Republicans have tried to define their identity in a backwards kind of way. It’s like trying to determine the tastes of someone by what they don’t want for their meal. It doesn’t really tell you who they are, it tells you who they aren’t and the two aren’t equally descriptive. Republicans have been going down the menu of politics since President Obama was first elected and primarily have been loudly announcing what they won’t order.
So perhaps, instead of letting the GOP get away with trying to create an anti-identity, it’s a good time to recognize what they truly stand for. Here is a partial list, complied from the only remaining alternatives to what they oppose.
WHAT REPUBLICANS STAND FOR
1. War with Iran
Following up on their great success with the unnecessary, ISIS-creating war in Iraq, Republicans are in lock step with their fellow war mongers in Israel in seeking another unwinnable war with Iran. Their not-so-clever tactic is to demand unconditional surrender by Iran to a long list of impossible demands then throw up their hands and claim that greater sanctions and bombing of Iran are the only remaining alternatives to avoiding Armegeddon (though RW Repubs actually want it to come about, see below)
It’s like a schoolyard bully demanding that a kid make hamburgers appear out of thin air or else he’ll beat him up. The Repubs and RW Israelis don’t care how lame their excuse is for going to war against Iran…they just want to pretend they have a reason for wanting war that isn’t just greed or hatred. But that’s all it is.
2. Legalized Bigotry
It is some of the most hilarious political theater to have watched last week, as Christian Fundementalists pushed their pandering Republican politicians to legalize their bigotry against LGBT Americans…and the blowback from Corporate America in particular (the more powerful base of the GOP) turned that attempt into just the opposite, a carving out of protections for LGBT with more promised on the way. Poor Fundies, their carefully planned wet dream of legally hating on LGBT Americans just turned into their worst nightmare!
On another front, the push by Republicans to institute Voter ID laws across the country is primarily aimed at taking away the right to vote from black and minority Americans. This is added to their actions of closing polling places in black and minority neighborhoods, creating purge lists that are often flawed and strip blacks and other minorities of their voter registration and gerrymandering so that blacks and other minorities have less political representation.
Republicans also pursue legalized racism against Latinos, fighting as hard as they can against any immigration reform and President Obama’s Executive Order to protect undocumented immigrants from having their families broken up and being deported.
And many people will attest that in their lifetime, they have never seen such foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of a President from the beginning of his first General Election campaign through his presidency. The use of racist words and images, the disrespect shown to him at State of the Union Addresses and on the world stage while he’s involved in important nuclear negotiations, the rampant and horrible racism spewed out endlessly and unashamedly clearly reflects the hatred of the “others” that is cemented into many of these Republicans’ minds.
3. Defeating American Democracy, Fighting For Plutocracy
Consider this basic definition of plutocracy from Merriam-Webster:
1: government by the wealthy
2: a controlling class of the wealthy
Simple enough definition, right? Now name a single Republican Congressperson who doesn’t support the definitions of plutocracy, let alone one who fights against either definition. Instead, they brought us Citizens United turning corporations into people, making money equal free speech and unleashing SuperPACS. In fact, they want unlimited spending to be legal in all elections.
They continue on their manic quest to slash taxes for the wealthy. They want to get rid of the IRS and support multinational corporations sheltering their wealth. They want to kill the inheritance (death) tax while attacking the poor mercilessly as no-good thieving slobs undeserving of rights, representation and compassion. Republicans want to destroy Obamacare, hobble Medicare and Social Security and generally weaken the well being and power of the non-wealthy.
Republicans plainly show resentment towards the democratic process. Whether it was the Bush swindle (some would say coup) of the election against Gore, the constant dirty tricks they play during elections to keep people from voting or having their votes counted, their unending campaign to undermine Obama’s legitimacy as President despite his being democratically elected by Americans, on and on. Not to mention their extreme abuse of the redistricting process in states, their gerrymandering which contrary to the intent of the Constitution, gives them as a minority, a majority of seats and power in the nation.
It’s really quite simple. Consider the above definition of Plutocracy then consider this definition from Merriam-Webster of Democracy. Which definition of government do Republicans most support and which one do they most oppose?
a: government by the people; especially: rule of the majority
b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
4. The Subordination of Women
Of course the Republicans love wheeling out the old Lee Atwater/Karl Rove tactic of accusing their accusers of what they’re guilty of. Blacks are the true racists, those opposing plutocracy and the currently corrupted system that worsens the wealth gap between the 1% and the 99% are engaged in class warfare and Democrats who defend women’s equality and rights are the ones who are waging a war on women, not Republicans.
