Since 1980 the Republican Party has morphed from a simple, fiscally conservative, business and military-oriented political party into something completely different. The Republican Party has become the literal political arm of Corporate America and the Super-rich.
The problem with this is quite obvious. The Super-rich and the huge corporations, like the health insurance corporations, for example, have objectives that relate directly to their stockholders. If, for example, a company can pollute and get a away with it, it may add considerably to their profits. But it may not be good for American society as a whole. In fact it may be bad or even very bad for society.
So, while one party at one time would favor business or the wealthy somewhat, today the Republican Party, now the party of Neoconservatives…Neocons…has literally become the ideological political arm, the executor of policy and legislation for large international corporations, billionaires, the inheritors of great wealth, the military brass hats…not the soldiers…and of the Right Wing.
And what does that mean? It means that the Neoconservative Republican Party turns every issue into a partisan issue. How, they ask, will this issue affect my supporters, the corporations? If alternative energy, for example, will work against the major oil corporations, then the Neocon Republicans are against it. As the political arm of the corporations, they, too, are beholden to the stockholders, not the People.
For example, when BP Oil neglected to take a fail-safe measure and lost the gamble, they dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico near the beaches of Louisiana and Florida.
But Joe Barton, Republican of Texas (who, in January 2011, will head the committee legislating energy issues in the House) actually apologized to BP Oil for their treatment by the Administration when it demanded that BP set up a fund to clean beaches and wildlife and remove the tens of millions of gallons of crude oil from the Gulf. And Barton apologized even after BP had lied about how much oil had leaked, lied about how it had happened and tried to avoid all financial responsibility for their actions.
Another example that happened in 2010 is the bill to assist “first responders” to 9/11, as a result of their contracting cancer and respiratory diseases from the toxins at the site. The Democrats in the House swiftly passed a funding to help these heroes of 9/11 and paid for it by eliminating some tax breaks for corporations.
The Senate Republicans filibustered it in the Senate. They refused to cooperate and held the responders’ health hostage because it closed the loophole that allowed American corporations to avoid paying corporate taxes by locating their headquarters in places like Bimini or the Cayman Islands or Dubai.
Perhaps the more important thing is why there is not more of an outcry by the American People against this kind of unacceptable, un-American greed. The reason is something called the “Big Lie.” The Big Lie technique of propaganda was invented by the Nazis in the 1930s when radio first became popular.
Hitler and his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels realized that if they made a strong, plausible case for a complete falsehood and kept stating it over and over—for example, blaming the Jews for every problem or act of violence that the Nazis themselves created–that the German people would eventually begin to believe their version…no matter how unlikely or even preposterous it sounded at first.
In this country, in the 1990s the AM radio networks, almost all formatted as “talk radio” where people call in or where one host simply holds forth on a subject, were purchased in great numbers by Right Wing ideologues.
Clear Channel networks alone, owned by Lowry Mays, a Right Wing Republican from Texas had 1200 stations. With new remote broadcasting techniques and new laws allowing greater broadcasting singularity, they put people like Rush Limbaugh, who agreed to tell the “Big Lie” for Republicans for millions of dollars a year.
Limbaugh was an intellectual coward but not an arch-conservative racist. Over time, however, he followed his instructions and picked up his gradually increasing paychecks as he grew into his Pro-corporate, pro-rich, anti-middle class, “Right Wing Patriot” style eventually made him a rich man, like the masters he serves.
A total failure in life up to the time the Neocons made him the “Tokyo Rose for the Hicks,” he finally found his niche when someone would encourage his adolescent behavior on behalf of an adolescent, mid 19th Century political agenda.
So, here we are, in 2010, with a firmly entrenched Neocon Party, using lies and the media instead of clubs and pistols, as the Nazis did in the 1920s and 1930s to break up meetings and challenge other political philosophies.
There are, of course, those kinds of radicals, one of whom murdered a doctor whom Bill O’Reilly constantly referred to as a “baby killer.” Then there are those crazies like Richard Poplowski, who was told that President Obama was going to “take away his guns” (although he shouldn’t have had guns in the first place) and thus lied to by the NRA and Glenn Beck and other Right Wing propagandists, shot 3 police officers dead.
