Republican profile

Note: I drafted the following remarks in February of last year. They still seem relevant, so I’ll post them today.

I believe that one can describe an ideology by what it opposes. Let’s try a few examples.

Washington state’s governor Inslee declared a moratorium on the death penalty. Republicans were outraged, demanding blood.

The Chattanooga Volkswagen workers rejected a union, despite management’s favoring one. You read that right. The Republican leaders in the state stepped in, hinting at all sorts of negative consequences should the UAW gain a foothold. The fear-mongering worked. We may conclude that Republicans loathe unions and, by extension, workers.

Speaking of workers, we know that Republicans hate public employees, especially teachers. So, they’re doing their best to decrease teachers’ ranks, both through test-based evaluations and the elimination of tenure. Oh, and Republicans don’t care all that much for public pensions, which are constantly under threat.

Republicans, as a rule, despise the poor, in particular those of color. Perhaps the poor inconveniently symbolize the failure of sacred markets; color serves as an easy marker, a proxy for poverty and other social ills. So, Republicans seize every opportunity to deny the poor assistance. If, against insurmountable obstacles, the poor fail to become wealthy and resort to criminal activity to survive, Republicans incarcerate them.

Despite overwhelming evidence for climate change, Republicans continue to deny it, calling it “a hoax.” With such belief, Republicans resist any efforts to curb greenhouse gases while championing further development of fossil fuels.

Nor do Republicans care all that much for science. Evolution? No way. Humans were created in their present form about 6,000 years ago.

Republicans despise taxes, which are used to help the poor and provide public goods and services for the Rest of Us. Want to educate your child? Send her to a for-profit charter school. Lost your job? Tough. Go out and find another, and should you fail to secure one, it’s your own damn fault. Don’t expect unemployment benefits from the GOP. And no food stamps, either.

Governments are intrinsically evil—though not evil enough to prevent a Republican from being an office holder. It follows that governments can do nothing well. So, public lands and other assets should be sold to the highest bidder. Privatize everything. It also follows that government regulations should be abolished.

Certainly medical care belongs in the private sector. Government has no role whatsoever.

The list, I’m afraid is endless.

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