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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 08:44 PM

21. The Worst Political Institution in the Western World

What do I think of today’s Republicans?

Today’s Republican Party is, at the national level anyway, the source of all of America’s political problems. Honest conservatives not in hock to the GOP’s institutions, like Norm Ornstein (of the American Enterprise Institute), will often admit this.

Reminiscent of Communist Parties of old, today’s Republicans common blind, unswerving adherence to an ideology - movement conservatism - with reckless indifference to the truth. Since Party dogma holds that Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed, truth is usually the first casualty when Republican malefeasance or misdoing comes up. There’s probably about two hundred examples of this I could give, but the one which personally galls me the most is the bit of Republican rhetorical wizardry by which the Democratic Party is blamed for all America’s racial problems ; this is based in a partial historical truth (Southern Democrats indeed supported Jim Crow) and a willful, perverse blindness to the realities of Nixon’s Southern Strategy, the support for Civil Rights given by every liberal intellectual and institution of that era, and modern conservatism’s deliberate exploitation of White racial fears for the last several decades. Much like Communist propaganda which claimed Soviet efficiency led to prosperity, no one seriously believes that today’s Republican Party is the heir to the Civil Rights movement - everyone understands that the exact opposite is true, that they are the heirs of Bull Connor and his dogs - but the official propaganda line is touted at every opportunity. It’s utterly perverse and wicked - and simply accepted as normal Republican Party discourse. (Incidentally, as the LGBT community continues to move into the mainstream, expect future generations of American conservative hacks to claim that the Republican Party was always the party that supported same-sex marriage rights. “We were the party of personal freedom in the 1990’s”, the line will go, “with Republican leaders like Dick Cheney supporting same-sex marriage before Democratic leaders like Barack Obama.”)

Corrupt to the core - compare net indictments of Republican Presidents and Presidential appointees in the last 50 years to those of Democrats - the GOP holds power not through competent governance but by appealing to the basest White ethnic and religious fears. (In this, I am slightly thankful for Trump, who has fully exposed this game to any sentient observer.) Contemptuous of their own base, their primary policy concern, beyond gerrymandering districts to ensure their own power, is keeping the tax burden on their donor class as low as possible. Offering no economic or policy strategy beyond tax cuts, the GOP is incapable of improving the lives of their own supporters in any meaningful way.

One could reasonably argue that liberals - today’s liberals, anyway - hate conservatives, but they don’t generally view that rancor as a policy concern. Liberals want better health care for poor people, cleaner air and water, and fewer wars abroad ; not ideals always met in practice, but decent ideals nonetheless. Today’s conservatives see their own hatred of liberals as a core policy concern, perhaps the most important of all policy concerns. This is sadly not an exaggeration - two of my friends recently moved from being wholly apolitical to Trump supporters ; when I asked them why, their response was an endless series of tirades at his liberal critics. All this can be laid squarely at the feet of the Republican Party, which has aggressively demonized “liberals” for decades, the source of all our present levels of partisan discord. (Individual liberals certainly do hate conservatives, but the Democratic Party’s own institutions and spokespersons haven’t actively demonized “conservatives” or attempted to convince the public that “conservatives” are a subversive fifth column.)

European observers of American politics, even European conservatives, consistently remark upon the ideological rancor and unpleasantness of the Republican Party. No where in the industrialized world can one find anything remotely comparable to it ; a political party which encourages religious fundamentalism as a vehicle for its own political aspirations, a persistent institutional denier of scientific truths accepted by all educated persons in every country in the world, a body in a supposedly democratic country more reliant on a massive propaganda outlet than policy argumentation, and a vehicle for every conceivable form of bigotry in the service of nothing more than debt-financed tax cuts on the wealthiest citizens.

At best a parasite, at worst a body of third-rate fascists, the modern Republican Party is everything wrong with America. It’s only positive feature is that - in its current manifestation anyway - it is surely doomed by demographics, though we may yet have to endure its yoke for a few more decades at least.

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
kentuck Nov 2017 OP
Iggo Nov 2017 #1
ProudMNDemocrat Nov 2017 #2
PJMcK Nov 2017 #28
50 Shades Of Blue Nov 2017 #3
yortsed snacilbuper Nov 2017 #4
Voltaire2 Nov 2017 #5
ornotna Nov 2017 #6
Twitler Nov 2017 #7
kerry-is-my-prez Nov 2017 #8
J_William_Ryan Nov 2017 #9
DonViejo Nov 2017 #10
yortsed snacilbuper Nov 2017 #11
C_U_L8R Nov 2017 #12
chaking53 Nov 2017 #13
malaise Nov 2017 #14
rzemanfl Nov 2017 #15
Matthew28 Nov 2017 #16
democratisphere Nov 2017 #17
Skittles Nov 2017 #18
Wounded Bear Nov 2017 #19
Stuart G Nov 2017 #20
LineReply The Worst Political Institution in the Western World
MatthewG. Nov 2017 #21
Initech Nov 2017 #22
Vogon_Glory Nov 2017 #23
gopiscrap Nov 2017 #24
DFW Nov 2017 #25
doc03 Nov 2017 #26
Break time Nov 2017 #27
Gothmog Nov 2017 #29
quartz007 Nov 2017 #30
onecaliberal Nov 2017 #31
delisen Nov 2017 #32
LBM20 Nov 2017 #33
Gidney N Cloyd Nov 2017 #34
nini Nov 2017 #35
3catwoman3 Nov 2017 #36
GeorgeGist Nov 2017 #37
Awsi Dooger Nov 2017 #38
McCamy Taylor Nov 2017 #39
SamKnause Nov 2017 #40
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