Only the Republican base could buy into such propaganda…unfortunately in many cases, even the women. The proof is in the pudding though. The GOP has successfully eliminated much of the women’s health infrastructure and freedom of choice in the South by passing overburdening laws under the cynical guise of “protecting women’s health” that have decimated Planned Parenthood and other women’s health and abortion providers.
Republicans championed the Hobby Lobby case which allowed the men running companies (let’s face it, most of the companies wanting to dominate women are run by men) to refuse the women working for them to receive birth control prescriptions through the insurance those same women pay for in part. During the Obamacare wars, Rush Limbaugh was applauded by many Republicans for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” for testifying at The Capitol on the importance of birth control (what about all the women who have other medical conditions The Pill is prescribed for?).
Republicans fight against bills that support equal pay for women who do the same jobs as men, they also opposed the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Law that simply gave women the right to sue for inequality after they found out about it.
Add to the list, Republicans opposed women having equality in the military and participating in combat duty. They sided with the military against changing investigations of widespread rapes and molestation of women in the military and of course they strongly oppose a woman’s right to make choices about her own pregnancy…they have declared that they will decide that for her.
Having that Fundamentalist Christian aspect, some Republicans have expressed that a woman’s place is to be subservient to her husband (and men in general) so this chauvinistic sensibility is very deeply embedded in Republicans and their party members.
5. The Proliferation of Guns and Gun-Related Murders
As anyone who knows the GOP well enough is aware, there is no “too far” for gun proliferation in the US. They want guns in every American’s hand, young and old. They adamantly oppose any actions that might limit the mentally ill, the criminally violent or even terrorists from acquiring guns using their pathetic slippery slope argument that any law limiting or delaying gun purchases will lead to government taking away everyone’s guns (remember how taking driving tests and requiring drivers licenses led to everyone having their cars taken away?).
And they promote and pass pro gun-use bills like Stand Your Ground which has caused citizen shootings of other citizens to markedly increase. This works wonderfully for their cause, they want Americans to live in fear of other Americans shooting them so they will buy guns and “stand their ground” too (the NRA is basically an arm of the US gun manufacturing industry which sure looks to have beaten out the tobacco industry as the most greedy and sociopathic industry in American history).
So add the support of more Americans being murdered by accidental and intentional use of guns to the GOP’s list of faves.
6. The Destruction of the Planet and Armageddon
It is quite alarming how driven Republicans are to argue against the threat of Climate Change and champion the greatest pollution of the planet possible. They sneer at the EPA as an evil spawn of government, restrictions and protections against polluting the land, air and water are seen as outrages.
Republicans are outdoing Nero, they’re not just fiddling while Earth burns, they’re pouring flammable fracking water on it and trying to outlaw any attempts by others to put it out. They WANT the nation and the planet to become more polluted because their corporate backers will get wealthier in the process. The long term doesn’t matter, kill the golden goose and doom the future as long as it means they can be wealthier today.
They don’t care about clean drinkable water which is becoming less plentiful. They don’t care about stopping the carbon pollution that is raising global temperatures, increasing (un)natural disasters and bringing about the permanent flooding of many populated areas in the US and the world.
It’s almost as if they want the destruction of the world to come sooner than later. Well, for the many Christian Dominionists and End of The Worlders in the GOP…that is something they’re working for.
They believe in Revelations and the Fundie belief in it that Jesus will return when the world is in the depths of The Apocalypse. The idiocy of these types is that when they equated Apocalypse with Jesus returning, they figured that the sooner The Apocalypse comes, the sooner Jesus would come (as if, in the logic of this story, being omnipotent, Jesus wouldn’t realize that they acted in league with the Antichrist to bring The Apocalypse about and would reward them for doing so?). So they actually do want to do what they can to bring about the end of the world.
A brief aside:
The Fundementalists always seem to gloss over that Revelations says only 144,000 believers will be taken up. There are 245 million Americans who identify themselves as Christian and before you calculate those odds, The Rapture is an equal opportunity employer when it comes to believers getting a raise so figure the odds with 2.1 billion Christians worldwide (and millions of those are babies and young children who have the advantage over adults of being innocents with no sins on their scoresheet), giving the average Christian at best, a 99.3% chance of being left on Earth to enjoy burning up horrifically in The Apocalypse. Great plan, Fundies!
And the Republican Party counts such loons as many of those making up its core…and those they need to pander to and follow. Coincidentally, it also fits in with their backers in the Military Industrial Complex to be seeking war whenever and wherever so it’s a great two-for-one deal for Republicans…pleasing both and getting money and votes as payback.
