The other evening I watched a wonderful documentary on Hugh Romney aka Wavy Gravy, and it got me to questioning as to why I harbor such an abiding dislike for the Right-Wing of this country, and, since they are usually all Republicans, why I harbor this deep animosity in general of the Republican Party.
Firstly, let me say that I know now that after being exposed to the manner in which Wavy Gravy has lived his life of “protesting” for world peace and sanity that I am far from enlightened, and far from wise. Were I so, I would have long ago been able to let go of this gnawing anger I have towards this political party.
I was born in 1938 and lived through the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I was aware at an early age that FDR pulled us out of the Great Depression. I am a child of the sixties who grew up idolizing FDR and The New Deal. In that world, where I now know all was far from perfect, government still managed by presidential and congressional action, to actually provide for the common good. Government actually was the guardian of the welfare of all its citizens, and government via The New Deal actually created jobs by the millions.
I am an idealist and, as the right wing would label me, a Bleeding Heart Liberal. I am proud to wear that union label. In my youth I had such high hopes for my country. I believed, as did many of my contemporaries, that peace in the world was an achievable dream, and that people, in this country at least, and perhaps in the whole world, could live in peace, free from want, from need, be educated, be productive…in short, I imagined what John Lennon imagined. In the nineteen-fifties, like others, I managed to not go to war in Korea, a war I might add, presided over by a Democratic President – Harry S. Truman. I did not go because I realized it was a part of the cold wars’ trumped up “Domino Theory” and, as such, did not pass my smell test. It was not my fight, and I believed then – as I believe now – that if the politicians thought that killing people in Korea, or anywhere else so far away, was so important, they should strap on a rifle and go kill them themselves. It is interesting now to see all the Korean restaurants we now have here and all the Korean products on our roads and shelves.
In the sixties I marched for peace, and, was arrested in Washington D.C. protesting the Viet Nam war. Subsequently, I was part of a class-action lawsuit brought against the government for false arrest – which we won. So yes, in many ways I understand that this is truly an amazing country. But that was then, and this is now. Now the country I love is much less amazing. Now our constitution is daily violated by people who are either ignorant as to what it contains, or have no earthly clue as to its real intentions and still wave it about as they use it to further their mean-spirited agendas. Not only has peace in the world not been achieved, America now fights three wars at once. Moreover, the current Republican desired and designed wars in the Middle East (I speak of Bush/Cheney) and their terrible waste of people and treasure are ludicrous in their transparent lust for hegemony and oil – even as Republicans thwart every effort at alternative energy sources. In addition, as far as “terrorism” is concerned, I have long thought it a job for Interpol – not whole armies. But, of course Dick Cheney, he of Halliburton stock war profits, would strongly disagree.
The case can be made against the Republican Right for where we now find ourselves as a country vis-à-vis the accumulated product of the callous, mean spirited, greed inspired, fear-based Right-Wing Republican policies over the course of the last half-century. Incidentally, as many of you already know tests have shown that right wing brains are fear-based and we have seen by their actions in the recent past that conservatives tend to view human nature as competitive, while liberals are more prone to perceiving human nature as cooperative.
I will resist the temptation to conflate the ideas of that archetype right-winger Adolf Hitler with those of many current members of the right wing, but I should like to quote him and another right wing personage here. First, Hitler from a 1928 speech he gave in Kulmbach, Bavaria wherein [he] envisioned a conflict between races in pseudo-Darwinian terms: “The idea of struggle is as old as life itself, for life is only preserved because other living things perish through struggle . . . in the struggle, the stronger, more able, win, while the less able, the weak, lose . . . it is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by the means of the most brutal struggle.”
In addition, here is Richard Butler, the leader of the Aryan Nations, [who] used animals to describe his political convictions: “Of course, we know the jungle, that the lion will eat the rabbit, and a rabbit doesn’t have any right. He doesn’t have any right to life, he has a right to use the endowments that nature and the genetic program have, to save his life. In other words, to run down the hole when he sees something [stronger] coming after him, a coyote or something.”
These two people might be far more rabidly right wing than most, but the above sentiments seem to coincide with the prevailing right wing orthodoxy. Here are two recent quotes from members of the right-wing. From Tennessee Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher regarding the food stamps program (SNAP) used by some 47 million Americans in need; “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” And, Ken Blackwell of the religious right’s Family Research Council believes, in essence, that cutting SNAP funding is one of the most Christian things that can be done. As he so cleverly couches it: “I think through empowering others and creating self-sufficiency…there within lies the path to sense of worthiness. When I was growing up, there was fundamental belief, that there were times in people’s life when they needed a hand up…there were temporariness to hose [sic] programs, where they were structured so that they didn’t breed so that they didn’t breed dependency.”
