Election season has arrived and the Republicans are sick. Donald Trump has infected them with a deadly trio of diseases: hate, paranoia, and fear. But, Trump didn’t do this alone. The Republican Party, which he now leads, deserves plenty of blame. Just look at what they’ve done and refused to do in the last eight years.
When President Obama took office, our economy was in tatters. We faced not only recession, but the real possibility of a global depression far deeper than the Great Depression of the 1930s. This was no secret to the leadership in Congress. Despite the danger, the GOP decided to do everything and anything to stop the President’s agenda from becoming law. While the new president and the First Lady danced around Washington, fifteen Republicans set in motion their plan to thwart him at every turn, grab the House, and win back the Senate and the White House.
The GOP ‘NO”
The GOP “no” became their main line of legislative attack while giving the “wink-and-nod” to right-wing media pundits and commentators who constructed a sinister portrait of the newly-elected, popular president. The “birther” movement, favorite of conspiracy-loving right-wingers everywhere, insisted that Obama was not born in the United States and thus was not a citizen, much less a legitimate president. Donald Trump vaulted into the headlines when he became Birther-in-Chief.
Beyond questions about citizenship, President Obama has been painted as non-Christian (possibly a Muslim), un-American, terrorist-supporting, tax and spending, liberal-socialist-traitor. And that’s just for starters.
The GOP Gospel
One thing American politics proves is this: negative advertising works. The Republican Party used this as their gospel for the last eight years. Any positive improvement in the economy has been refuted while all programs that would build infrastructure and employ millions of workers were rejected out of hand.
Republicans pushed the country to the edge of default, refused to pass budgets or fund the government, and shut the government down. Then, big money right-wingers invented and funded the Tea Party and manufactured a populist uprising against healthcare reform.
It all worked perfected. The GOP base has been in a lather for years.
The US is a Disaster
GOP created and fueled their own monster and he is now the leader of their party. Turn on election coverage and you’ll hear Donald Trump, the GOP nominee, call names, point fingers, and incite his fans to do the same. Insults aren’t enough, however. Peppered between the coarse language and the nasty rhetoric is a constant drumbeat of negatives about the state of our country.
According to Donald Trump and the entirety of the GOP leadership, the United States is no longer strong or powerful. Our nation is, in their view, falling apart.
They tell us:
- The economy is a disaster
- The military is crumbling
- Healthcare reform is killing jobs
- Nothing in the government works
- Terrorists are on the doorstep; we are helpless to stop them
- Immigrants are taking all of our jobs
- Muslims are the enemy
- Undocumented immigrants must be deported
- Our leaders are losers and morons
- We’re one supreme court justice away from gun confiscation
- We’re one election away from the shredding of the Constitution
- It’s almost the end of the exceptional nation that was once known as the United States of America.
For people who are wondering what is happening and where these people came from, I can tell you.
I was raised in the heart of the radical right John Birch Society. For over 30 years, my father was a leader in that extremist group. He preached almost the identical ideas we hear everyday from GOP operatives and candidates.
Because of my father and his John Birch Society friends, I learned that what is happening today started many years ago. Almost as soon as President Roosevelt passed progressive legislation to put Americans to work during the Great Depression, Republicans plotted to overturn the New Deal. That effort has continued right up to this moment.
When we look at what has happened in the last few years, we can judge how close the GOP is to achieving the ultimate goal. Right now, they have a chokehold on the House of Representatives and a slim majority in the Senate. Since the death of Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court is split 4-4. Achieving a victory in November makes it possible for a GOP president to appoint another Scalia-type justice to the court. Thirty states are controlled by Republicans.
Helping the GOP Get Their Wish
Here are a few other significant events that have helped the GOP move closer to radically changing the country.
- Money has been equated to speech in the Citizens United decision.
- Corporations have been declared to be religious persons. Employers can refuse to cover contraceptives based on the “religious freedom” of corporations in the Hobby Lobby decision
- The Voting Rights Act has been gutted because the Court determined that African Americans no longer face any discrimination.
- Republicans insist that slashing Medicare and Social Security and shredding all safety net programs will make Americans richer and freer.
- Healthcare reform, allowing previously uninsured Americans to buy health insurance from for-profit corporations, is deemed “socialized medicine.”
- Food stamps are decried as making needy Americans lazy and dependent.
- Rules making it harder to vote are enacted to stop the onslaught of imaginary voter fraud.
- Women’s access to reproductive healthcare and contraceptives has been severely limited across the country.
- Jobs legislation can not be considered because Republicans believe that government can’t create jobs. They overlook the fact that they are government employees.
- Aid for the poor or unemployed is refused while tax credits and tax benefits for the wealthy continue.
- Tax cuts never need to be paid for unless they help the middle class. Trickle down economics is still a GOP article of faith despite the fact that it has never worked.
- Republicans oppose raising the debt limit regardless of the dire consequences. The recent government shutdown cost the economy billions of dollars and imposed hardship on those least able to absorb the blow, but the right wingers want to do it again.
- Guns are promoted as a “God-given” right and the constitutional solution to government tyranny.
Poisoning America and Paralyzing the Government
Day after day, these talking points are repeated by pundits and candidates day. It’s quite shocking to hearing Republicans parroting what I heard day after day and year after year from my father and his John Birch Society allies. It’s hard to say, but it’s true; my father preached the ideas that are poisoning American politics today. Radical right-wing ideas have polarized Americans and paralyzed our government.
Please don’t dismiss the Republicans as harmless. Don’t ignore the right-wing fever as “politics as usual.” Don’t laugh at men in colonial costumes waving copies of the constitution. Don’t dismiss the politicians who filibuster every bill and say no to every proposal that would help the economy. Don’t ignore the pundits who blame the poor for being poor while canonizing the rich as exceptional. Don’t assume that a candidate like Donald Trump can’t be elected president.
The radical right has a radical plan for America.
If we don’t wake up soon, we’ll find ourselves in a country controlled by big-money bosses, no-government libertarians, radical Christians, and old John Birchers.
We don’t have a lot of time. November is coming.
Right Wing Fever Funded by The Koch Brothers
Let me introduce you to the Koch Brothers and their father, Fred, infamous John Birch Society founding member.
This video is an outtake from my interview with Jen Senko, documentary filmmaker. Her new film, “The Brainwashing of My Dad” premieres on March 18, 2016. It is impossible to understand where the radical right got its mojo without knowing … Read more…
I am not the only commentator who is connecting the dots between old right-wing radicals and today’s Republican extremists.
Right-Wing Fever is being discussed every day in articles, blogs, and interviews.
This is the place to uncover who the right-wingers are and what they want. Some articles discuss my book, Wrapped in the Flag. Others offer important background into the history of the … Read more…