People need to really see the GOP for who they are and what they truly believe. They can’t be defined accurately by being anti-something, they have manufactured all kinds of altruistic propaganda to explain away why they oppose things that are good for the majority of people. Republicans should be seen for what they actually believe in…then maybe less and less Americans would believe in them.
Excellent article, Adlib, one of your best.
When you boil it down, republicans stand for screwing over as many people as possible, to the benefit of the oligarchs who pay for their campaigns. Any way possible. War benefits the guys who build the tools of war (guns, planes, etc.) and corporations that provide the contractors who fill in for the soldiers we can’t provide because we don’t have a draft because we don’t need a draft because we don’t need war (repeat ad infinitum).
The bigotry towards Latinos, women, blacks, and whoever else is all because republicans can’t function without an “underclass” of people to be treated like dirt because we left the slave culture behind over 150 years ago. Now That’s conservative.
Regarding Armageddon, those who are destroying our planet through deforestation and pollution of the land air and water are doing it for one simple reason: money. Although I grew up Catholic, I never read the Book of Revelations and don’t advise anyone else to, its fantasy crap: loony visions about the end of the world.
But these are the twisted freaks that the republican machine bends over for.
Having spent the last few days doing people’s taxes for them, AdLib, I’m sorry I’m late to the party as far as reading this wonderful article. But it was really worth the wait, as far as I’m concerned.
In the relatively rare conversations I have with Republicans, I’ve found that — more and more — the way to shut them down is to ask them what their plan is for the improvement of the country. They’ve spent so many years perfecting their speeches about what they’re against, that they’re caught up short when you ask them for something positive.
They seem to function almost entirely on emotion — not rational thought. And unfortunately, not even positive emotions like loyalty and compassion. But rather — fear, rage and greed.
And, as others have mentioned, they have a very rigidly hierarchical worldview. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it has seemed even more pronounced than ever now. They put forth the notion (even if they’re nihilistic atheists like Rove and Cheney) of a masculine, harsh, judgmental God who operates through his favorites — white males — who then “hold dominion” over minorities and women. Children — who have no rights except the right to work — are one step further down the food chain. Followed by animals and the earth itself — which exist only to be exploited.
Collaborative decision-making? Peer-to-peer relationships? Family circles (instead of vertical flow charts of power distribution)?
Not in their vocabulary.
Well it certainly isn’t free speech as we see in Florida and Wisconsin where using words such as ‘climate change’ has now been struck from the English dictionary.
What do Republicans stand for?
I’m not sure but it doesn’t keep their knuckles from dragging on the ground.
But It’s a BAD DEAL that is exactly like the 1993 bill which is redistribution and I totally respect the heck out of the little ladies from my cold, dead hands Al Gore.
That’s Repub logic for ya!
You forgot Benghazi, funk.
Really good post adlib.It makes for a scary read though.You nailed it
Cheers Beatlex! It is a bit disconcerting when you pile together all that Repub’s stand for and want but that’s exactly what we should do in the upcoming 2016 election. Voters need to consider the true nature of this beast and recognize what would happen to this country and world if they gained control of the WH.
Wonderful!!!!!! I am passing this gem on to all my friends….And some Republican’ts too!!!!!
Kimbanyc, nice to see you! Thanks so much!
First, I think that the GOP stands for deference and obedience. It is the duty of low ranking people to show respect for and obey their betters. That duty is not reciprocal.
Second, religion is useful as a social control. The poor will always be with us; and salvation will come in the hereafter.
Third, if you want peace, prepare for war. The world is a jungle and a country must always be ready to defend its’ honor.
Fourth, the business of the USA is business. “They hired the money, didn’t they?”
Fifth, do as I say, not as I do.
agrippa, there’s a reason Republicans went through that period after Russia invaded Ukraine when they praised the leadership of Putin and wished he was President of the U.S., the kind of government they want most is a tyranny and the kind of leadership they want most for our country is a tyrant.
They constantly display their intolerance and disrespect for the majority of Americans (the constant lying and propaganda would be enough but their positions on the issues push the needle above 11).
I do think one day this caveman party will become extinct (it will have to reform itself eventually, as Latinos and other minorities become the majority and the party of angry white males becomes a shrinking minority). When that day comes, I think people will look back to the GOP of this era and shake their heads wondering how it was as possible that they ever got enough votes to control government.
Those people praising Putin were amusing to me. But, not so much as they would be tyrannical little yes men under a tyrant.
