Before I get started, this piece is harsh as hell, but it is not pointed at every single person who is registered as a Republican. It refers to the leadership and the overall tone of GOP rhetoric. There are good rank-and-file Republicans out there. However, if you STILL support your Party despite everything I point out in here, you should really wonder how patriotic you are, at the very least.
Let’s start this:
The people who attempt to insinuate that both major political parties are basically the same are (unwittingly?) demonstrating the same sort of denial of reality as the biggest Trump supporters. The only thing I can figure is that many of them came of age when Republicans were trying to form the current version of the GOP, and they hadn’t yet turned to the dark side. I spent a lot of time in Congress when I was a teenager. In part, it was because my grandmother was good friends with the family of a long-time Congresscritter, but also because I had a lot of interest in politics even then. Back in 1972, when I was 14, I actually had something of a mentor, and that mentor was a Republican. Actually, he was a liberal Republican, and he was openly lamenting even then that his party was changing for the worse, due to their constant recruitment of “Dixiecrats” into their fold. Even then, he knew his party was about to make itself irrelevant. The only thing he got wrong was the time-frame. He figured the GOP would be extinct by the turn of the century. One thing he hated about his party was their main strategy, which was to do whatever they could to drive down turnout. As a minority party, they knew the only way they could win was to discourage as many people as possible from turning out, which he found abhorrent and anti-democratic. (By the way, he got to vote for and endorse Barack Obama for president before he passed away…)
Little did he realize what his party would become over time. The current Republican Party should be sen an insult to everything the United States stands for. And let’s just stop beating around the bush and call them exactly what they are. The current incarnation of the Republican Party is absolutely anti-American, and we can’t be ashamed to say it.
Think about it; they worship Ronald Reagan as a God, of sorts, primarily because he brought them out of the wilderness, electorally speaking, and brought control of the Senate with him. Reagan also reduced taxes first thing, which is something Republicans demand in the normal course of things, even when such tax cuts are stupid and short-sighted, which they usually are under Republicans. Reagan’s tax cuts not only exploded the deficit and tripled the debt in less than eight years, but they also necessitated a pretty significant tax increase just a few years later. And for the right wingers who might stop by and read this, I am not talking about the modest income tax increases under Bush, Sr and Clinton. Reagan himself raised payroll taxes before he bowed out, which means he passed tax increases that largely only affected the middle class.
Then, after Bill Clinton called Republicans’ bluff regarding their phony concerns over deficits and helped them run surpluses for the first time in a generation, as soon as the GOP regained control of Congress and the White House, they passed more tax cuts for the rich, even as they committed to two very expensive wars and to deregulation that was destined to create the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. If not for electing Barack Obama and Democrats to save us, the last Republican recession would have been far worse than the one Reagan created.
You know what, though? If Republicans were only bad on economy, I wouldn’t call them “anti-American,” per se. We all disagree on the best way to run the economy. No, what makes Republicans anti-American is based on their abject cruelty to Americans. They constantly infer that anyone who is not rich is somehow “lazy” or worse. The only Americans they advocate for are those who vote for them; they have no regard for anyone who self-describes as a “Democrat” and they are openly scornful of blue states. Consider their latest tax cut bill, which gives much larger tax breaks to people living in red states than the more economically sound blue states. This is on top of Republicans’ tendency to use blue state federal taxes to subsidize red states. Republicans love to trash California, but the fact is, if not for California and similar states, a lot of red states would have to raise taxes and pay for things like schools and police themselves. For decades, Republicans have been denying states funding to pay for firefighters, police and teachers, as part of their pretense of caring about deficits and debt.
As a result of their heavy recruitment of the most reprehensible people in American society into their fold, the current Republican Party demonstrates a high level of hatred and intolerance of just about every group of Americans except rich white men. When they cut the budget, it is almost always to the detriment of People of Color, women or immigrants. Hell; their hatred of immigrants is becoming the stuff of legend. Their eagerness to build a wall on our southern border is only part of the story. The Republican Party also allowed to be nominated as their presidential standard-bearer a man whose introduction to the American people as a candidate essentially including calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and whose rhetoric insinuates a border where everyone who crosses is either a criminal or someone hell-bent on smuggling drugs over the border. At any point, the GOP could have stopped Trump’s nomination, but they didn’t. Instead, they have since mimicked everything he said during the campaign and implicitly endorsed everything, including his Muslim ban and his slander of refugees from countries at war. Not only that, but the evidence increasingly suggests that Trump allowed Russians to interfere with our electoral process, with the quiet acquiescence of the entire GOP leadership.
