I feel really, really sorry for Republicans these days. So many priorities, so much to do. Is it time to soak the poor by reducing tax rates for higher incomes and making the poor make up for the lost revenue by increasing consumption taxes? Or is it time to reverse social trends by enslaving women and forcing them to be considered only as vessels for the unborn? Or is it time to embrace all of the autocrats across the world, waiting with bated breath for their turn to implement such a structure in the American federal government?
I remember the origins of the first part of this turn towards Ayn Randian selfishness. Trickle-down economics were supposed to unleash huge benefits when they gained ascendancy in the Reagan administration. And boy, did they deliver. They delivered for the ruling class, enabling the concentration of wealth in the far right-hand segment of the income distribution bell curve. What is amazing is how ingrained this belief system is within our political classes. A gospel that must not be questioned. So this mantra even shows up as one of President Trump’s singular legislative achievements – a massive reduction in corporate and partnership tax rates. Enacted with the assurance that such a gift to the capitalist class would supercharge the economy through new investments in capacity and raising wages. So much for predictions. Most of the benefits from the reduced tax rates showed up in dividend increases and stock buybacks, which is what a corporation does when its main interest is increasing its stock price. Indeed, the stock markets engaged in a frenzy of price appreciation after this legislation went into effect. Only in the recent past when inflation in consumer prices became evident, and fears were raised about slowing in consumer spending, did the markets take a pause. Personal note: due to saving my entire working life, and my fortune at working at a company where the vestiges of paternalism still existed, I have been enabled to benefit from the continuing asset price increases. So in essence I am arguing against my own interest.
Of course, when you cannot tout the economic benefits of your priorities, you must engage the
suckers voters via another means. For Republicans this means revving up the culture war engine, and nowhere is that more evident than the events surrounding the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Finally, the Republicans were able to grab this shiny object, and deal with women as objects who are unfortunately necessary in creating the next generation. Now it is apparent the legislators do not care whether the products of pregnancy show signs of inbreeding (no exception for incest) or act as reminders of violent crimes (no exceptions for rape), or force children to bear children (no exception for minors). No, what is obvious is that only the power to implement a single religious viewpoint will suffice to sate the appetites of male legislators. After all, it was a mistake to give women the vote originally, right? This is another example of constitutional rights that were not evident in the original document at the founding of the nation.
Oh, you say the right for women to vote was included in an amendment to the Constitution? Well, have we an answer to that. Let’s call forth a brand new constitutional convention where we can clear up that little indiscretion, along with a lot of other things we don’t need. Social Security? That’s socialism by another name. Medicare and Medicaid? Socialized medicine at its worst. We ought to live back in the days when a day in the hospital cost only a few dollars. We were a better country then. And we don’t need government-sponsored death panels, insurance company death panels are much more compatible with the intent of the founders of this nation.
Don’t get me started on the deliberate misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment. For a document whose intent was clear when this nation faced enemies who objected to the taking of their lands, we now have interpreted this amendment to mean an inalienable right for all residents of this nation to own and use whatever product of killing technology is available for sale. And woe to anyone who dares to put up any sort of barrier to this God-given right! Such imposition of barriers is the clearest evidence ever of government overreach.
Now we see the true objective come out in the Republican agenda. Install an autocratic regime modeled after any number of countries serving as examples for us to emulate. And of course, we must rail against anyone standing up against these autocratic regimes. Ukraine dares to fight against the mighty Russian forces. Therefore, Ukraine must be evil, and corrupt, and in the hands of the globalists. Russia? Pure as the driven snow in the Urals downwind of Chernobyl. We see the hand of the autocrats with every bill in the state legislatures enabling said legislators to ignore election results and declare whomever they wish as winners. We see the hand of the autocrats in the announced plans to strip many thousands of federal employees of Civil Service protection, only to backfill the positions with Trump loyalists. Who needs a voter mandate when no one counts less than a voter.
No, I pity the poor Republicans. So many targets they have now, now that they’ve convinced enough people that they are the protectors of individual rights. If their
victims supporters could only see their elected legislators laughing at them. Well, maybe it wouldn’t matter. Certainly the example of Donald Trump as President should have been eye-opening to the cult members. But that’s just it. We have a full-blown cult constituting the bulk of the Republican party. And it is doubtful the Democrats can mount an effective offense against the offensive policies the Republicans seem intent on foisting off on the rest of this country. Combine all of their wonderful traits together, and it seems the country is near the end of its experiment in self-governance. No, what we seem primed to accept is a dictatorship ready to tell us all of the things we can’t do anymore, since they have taken power.