Sunday, September 2, 2012

American Totaliarianism

I'm sure I'm not the first to make this observation, but the Republicans resemble a totalitarian regime attempting to take power, not a party trying to legitimately put its ideas up against those of it's largest rival, the Democrats, or the smaller parties nobody ever hears from on the national stage, such as the Greens or the Libertarians.

There are a handful of billionaires funding efforts to bust unions, suppress votes, and privatize public services.  The voter suppression is the most telling of their efforts.  Consider, for example, this statement from a legislator in Pennsylvania, where a voter ID law they passed could keep nearly a million voters from casting a ballot:

Now, people who listen to the right wing noise machine will tell you that these laws exist to prevent voter fraud, but as Cenk Uygar shows in the video, actual voter fraud is minuscule--but the suppression is huge, and affects mostly voters who would typically vote for Democrats.

Fortunately, many states have killed laws designed to suppress votes in their courts, but the fact that they even had to take a single case to court regarding something that would disenfranchise voters is telling: Republicans don't want Democrats to vote, because they know their ideas aren't popular.

Republicans have also engaged in redistricting in ways that will benefit them.  A simple search of YouTube will bring up video of Republicans in several states redistricting to benefit themselves and take seats away from Democrats.  Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois...the effort goes on in state after state.  Republicans clearly want to rule, not offer the people a choice.

And it's not just the United States they want to rule, either.  They want to rule the world, and they want to do it through securing Middle East oil resources, not because we get the majority of our oil from there (we don't), but because the region is a major source of fossil fuel in Russia and China.  Europe also gets oil from the Middle East.  The Project for the New American Century had several people in its organization who worked in the Bush administration, and Romney has 17 advisors who also worked in the Bush administration.  Romney's saber-rattling at Iran during his acceptance speech at the RNC clearly shows that he wants to continue the work the Bush administration began, but of course, it's in the name of Iran's nuclear program, not because they want to take over the Middle East.  It echoes the Bush administration's claim that Iraq was an imminent threat with weapons of mass destruction, including a fabled nuclear program.

Another example of Republican aspiration to totalitarianism manifests itself in their record use of the filibuster.      Several Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, who was vocal about it, resolved to make President Obama a one-term President by making all of his attempts at changing policy fail in Congress.  Instead of doing everything they could to help the economy, they thwarted jobs bills, watered down the stimulus, blocked infrastructure improvement legislation, and simply did everything in their power to keep President Obama from doing what he wanted to move American forward.  The President was able to help the economy in spite of their efforts, but they could have been part of the solution, and had they compromised and cooperated, the whole country would have gained the benefit.  They did not have to bow down the President as an overlord and rubber-stamp everything he wanted to pass, but even as Obama reached out to them on issues of policy, they would not even attempt to compromise.  They just said no.

We don't even have to speculate regarding what would happen if the tables were turned, because we saw it during the Bush administration.  When the Republicans had control from 2002-2006 of all three branches of government, they deregulated industry and the financial sector to the point where the American people were no longer protected, and they did it behind closed doors, with the Democratic minority relegated to meeting in the basement of Congress.  They didn't even want to hear arguments from Democrats on the floor.  They will do the same again if they gain equivalent control.

There's much more.  I could talk about how voting machines aren't made as available to districts that typically vote Democratic, where Republicans are in charge of their distribution.  I could talk about how they actually influence the textbooks that go to our children's schools, changing history and science to fit their agenda (2/3 of all textbooks are published in Texas, and the state has enormous influence over the textbooks.  The GOP controls that state).  I could talk about how the right wing noise machine influences voters to believe fairy tales instead of facts, ignoring real criticisms of the President to appeal to emotion and patriotism, rather than to reason.  I think, however, that the things I've listed should give any reasonable person food for thought.


Phil Hopson said...

Thank you Greg. Clear, concise, thoughtfully written as always. Here's another tenet of the Republican Party to add to their agenda.
National Debt Business Insider

Greg Reich said...

Thanks, Phil. The article at the link you provided makes perfect sense. They have gotten us to the point where we have a dire need to pay the debt down, but only offer us cuts in social services, Medicare, and Social Security as a solution. Never defense.

TinCanMan said...

Clear, articulate, informative post. Enjoyed reading it.

Greg Reich said...

Thanks, TinCanMan, I appreciate the compliment.