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First there is a need to define what’s being talked about when I use the word Republican. I’m not talking about some fringe group. I’m talking about so-called responsible Republicans. These are presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, the federal representatives to the house and senate, and the businessmen who support and buy them. I’m talking about governors and state legislatures. So, again, this is not about some lone professor or talk show host or comedian. This is about the mainstream of GOP thought, its lunacy and hypocrisy.
The first lunatic hypocrisy is that government is bad and the private sector is good. In this view capitalism and freedom are equated and government is thought of as the evil that will take away our freedom. The Constitution, in this view, was written to make sure that these freedoms from government abuse were codified.
Everything about this ludicrous proposition is false. The Constitution was written because the framers knew the Articles of Confederation didn’t give the federal government enough power. The states were reneging on their promise to pay the revolutionary war debts and were constantly setting up barriers to trade and commerce. The framers were businessmen. They knew that a strong federal government was necessary for trade to thrive and make the colonies more able to compete in the global markets. George Washington had property on the Great Lakes and he wanted the federal government to build roads and canals to bring his goods to the east. So the framers knew not only that strong central government was good for business but that it was absolutely essential for business to thrive. The present day Republicans know this; they want our government to protect their intellectual property rights abroad. They want protection on the seas and in the air. But they want it only for themselves. The rest of us are supposed to revel in our freedom to be underpaid, underinsured and overworked.
Less government is essential they say, unless of course, you’re a woman. Then we will tell you what you can or can’t do with your body. They call it “right to life” or a “personhood” bill. It’s because the Republicans care about children, right? Wrong. If the GOP cared about getting rid of abortion or helping children then they would begin to work to make access to health care a right with free and easy access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education for all girls. Even though all of the myriad studies show these changes would lower the amount of abortions in the USA the GOP maintains its religious belief in its anti-woman campaign. The GOP knows these facts as well as I do, but they don’t care.
Lastly, they talk about deregulation and lower taxes as if these things hadn’t happened over the last 30 years. We’ve been de-taxing and deregulating until all the advances we had made are almost gone. We, on the left, warned that infrastructure was going to deteriorate, services would wane, the earth would become a dump, that the economy would tank. It’s all happening just as many of us knew it would. But the GOP wants to take it even further. Even though, after 30 years of doing what the GOP wanted, and the economy tanked just as many economists predicted, the GOP wants to keep going down this road of sacred laissez-faire capitalism. They rant about the deficit, but when it comes to actual policies that would generate revenue, well that’s off the table. When it comes to raising wages for the great majority of working men and women, so that we could spend more to get businesses out of the trash can…well, that’s off the table, too. Everything that would make for a more just and democratic society is off the table.
Republicans have gone crazy.
Lehman lives in Warren.