Over the years, Democrats have given us Social Security, Medicare, and financial services regulations that brought order to that sector of the economy. That’s in addition to cheap, easy-to-get mortgages and college that used to be paid, at least for Veterans. They also gave us the first national health insurance reform in history. Since Democrats passed the New Deal, Republicans have spent every waking moment trying to kill as much of it as possible. The leadership of the GOP is intent on taking away health insurance reform and thus limiting access to healthcare for tens of millions of potentially sick people, and they are also intent on getting their hands on both the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, and figuring out a way to funnel that money to their billionaire supporters. Imagine, if you will, that Dubya Bush and his cronies had been successful at privatizing Social Security, in time for the Bush Recession to start in 2008? In addition to the $17 trillion the economy lost at that time, how many more trillions would have been lost to the trust fund?
And how long does the Republican Party have to look away while their fellow party members pillage the Treasury before everyone realizes just how crooked they are? They have been crooked for quite some time; it didn’t start with Trump. Consider the number of “no-bid” contracts awarded to companies like Halliburton, for whom Vice President “Darth” Dick Cheney previously served as CEO? Look at Dubya Bush’s Cabinet, which was littered with agency heads who previously headed up companies with vested interests in reducing their agency’s power? The entire Iraq and Afghanistan wars seemed designed as a way to funnel taxpayers’ money to Bush’s largest contributors. Add to that the fact that, when any of those contractors were negligent, they were shielded by the Bush Administration. A number of our troops were electrocuted when they took a shower, but Halliburton, who built the showers, was shielded from any negligence, thanks to Republicans. Bush also denied the troops proper equipment, even after they should have been shamed into it.
Now, with Trump, the Republican Party is doing the Bush corruption one better. Trump was nominated primarily because of his phony “success” as a businessman, and he is running the country in much the same way as he ran his private, family-owned Trump Organization. He is making money hand over fist bashed on his status as “president.” He spends almost all of his weekends at one of his properties, which means he and everyone in his entourage gets rooms and meals on the taxpayers’ dime. Taxpayers have also foot the bill for securing the Trump Tower, and several government agencies are paying to lease space there. Since he refused to place his holdings into the traditional blind trust that every other president and Vice President has had to, taxpayer money is flowing into his pockets, which is a first for any president previously. And the current Republican Party, who run the rest of the federal government, is letting it happen.
Can you imagine if former President Barack Obama had ever made a profit from his presidency? If he had made $100 personally, Republicans would demand to see him impeached. Now, though, they won’t impeach Donny, nor will they correct him publicly. Hell; before he took office, Trump promised to take any money the Trump Organization made from its DC property into the US Treasury, and so far, he hasn’t done that, even. During the campaign, he actually took out a long-term lease on the government-owned Old Post Office building and built a Trump Hotel there, and he has been making money on that all year. To Republicans, that level of corruption and appropriation of taxpayer funds is perfectly okay.
That’s not all. The current version of the GOP also routinely denies civil rights to anyone who isn’t straight, white and rich. They also started a war based on faked intelligence and seem intent on allowing those wars to go on forever. They whine and cry about “terrorism,” but they do little to nothing about it. And they stand by now, as Trump tries to instigate nuclear war with North Korea. When it comes to the poor, they show nothing but disdain. because of their policies, more than three-quarters of those logving below the poverty line get no cash assistance. That is because, when they passed “welfare reform,” they did not allow for increases, whether for inflation or otherwise, which means, while prices have doubled, the buying power of what little welfare is currently available has been halved.
The Republican Party doesn’t care about 90% of Americans, they don’t care about the poor, or women or minorities. They openly court white nationalists and do nothing to discourage them from voting Republican and they allow Donald Trump and his family to get away with stealing as much as they can from the US Treasury. Not only that, but they allowed Russian intelligence to insinuate themselves into our democratic process and create chaos. If that’s not bad enough, the vast majority of Republicans accept the results of the tainted election and refuse to do anything to discourage further Russian cheating. They undermine the US press by referring to anything that doesn’t component with their viewpoint as “fake news” and they care about nothing except “winning.” They routinely place their party ahead of the country and they speak in derogatory terms about anyone who is not a “pure” Republican.
I mean, what do they have to do before everyone figures out that current Republicans are anti-American and hell-bent on destroying everything we have built in this country?
Also published on Medium.