Today we have Fox Broadcasting, the Fox “News” Channel, Fox Business Network, the Wall Street Journal, the National Journal, the Weekly Standard, the National Review, the New York Post, Clear Channel Broadcasting, Citadel Broadcasting, the American Spectator, Reason Magazine and thousands of independent radio stations who broadcast Right Wing radio hosts.
All of these individual propaganda units are exclusively Right Wing, Neocon organizations. You do not get on the air or into print in any of these controlled media environments until your Liberal or Progressive ideas have been filtered out. In addition, you are told what to write. Most of these people are hacks. They are people who could not get a job as a real journalist.
One good example is “60 Minutes” investigative reporter Mike Wallace’s son Chris. He is a moderately acceptable news personality. He is no investigative or news-breaking journalist like his father. He is on nationally for only two reasons…his name and his agreement to the wishes of Rupert Murdoch that he follow the company line. He is, in short, a hack. A nice-enough person…polite and seemingly agreeable…but his positions are once and always Neocon.
In other words, Chris is for Chris Wallace, for Rupert Murdoch, the Neocon Republican party and the Super-rich. He is smilingly against you, your family, your health care, your job security, your Social Security and for more dead American boys gone to fight a war for Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch. He’s a hypocrite of the worst kind.
The Reagan idea was that government had suddenly become too big and unwieldy, too complicated. “The worst nine words in the American language are ‘I’m with the government and I’m here to help.’” Reagan glibly said. But are they? Could the government have helped those who died or have been ruined by the failure of the government to respond to Katrina? If President Bush had acted responsibly could government have helped these poor people?
Do the flooded people of Tennessee not want government help? Do the elderly Americans, about 40 million over age 65, and about 60% of those who depend on Social Security for 90% of their income, in other words 24 million people who depend almost exclusively on Social Security to survive…do they not want Social Security?
Do the 5,000 Americans who are out of jobs in Wisconsin and who will not be helped because the new Neocon governor says that he will not allow the state to participate in anything that creates government jobs…do they not want government help? Apparently not. They elected a governor to do their wishes. Apparently, they would rather starve or live off charity than work on projects to develop the American infrastructure.
It is bad enough that corporations, now paying their top executives 400 times the annual wage of an average worker (as opposed to 50 times more in Europe and other advanced countries) have killed pensions and let Wall Street ruin the average 401K. But now they want to take away or drastically reduce or raise the eligibility level for workers like carpenters and firemen and police and nurses on Social Security to age 70.
How about this? Suppose we make doctors work until 70 as a matter of law. We spend a huge amount of money educating them and we spend a huge amount of money for their fees. Let’s make them work until 70 or—even better–how about 75? Why not? The brain doesn’t go away at 70. Why not age 75. Let’s make it law.
How about real public service, too. Let’s make all our Senators give up all government income and merely volunteer to be Senators for six years, and have only one term. They are all millionaires anyway. Then let’s make sure that they do not join a lobbying firm, or a corporation in which they had any personal legislative involvement while they were in Congress…for at least another 6 years.
That seems fair. If you are a Neocon and think government is too big and too powerful, then why would you object to that? It would certainly reduce spending on campaigns, reduce cronyism, and put a lot of idealistic people with nothing else to do into Congress.
They would not know enough, you say? Not enough experience? George W. Bush failed at everything in life, including making Texas last in about two dozen of the most important categories of government. Yet he was elected President for 8 years of disaster.
Government cannot get worse than it was under Bush, with 7 trillion dollars in debt and then the grand finale of a near Depression that has thus far cost another 2 trillion dollars and shows no sign of stopping.
This brings up the economics that follow the Neocon political philosophy…and the word “philosophy” is slightly ironic when you mention it immediately after mentioning the Bush Administration, not only the dumbest, but perhaps the most crooked and corrupt in all our country’s history.
