On January 20, 2008 Republicans and conservative malcontents of every flavor began chanting the mantra that they wanted to take their country back. There has been much speculation about which era and conditions they yearned for, but it is of no consequence because the simple truth is they do not want America moving forward under any circumstance. It is inherent conservative ideology to stagnate and resist change regardless that the rest of America acknowledges that to thrive and prosper in the 21st century, the country must adapt and change the policies that put the country in the mess it is in now.
The rise of the teabaggers and their desire to return to colonial America is intriguing to simpletons who are unaware of the political, economic and social landscape of the Founding Fathers’ days and is the ultimate expression of conservatism. Republicans have been at the forefront of the movement to take the country back to dark days when homosexuality was a crime, women stayed home, and questioning the government was tantamount to endorsing communism. Although Republicans claim they are the party of change and fresh ideas to move the country forward, their policies and social agenda are doing the opposite, and the current crop of Republican presidential candidates typify a backward-leaning philosophy.
This past week, Newt Gingrich announced that he was seeking the Republican presidential nomination and it is reminiscent of a recurring nightmare for the American people that in 2011, not much has changed in conservative political circles. Gingrich is the characterization of everything revolting and hazardous for America that conservatism offers, and the fact that he feels comfortable entering the race defines the character of the Republican Party. Although there are some new faces and supporters in the GOPs ranks, their agenda, although more drastic, is the same as when Gingrich was Speaker of the House.
Gingrich’s re-entrance in the political arena is a comeback of sorts even for a disgraced politician. Despite stepping down as Speaker and leaving Congress because of ethics charges, Gingrich has continue speaking out on topics such as foreign policy and healthcare as well as writing a book titled, “Rediscovering God in America.” Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker ended abruptly after he was reprimanded for ethics violations that included “providing the committee with information which he knew or should have known was inaccurate” over using a tax exempt college course for political purposes. There were initially 83 allegations against Gingrich and he was the first Speaker in American history to be disciplined for ethics violations. Gingrich’s extra-marital affairs have been well-documented and do not warrant re-hashing, but they do lend credence to the dishonesty and lack of veracity Republican politicians practice as a matter of course; it should not be the primary concern of voters.
It is ultimately more important to focus on Republicans returning to failed policies that have devastated the economy and more Americans than in recent memory. The Republicans aren’t only returning to their policies that ruined the economy, lost jobs, and gave corporations the keys to the bank, they have begun a crusade that will set women’s rights back 50 years as well as destroy the middle class to enrich corporations and the wealthy. They are on pace to take their disastrous tenure as the majority in power to a level that will, if allowed to continue, be the final nail in America’s coffin if voters continue having memory lapses. The Republicans cannot claim ignorance either.
During the lead-up to the midterm elections of 2010, Erick Cantor (R-VA), gave an interview and confessed that Republicans lost control of Congress and the White House because they spent too much money. Cantor said, “Look, we know we screwed up when we were in the majority. We fell in love with power. We spent way too much money—especially on earmarks. There was too much corruption when we ran this place. We were guilty. And that’s why we lost.” At the time, Cantor explained that the ascension of himself, Paul Ryan and others signified a new direction for the party and yet, their direction is going backward to the same policies Republicans have always championed and Americans are falling for the lies once again.
The Republican majority in the House is repeating no tax increases, spending cuts for the poor, and corporate entitlements at a time when the corporate world is reaping obscene profits. They claim that America is broke and can ill-afford any spending at the same time they refuse to stop subsidies to oil companies or raise taxes on corporate profits, much less the extremely wealthy. Their argument against tax increases harkens back to the Reagan-era when they convinced ignorant Americans that if the wealthy increase their net worth, money will magically trickle down to the peasants. The Republicans recently refused to halt oil industry subsidies because they claim it will increase the price of gasoline after gas prices reached record levels.
Cantor also claimed that besides spending cuts, it is necessary to unravel “the economic damage that has been done by their agenda, whether it’s health care, or whether it’s the financial regulation reform or regulations from EPA that are strangling businesses.” The agenda that Cantor and all Republicans rail against is anything that holds corporations accountable to the American people. The financial regulations, healthcare law, and environmental regulations are in place to protect the American people instead of the elite industrialists who ship Americans’ jobs to foreign countries while paying no taxes. The entirety of America’s problems are solely the responsibility of Republican policies that were paid for by corporations who are the sole beneficiaries, and were enacted at the expense of working Americans.
It is inconsequential which Republican runs for president whether it is Newt Gingrich or any of the other clowns carrying the GOP banner. Their goal today is no different than when George W. Bush was president and it is to privatize the federal government to enrich the corporate world. Paul Ryan’s “courageous” budget was a sample of what America will look like with Republicans in control and privatizing Medicare is the least of the disastrous ideas. Schools, prisons, roads, Social Security and the federal government itself will be sold to the highest bidder for privatization if Republicans have their way. Republicans follow the tenets of their hero and free-market fundamentalist Milton Freidman who said that “privatization is a means to make a transition from a government to a free-market system.” Republicans will transform the government itself into a private business if given the opportunity and it should frighten every American more than the thought of privatizing schools.
Most Americans are not enamored with privatizing schools or the federal government, but it does not prevent Republicans from using the sluggish economy to promote the idea. It is especially offensive since it was Republican policies of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of the financial markets, and two unfunded wars that put the economy in such dire shape. It is curious why some voters continue supporting the same failed Republican policies that caused the economic mess, but it is not because of memory loss. The impetus for the Republican resurgence has nothing to do with regulations or tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy; it is because there is a Black man sitting in the Oval Office.
It is really incomprehensible that voters will hand over control of the government to Republicans so they can continue the country’s degradation they started during the Bush years. Republicans are pulling out all the stops by pandering to the religious right and racist teabaggers in order to return to their failed policies. During the midterm campaigns, Republicans promised to create jobs and fix the economy, but they have done the opposite at every turn with spending cuts aimed at the poorest Americans that will cost nearly a million job losses if allowed to reach fruition.
Americans must be smart enough to see through the Republican agenda if they can get over their racist tendencies. There is no doubt as to the Republican plans for the future. If any American wants to know what the GOP will do with control of the government, they can look back to the Bush era to see that it will be tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization, and corporate entitlements. It doesn’t take a prophet to know what Republicans have in store for America, it only takes a memory. It also doesn’t matter which maniac the Republicans run for president, because any one of them will embrace the same agenda that caused the problems the country faces today. The only difference is that the destruction will be more severe and widespread and will probably include more god talk, but by then, no-one will be able to save America; not even a god.