If you check the statistics of job creation by Administrations over the last 40 yrs you’ll find that the most jobs were created, in descending order, by Presidents Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy, and the least amount of jobs were created by Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and, worst of all, Bush II. This alone speaks volumes as to on which side the Republicans choose to butter their bread. I cannot readily bring to mind any obviously positive things the GOP has done, or even attempted to do, in the last fifty years for working class Americans. In fact, in a somewhat thorough Google search, not a single Republican website shows up in response to the question; “What positive actions has the Republican party taken in the past fifty years on behalf of working class Americans?”
I know that there is enough in this world for everyone never to go hungry, or go without shelter, or medical attention, or an education. I know there is no rational reason for someone who wants to work to go without a job because he or she is uneducated or untrained. I know this. No one can tell me otherwise. Yet there are people in this country who think that providing whatever training, or education, or help there is to all of us is somehow against the “spirit” of laissez-faire Capitalism. Against the “spirit” of the free market because, being the pirates that they are, they see the world as a dog eat dog place. Yet these same people profess without the least trace of irony, shame, or embarrassment, to be Christians. This is surely a joke.
Please understand, I have no quarrel with the wealthy people who are not greedy, people such as Warren Buffet or Bill and Melinda Gates who are philanthropists, generous and giving of their time and money as many are. My brief is against the wealthy and connected who can never have enough, and who use their power and position to the detriment of the public at large. Witness the current Koch Bros. and Rupert Murdoch financed Tea Party attack on our poor and working class. The poor and disadvantaged hardly matter in their metric at all. How these people can bear to see so many in this country go without and continue in their selfish amassing of more power and more money above all other things is obscene, and, to me anyway, convincing evidence that they are the most worthless humans among us, and worthy of abject contempt.
Of course, these same Right Wing “Christians” who decry Socialism as “dangerous” are not above receiving bail-outs from the Government i.e. Wall Street, and AIG. To the contrary, this form of Socialism – Socialism for the rich – is quite alright in their minds, but paying off people’s mortgages with this same money, or using this money to re-build our infra-structure, and in doing so provide jobs – this would be a kind of Socialism they can not abide. These people are the biggest of hypocrites whose only objective is to “game” our system, which laws in general, and voter laws in specific they have rigged to make it easier for them to do so.
The Republican group Americans for Tax Reform has as their avowed purpose to cripple Government’s ability to function on behalf of ordinary citizens. Here is the infamous quote from Grover Norquist, founder of this group: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” This, by the way, is the same Grover Norquist mentioned in Senate testimony relating to the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal which resulted in a 2006 guilty plea by Abramoff to three criminal felony counts of defrauding of American Indian tribes and corrupting public officials. Records released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee allege that Americans for Tax Reform served as a “conduit” for funds that flowed from Abramoff’s clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns.
The Koch Brothers are a major financier of The Tea Party, and Conservative Republican causes in general. Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company in the United States with $100 billion in annual sales. The Political Economy Research Institute ranks Koch Industries as the tenth worst air polluter in the U.S. in their Toxic Release Inventory. CARMA reports that Koch releases about 200,000 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide annually. Through Koch Industries and their family foundations, the Koch brothers are premier financiers to organizations that deny, skepticize or belittle the significance of global warming.
All this in order to amass, and protect by any means necessary, including whole armies, that which they have gained in too many cases by immoral, illegal, or borderline illegal, means. These selfish criminals, who would go to the lengths of pre-emptively starting a war to protect their positions, and profit by this war as well, without the slightest twinge of conscience as to its bloody consequences, have managed through the years to turn Socialism into a dirty word. Their hatred for a strong Government and the administration of its regulations, which act as a firewall between our Ship of State and these pirates, runs as deep as does their love for looting the underclasses. These people persist in their uncaring greed and mad lust to amass more than they could ever need in four lifetimes. Moreover, not only do they amass, but, as they do so, also take away by continuing to thwart the legislation that would advance the chances of people who are in need. The Republican Congress now led around by the nose by their Tea Party wing has repeatedly voted down President Obama’s jobs programs. Meanwhile, children go hungry; families go without homes, without work, without an education, without hope, just…without.
But wait, the Right-Wing does care…they care if gays get married, they care if workers can bargain collectively, and they care that women should not have the right to determine what to do with their own bodies, even in cases of incestuous rape. Of course, these are truly large concerns when placed in juxtaposition to silly things like jobs, homes, healthcare, education, food, the most basic necessities, etc.
This morning’s news has just informed me that one of the wealthiest, fattest Republicans dining at the people’s trough, one Newt Gingrich – the very name makes my skin crawl – once a candidate for President of this country, has been quoted saying of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, “they should get a job, and take a bath.” This person has the sensitivity to say this to a nation whose unemployment number at the time of this utterance stands at 13.9 million people. Another prominent Republican, Tim Pawlenty has said “suffering is not only necessary, it is essential.” I could never sit down to dinner with this sort of criminal. Moreover, I suspect that they, along with the oligarchs they serve, and most of these Tea Party Republican shills, who carry water for them and the Koch Brothers et al are all the very same types who fled from the pitchfork wielding citoyens c. 1790 France who chased them while yelling “off with their heads.”
