. However, if the state is solid blue and will go for the Democratic candidate, and the voter hates the Democratic candidate for valid reasons, that voter should feel free to cast a vote for a Third Party. Until Third Parties are on an equal footing with the two major parties, we’ll still see lack of interest in voting.

        Ranked File voting will inject enthusiasm and motivation into the voting process. Research clearly shows this. Right now, Ranked File voting is done in a few places and is largely a pipe dream. Fingers crossed that the day will come when ALL voters will have their votes count.

  1. The two of you have pretty much covered all the bases. I have just two points:

    1. Greed exists in many more places than business. Yes, capitalism itself is about greed and unfettered capitalism allows greed to dominate. But greed is often part of the human condition, and it causes devastation throughout societies, in families, and in organizations of all sorts. A major reason for government is to control greed, and the GOP push for less government is at least partially based on allowing some portion of sociey to flex their greedy muscles.

    2. Dave, you are right about the values of religious teachings in some parts of some religions. But fundamentalist religion often has values that more approximate those of the GOP than the ideals you mention. That’s how fundamentalism and conservatism combine, because they don’t accept those values.

      • Dave Meyers on October 2, 2017 at 03:05

      I understand your second point Jim….well taken.
      My own brother became ‘born again’ and joined a small Southern California church. He felt he had, at last, found his home….only to be disappointing when the pastor he idealized was arrested for shop lifting. This, after squeezing thousand out of his flock that went unaccounted for. While my brother may have lost his house of worship, he remains a card carrying super right-wing conservative, who still believes that his favorite brand of governing is correct, honest, and righteous. I wonder what he thinks of it’s current leader?…..we do not talk….he is unable to accept my political persuasion.

      PS….please forgive my misspellings in my original post. I can read my draft 100 times, yet errors just slip by anyway.

        • Don Bay on October 2, 2017 at 07:09
          Author

        My heart goes out to you, Dave. As I often say, people believe what they want to believe. Your brother wants to hang onto his beliefs regardless of evidence to the contrary. So it is with too many humans.

        Misspellings aren’t a problem, so don’t be concerned about it. It’s the content that counts.

      • Don Bay on October 2, 2017 at 07:01
        Author

      Capitalism, or the pursuit of profit, is part of human DNA. It’s natural to expect a reward for your investment or energy. Greed is simply capitalism on steroids.

      Pursuit of profit is the primary reason I believe humanity will become extinct. While all political parties are capitalistic to a greater or lesser extent, the Republicans are the true believers who will hasten the end (think “trickle-down). Their wedding to religion is merely a convenience, sometimes real and sometimes hypocritical. It’s a way to get elected.

      You put it in the vernacular and make it more understandable, Jim. Thanks for that.

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