Unfortunately, many ( if not most) people are disconnected from politics – uninformed and inactive. So, the GOP elected officials can do what they like with impunity.
I do not think that will change. I see many years of stagnation, economic, social and political.
Ad, my first thought, just like Kalima, was nothing!
Then I read the article. Now I agree with you on all the issues. They are for the rich (their owners), corporations (their other owners), and they are against women, gays, and other minorities. They are especially against our blac President!
You really hit the nail squarely on the head with this one, Ad.
Hey Nirek, thanks so much. In light of the GOP’s latest declaration to torpedo a peaceful disarming of Iran in favor of bombing them and starting a new war, I thought about how they keep defining themselves by being opposed to everything good that Obama does so I thought it was time they were seen for what they actually “support”.
They’re not nihilists, they’re Huns.
This is a nice article that provides some validation to those of us that already know or see these truths. Unfortunately the article is way too wordy for those lemmings who mindlessly believe the “anti-Identity” (to use your words) that their Rovian strategy has created.
The sad truth is that even using pictures and stick figures, we might never get our point across. The Rovian strategy is to first ‘ignite fear’ within their target audience at which point the audience will cower and follow them anywhere. Those types of followers are in fact ‘cower-ds’.
It takes courage to look at adversity and difficult problems yet step up and try to resolve those obstacles. It also takes work and their lemmings are lazy. They don’t think they need to ‘work’ for our freedom because that as given to them over 200 years ago on some pieces of parchment. They have been taught to believe they are ‘entitled’ to those rights with no responsibility to maintain them.
The genius of the Rovian philosophy is that they never ask their lemmings to do anything besides be angry, fearful and to complain. They terrorize their followers and the terrorists are currently winning. Meanwhile they have actually raised their lemmings taxes, redistributed their wealth to the rich and robbed them of some of their most important rights.
Of course they will leave one part of their rights and that is a selective few words within the second amendment that suit their needs. Because they know how difficult it would be for the rational and sane people of this country to reason with an angry, fearful complaining , lynch mob carrying guns. That crowd is in fact their version of ‘nuclear detente’ because if they can’t have it their way they would prefer anarchy and no government at all.
Aerobat, you make a good case for voting for Senator Sanders (my Senator) He is for the citizens of America, not the rich multinational corporations or the extremely rich (who buy the other politicians).
Excellent points, Aerobat and welcome to The Planet!
I’m afraid that those who are programmed to buy into the fear and hate mongering of Rove and the GOP are beyond the reach of those armed with reason. My view on this is that you can’t use reason to change the opinion of someone who didn’t use reason to adopt that opinion.
Such people are not accessible, anyone who’s tried to debate them knows that.
I think we have to be realistic and accept that there’s around 30% of Americans, according to polls and elections, that are cemented into these Repub mind sets and they could no more change that than change the religion they belong to. In fact, that is their religion.
There are the True Believers and the Cynical Opportunists that make up the GOP. The former are those who typically vote against their own interests to enrich and empower the latter. Dishonesty and hypocrisy has become rampant in the GOP because if there is one guiding principle for them at this point in history, it’s that the ends justify the means. Whatever it takes for them to gain more power and please their financial backers by making them wealthier, they will say or do it.
One would hope that there would be a last straw on the camel’s back that finally shifts the majority away from them and makes them a permanent minority party…at least until they reform into something less toxic.
I’d suggest that such a thing has been happening and is the reason they have to gerrymander so extremely, pass Voter ID laws to keep Americans from voting and always try dirty tricks in national elections…because the majority of Americans won’t vote for them anymore.
State and local elections are a different story, Repubs have their footholds around the country but they are devoid of any governing philosophy nationally other then the robotic, “Cut Taxes and Trickle Down”, “Hate of minorities and women is justified” and “Eat the poor.”
No vision for the future, no desires to make Americans lives better, just fighting to be the ones holding the knife so they can kill the Golden Goose.
Well my first answer would be, absolutely NOTHING, but on reflection, they stand for this alone. Making life unbearable for anyone who is not a man, Christian, white, rich, anti-homosexual and racist.
The other thing they don’t stand for is the SOTU speech by the President of the United States.
What a grand legacy they will leave behind in the 21st century.
Great piece, AdLib, and goodnight from me.
Kalima, great minds seem to think alike. The GOP is self destructing as we speak. In my opinion.
We can hope it’s sooner than later, Nirek, my popcorn is getting a bit stale.
Kalima, you really condensed my whole article into one precise sentence:
That about sums it up!
Well you said everything so brilliantly that there were few words left.