It is an accepted practice to take a retrospective of the previous calendar year as a summation of important events affecting society, and they can be enlightening if taken over an entire year and not just one specific event. Looking back on 2012, one could cite the general election as an important event for the country, and there can be no doubt the nation dodged a plutocratic bullet with Willard Romney’s defeat by President Obama. However, the results of the election did inform that America may be shifting away from its lurch toward a theocratic plutocracy so deeply ingrained in Republican policies, and as promising as that prospect is, the reason why voters rejected GOP extremism is the story of 2012.
Pundits and political observers on the left have long complained that Republicans will take any steps to protect the wealthy and their corporations, and it is certainly a valid point being reinforced in the fiscal cliff fiasco, but the past year revealed another important aspect of conservative’s agenda and it is that they hate and will punish nearly all Americans to achieve their goals. Conservatives will rail against that simplistic analysis of the Republican Party and their neo-conservative think tanks, but from the earliest stages of the Republican presidential debates right up to the end of 2012, one can claim with confidence that any demographic outside of the wealthiest 2% of income earners is held in contempt by the Republican Party, conservative pundits, and their libertarian think tanks.
It is tempting to cite the secretly taped admission by Willard Romney that 47% of Americans are moochers and will never take responsibility for their lot in life as proof that Republicans consider Veterans, Social Security recipients, and the poor worthless and a drag on the nation, but the GOPs disregard for 98% of the population is much more comprehensive than just retirees, Veterans, and children in school lunch programs. Although the general election exposed Republicans’ hatred of any government spending that does not go straight into corporate or wealthy people’s coffers, the behavior of Republicans in Congress, coupled with the Republican Party’s platform reveals their intense abhorrence of the population in general, and by extension the United States of America.
President Obama came close to admitting Republicans hold most of the population in contempt during an interview on Meet the Press, but he couched his remarks and insinuated just as much when he stated that Republicans “only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.” The President was spot-on in his analysis of the Republican Party, except he omitted an important point that in their drive to protect the wealthiest Americans, they will impose devastating spending cuts affecting the health, safety, and well-being of all Americans to continue giving entitlements and preferential treatment to a small segment of the population; the wealthy elite.
Republicans have complained that America is broke throughout the past year to justify cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Veterans benefits, and any program not focused on enriching the wealthy and corporations, and yet their persistent calls for greater tax cuts for the rich and their corporations are proven to increase the nation’s deficit. Whether it was Paul Ryan’s Heritage Foundation budget, Willard Romney’s tax scheme, or John Boehner’s obscene Plan B on offer, they all increased the deficit by unsustainable amounts in spite of Draconian spending cuts to social safety nets and near-elimination of environment regulations, education spending, and their “entitlement” canards. In fact, in any, and every, proposal issuing from the GOP or their libertarian think tanks lacks even one benefit for the population in general, because they claim America is broke. However, they have no issue calling for greater defense spending, corporate tax breaks, and reductions in tax rates for the wealthiest Americans with no apparent funding in sight.
2012 was a treasure trove of evidence Republicans cannot tolerate the American people, and one just needs to reflect on their assault on women, the poor, minorities, immigrants, gays, the middle class, working poor, children, Veterans, public sector workers, and particularly the elderly, to amass enough evidence that the GOP hates the American people as much as they hate the government and President Obama. Shortly after their crushing defeat in the general election, the GOP insinuated they would show the people they really did not hate them, but their behavior during fiscal cliff negotiations prove otherwise and not just refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy. House Speaker John Boehner’s hateful Plan B proposal epitomized the GOP’s disregard for the American people by keeping all the sequester domestic spending cuts and adding in a multitude of additional cuts to social safety nets, Medicare, and Medicaid. Still, as Draconian as Boehner’s plan was, he could not get enough support to call for a vote because it did not cut deeply enough for many Republicans in the House.
It is an incredibly sad commentary on American politics to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a political party’s view of the population they were elected to serve is one of contempt. There are those who may tend to blame their allegiance to protecting the wealthy as why Republicans appear to be so hateful towards the population, but their disregard transcends tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The GOP’s assault on women’s and gay rights has nothing whatsoever to do with spending or deficits, and everything to do with sheer detestation for any group outside Christian extremism permeating the Republican Party. Republicans attempting to cut Social Security as a deficit reduction ploy when it adds nothing to the deficit is about punishing the elderly, and not about controlling spending any more than redefining rape does, but the GOP spends no small amount of time and energy pursuing ways to impose the religious right’s agenda on every American with no monetary reward.
Republicans spent the entirety of 2012 singling out every demographic in America for some deleterious policy irrespective of controlling spending or deficit reduction. For over three years pundits and political observers attempted to warn the American people that Republicans truly hate this country and its people, and as depressing as 2012 was for those whose job it is to render opinions on the state of the nation, their task was made much easier after twelve months of irrefutable evidence that the GOP exists to serve the rich and punish 98% of the people regardless the cost to taxpayers or effect on the nation’s deficit. Their behavior, attitude, and agenda belie their oath of office, patriotism, and concern for the population, and is more befitting enemies of the people than public servants. As satisfying as 2012 may have been for myriad reasons, it will go down in history as the year the Republican Party revealed in deed and speech that their only priority and only overriding, unifying theme is using any means to express contempt for the American people, and if they can empower Christian extremists and enrich the wealthy in the process, they will have fulfilled their ideological goal.