There are many of you reading this who will disagree with me, and that, of course, is your right – another reason why this is a great country. I am merely trying to explain to you all why I dislike the Republican Party with all my heart and soul and why these pages contain so much vitriol directed their way.
P.S. When I hear the talking heads say things in reference to The Republican Party’s seemingly oblivious destructive legislative actions like “…Don’t they understand…?” or, “…Don’t they get it…” I want to scream at the TV, they know exactly what they are doing! Don’t you get it? They want the underclasses uneducated, unemployed, at each other’s throats and scuffling just to put food on the table; in other words distracted by just trying to survive as they continue their ongoing scavenging of whatever flesh the middle class has left on its bones.
© tony powers and Barking in the Dark, 2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to tony powers and Barking in the Dark with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
The way I see it, the 20 year rise in Neo-Conservative Corporatism internationaly (of which the Republican Party has been just one example) has put an end to rational economic and political practice completely. As Paul Krugman has observed, no one is doing evidence based economics any more, everything is subjective and speculative. There has not been a single significant new mainstream political or economic theory produced in a quarter of a century.
The dominant factor in international politics is Psychology. How a very small number of people with Narcisistic and Anti-Social personality disorders have come to be in positions of such absolute power, when this is the very thing democracy was devised to stop happening.
Democratic governments fundamental purpose is to protect the majority from the harmful few, not to serve them.
These people should not be given power or any kind. They should be medicated.
thanks for the thoughtful comment. i appreciate same and agree…though perhaps “medicated” is too kind. 🙂 continue…
Since the early 60s, I have never voted for a Republican, whether it was national, state or local elections. Never believed of most of what they say, and surely don’t trust the bastards. Sure there are some good Rs, but they are few and far between.
As fro the direction this country is going, I don’t see any improvement, unless someone steps up to the plate, and gets the ball rolling towards a better life, for the ones who really need it…
Great post, Tony…
thanks Don – we need that “someone” badly. continue…
An excellent post, Tony. Informed and informative. Over here we have a Cabinet of privately educated millionaires who have no consciousness of what “struggle” looks and feels like and yet they are passing laws to attempt to force people from their homes (the so-called Bedroom Tax), re-assessing disabled people to force them to work and demonizing the disadvantaged as the source of the country’s ills. (The Government even paid for Ad-vans to drive around London with “Illegal immigrants go home” written on the side. Jesus wept ! )
My sadness is that we don’t seem to have a socialist Champion. A statesman who can take on the Wealthy Might and galvanise the masses who are struggling today and will definitely struggle in their later years. But as the wealthy media barons, Murdoch et al, fuel the belief that socialism is evil and that immigration ( a big issue in Europe) is the root cause of “your poverty and lack of employment” they are in danger of releasing the far-right bears of Europe that have lain dormant for decades – and if they get out of control we are in deep shit. This is subtle manipulation of the masses – blame that which is unfamiliar.
The important thing for us like-minded thinkers is to persist. If we give up the challenge in the face of seemingly insurmountable forces of money and manipulation then the cause is lost. Somehow though I believe it will go on. There are still millions of people with enough decent humanity within them to keep fighting.
I always enjoy your posts, Tony, and I’m glad that someone in the US has hold of a megaphone. Keep bawling that message….
what a well thought out, well reasoned comment Al. Yes…it is a pity we do not seem to have that strong galvanizing Socialist voice (altho’ when they do appear they seem to have a curious habit of getting shot, don’t they?) anyway, we like minded people will keep trying to get some facts to penetrate the bubble that many live/exist within. again, thanks for taking the time to write this Al – it is greatly appreciated. continue…
It’s sad that the Republicans play to the bigoted white working-class so well, that those voters are blind to the fact that their precious party is not for them, either. They’re just so ignorant of how much they are being used.
and nothing seems to penetrate the bubble they live within. still, we must keep trying. thanks Dylan. continue…
Oh, gawd, this is excellent. I will reblog this , later. May I ? I still have some stuff that I need to write about . Thank you for this excellent post.
i thank you R., for the comment and the re-blog. i appreciate it. continue…
One of your best, Tony.
Sadly for our country is that we have no great statesmen equal to the times (including Obama). I often wonder if we’re going to see a a tip and reset like we did in the stock market crash of 29, or in the upheavals of the 60s, or if, as a society, everyone has their head so far int heir own niche that the only thing a majority will join in is watching the finale of Breaking Bad.
A wonderfully insightful comment Buzz. i also wonder about when the tipping point will be reached. thanks man. continue…