From the time of our founding, we have always been a nation struggling to live up to our ideals. We’ve often fallen short, yet we’ve at least pretended to be ruled by better angels. Not so for Conservative ideologues. They thrive on appealing to the worst aspects of the human condition to achieve their “cheap labor” class war agenda. In fact, to the current crop of Corporatist Theocrats calling themselves, “Conservatives,” to appear as anything less than an arrogantly ignorant, science-denying, heartless bully is akin to wiping one’s arse with the Constitution.
As of late, we’ve been forced to listen to our fellow Americans yell “let him die” when confronted with the hypothetical ethical question of whether an uninsured man should die without care because he couldn’t afford the luxury of buying a piece of our “uniquely American,” for-profit health insurance racket. We’ve heard the cheers of teabaggers, gleeful that the rumored closet-case Republican governor, Rick Perry, presided over record numbers of executions in American history – including the execution of a man who was actually innocent... and we’ve listened to the audience at Republican debates audibly boo an active—and gay—member of the military for having the audacity to be courageous enough to live an authentic life. These unconscionable forays into the true Republican heart come at a time when a record 45 million Americans are living in poverty – a rate of 15.1% in 2010 – the largest since the government first began publishing estimates, in 1959. The results are in: after the 30-year Republican dismantling of the New Deal, America under right wing rule is feeling the strain and getting uglier by the minute.
In James Gilligan’s new book, Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous Than Others (Polity Press, 2011) he explains that Republicans are – literally – very bad for our health. Gilligan, Professor and MD at New York State University, has combed the statistics on violent deaths (homicide and suicide) for over a century, from 1900 through to 2007, and found an interesting – but not unexpected – political causation.
Similar to what was found in the UK, Gilligan discovered that murders and suicides increase in America under Republican rule. You see, in order to fulfill their “cheap labor” agenda, Republican policies are designed to cultivate inequality, unemployment and low wages – and thus widespread suffering. It doesn’t matter that, in fact, low wages destroy an entire economy. As, John Shepley, co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms in Maryland and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage explained, “The notion that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs is just bunk. People at the lower end of earnings tend to spend 100 percent of their after-tax income. They put it right back into local businesses buying food, clothing, car repairs and other necessities. … When the minimum wage is too low it not only impoverishes productive workers, it weakens the key consumer demand at the heart of our local economy.”
WATCH: Thom Hartmann and James Gilligan Discuss Why Republican Rule is Bad for Your Health:
As Gilligan reports, it is no coincidence that unemployment figures – in rate and duration – have increased during every Republican administration, and decreased during every Democratic one – it is by design of their policies. To cover their class-war-against-working-people tracks, Republicans in political power then engage in their standard “blame the victim” game… heaping shame on the unemployed in order to distract from the policies they, themselves, implemented … policies that created high unemployment in the first place.
The Republican tune goes like this: can’t find a job? It hasn’t been shipped to China -NO! It’s your own fault. Not rich? That’s your own fault too – you must be lazy, stupid… or ‘that’s just God’s plan for you.’ Drug problem? You have no willpower. Single parent? Slut. Can’t make end’s meet with the job you have? Thank god you have a job! Just work harder! Get a second or third job! Don’t mind that you never sleep. You can sleep when you’re dead. Your reward will come in Heaven anyway. Don’t pester your “betters”… er… I mean…. “job creators” while they’re busy creating wage slave jobs in China. If God wanted you to be rich, you would be rich. Better luck next life. This is the prison of delusion Republicans have constructed for their caged dupes. They are Pied Pipers of despair leading “We The People” to suffering and decline.
It’s enough to make a normal person (non-Republican) weep for the hollowed-out soul of our once-great nation. But, more than an opportunity to weep, it’s hopefully a wake-up call to the “Independent” voter still holding on to the dream that if they just cheer their own demise long and loud enough, a billionaire will one day meet them for a beer. They will not. They’re too busy buying our representatives in government who implement more policies to permanently turn “The Land of the Free” into “The United States of Serfs and Lords.”
The sad truth is, even as Reagan’s own Budget Director admits that Republicans destroyed the economy, the “average Joe” Republican will continue to support the very people literally turning America into a third world nation. Framed by the latest appalling displays of Republican ignorance and divisiveness, it is clear that when I call Republicans “greed-centered ghouls,” I should more aptly label them “ghosts” – of the Dark Ages… rolling back economic and social progress… dragging us to time that should have been left in the dung heap of history. If these displays of inhumanity tell us anything, it is that Republicans are, as a lot, unfit to lead a modern nation.
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