The economics are simple. Cut taxes no matter what the circumstances. For example, the Republicans in the Senate will not vote for anything for anyone…and their vote is necessary…(they vote as a political bloc, like Communists or Fascists do, to manipulate the political system)…to pass legislation unless there is a provision to help the rich or large international corporations or military contractors.
As a result, we now have the richest rich in the world—and climbing–and are rapidly acquiring the largest number of poor we have ever had in this country, including the poor during the era of mass immigration and the early 20th Century before Teddy Roosevelt.
We are already a two-tier society and it is soon going to be a three tier society, with approximately 1%, or about 3 million households with incomes averaging over $300,000 and owning the majority of publicly traded corporate stock.
We are developing a large management class, with reasonably good incomes, almost no job security and a class which in addition to large mortgage debt will also carry (and does now) as its second-highest debt, student loans.
With the average annual college tuition somewhere in the $30,000 to $40,000 for private universities and in the range of $15,000 per year for public four-year universities, some well-endowed private institutions, in order to attract the best and the brightest, have been forced to pay the tuition of more than half of their student body.
Education, the Neocons say, is the future salvation of America. But they have made education accessible to fewer and fewer members of society, and make those who are very bright and do receive assistance beholden to the system.
Once you have a great education from some renowned university, like MIT, corporations will come in and offer you a job. Once you have that job, you are valuable to them as long as they keep that job in the U.S. If it turns out that they can ship your job abroad, for less money, they will do so.
In what kind of bargaining position does that put even the graduate with an advanced degree? Are you getting the idea? Neoconservatism is about control and power over others. It is not merely about obtaining wealth. It is about keeping wealth and passing it on.
One of the biggest continuing battles in the Senate is about the estate tax, the “death tax” as the Neocons like to call it. Why should a man be taxed even after he dies, they say. Well, the answer is that he is not. His heirs, who earned nothing, merely gifted with millions, are the ones taxed.
George W. Bush when he had control of every thing, passed a tax cut that included a provision that would gradually fade out the inheritance tax, which it did, in 2010. If your billionaire daddy died in 2010, you paid no federal taxes at all.
But now the obstructionist Neocon Senate wants to continue that. So, as an interim measure they demanded…or the unemployed would get no benefits (that’s how cruel and Fascist they are)…that starting in 2011, the rich get the first 5 million they inherit free of any taxes, and if married, a couple gets 10 million free and then pays 35% on the rest. There are only something fewer than 5,000 families affected by this but they are all very rich and all very upset that they will not get all the money…money which they could never spend in a lifetime and will never invest.
It should be noted that one of our most successful Republican businessmen, the Chairman of ALCOA aluminum, a man worth $40 or $50 million himself, said, after the second Bush tax cut in four years and after Bush and Cheney started a war at the same time, costing a billion dollars a day…that he had had enough. He resigned.
He wasn’t enough of a Party man, didn’t understand the difference between being a lifelong Republican and being one of the new Neocon Republicans. In other words, he was not one more concerned with preventing the average American from getting ahead nor one pounding his chest about the Founding Fathers or the military industrial complex but concerned for the welfare of living, breathing Americans.
So the economics have led us from about $800 billion in debt in 1980 to $13 trillion in debt in 2010, almost all, certainly well over $11 trillion under Reagan, Bush the Elder and Bush the Dumber.
During this 40 year period from 1980 to 2010, we have had all this debt and three major recessions, in 1981-1983, 1991-1993, and virtually the entire second Bush Presidency.
The Bush Administration will certainly be known for culminating in what will end up being seen as a real Depression that started in late 2007 and continued right through 2011 at the least. In all, over 8 years, the Bush Administration created a net total of one million jobs, and left with 15 million unemployed. (Clinton created 22 million jobs.)
So the philosophy, to the degree that it is a political philosophy and not simple, outright greed, is that we bow down to business, to the Super-rich, to energy corporations, to the military brass, to Arab governments and to China.
The Neocons court the military. They spend lavishly on unnecessary military equipment while Americans go hungry. The current military are primarily self-serving men with guns and power. They support unilateral war against inferior, far weaker countries and conflict wherever it will help us diplomatically and will help our international corporations.
This is the same kind of military, which…on a smaller scale…caused the kinds of upheavals we have regularly seen in Latin America, where every year there was some new General taking over a small country. Occasionally our military helped. As in the case of Trujillo in the Domincican Republic and Peron and subsequent generals in Argentina and Pinochet in Chile. Terrible men, despots and killers of thousands.
It can happen here. Our military is the best educated in the world and they have the best equipment in the world. We are set up to have our own Gestapo. The Blackwater private army that works for the State Department and received many of its orders apparently directly from Dick Cheney.
Blackwater travels in unmarked black SUVs with men armed to the teeth, with impunity. They did so in New Orleans after Katrina, beholden to no one…shills and protectors for giant corporations. BP Oil had armed guards keeping Louisiana citizens and reporters away from the beaches. Corporations have their own “security” now.
It is only one small step now to totalitarianism. One man, the President of the United States, stands between the American people and an armed, all-volunteer force that owes its allegiance to its military superiors. If the President becomes a Neocon, they will owe their allegiance to him. Game over.
If this country should ever be taken over by the military, any restoration of Democracy would have to come from internal revolution. No one will come to help us. Our military expenditures are greater than those of the rest of the world combined.
Of course, control of Americans will not be accomplished by force. Not when you control the media, the message and government is in the hands of corrupt politicians, including federal judges, at every level.
Look at the control corporations have over Congress right now. A few large corporations control every industry. Comcast, the largest cable operator wants to combine with NBC. NBC is owned by the largest corporation in the United States, GE. Whom will you go to for redress of your bill or the type of entertainment or news you see, or the delivery or cost of your cable service…GE…the largest, most conservative corporation in America?
Corporations hold the jobs. The Super-rich hold the corporations because they hold the stock. They own the Senate. In January they will own the House of Representatives, where people like Rep. Darryl Issa, a hugely wealthy man in his own right, has said he intends to attack the Democrats non-stop. Why? Because he can and because he is a card-carrying Neocon.
In other words, he intends to return to the McCarthy era, where anyone who does not toe the line will be accused of …something…anti-Americanism…or some invented crime. Smeared for political reasons.
It is all about fear. Creating fear is the ultimate end of a Neocon government. Propaganda leading to investigations, leading to trials, rigged by insuring that the right kind of judges preside, leading to imprisonment from conviction on trumped up charges.
Can’t happen here? It already has happened. Read about Don Siegleman the popular governor of Alabama, sent to jail on the flimsiest of charges, convicted and sent directly from the trial to a state penitentiary. He was charged, tried, convicted and quickly imprisoned at the demand of Karl Rove because he was too powerful a political opponent.
If you can’t beat them, Rove apparently thinks, then jail them. Apparently not every public official has such lack of conscience. Over 44 state Attorneys General from around the country eventually wrote to the corrupt administration of Alabama telling them that this was clearly recognized as a misuse of the judicial system.
This is what Neocon America became under Bush. The GAO actually using federal employees as political telephone banks on their lunch hours for local Neocon politicians. With only 9 of over 90 U.S. attoneys around the country being fired for refusing to conduct politically inspired investigations, the question becomes: how many did the other 80-some devoted Neocon U.S. attorneys actually participate in? .
Would that same kind of publicity that freed Don Seigelman be there for a hundred different average citizens? It only happened when Democrats came back into the majority. Would it be there for you, if your protests were heard by the wrong people?
Dick Cheney had American citizens who were “suspected” of terrorism (who, it turned out, had nothing to do with terrorism) picked up off the street. He had them sent to foreign countries for torture and interrogation. It has a name…rendition. It happened in Europe, but it also happened here.
So this is what is wrong with America right now. We have a Fascist organization parading themselves as Conservatives. They are actually Neo-conservatives, Neocons for short, who do not merely want to cut government spending. They want to eliminate government and create a society, like a Latin American dictatorship, where there are the rich and there are those who are obligated to the rich for their jobs, their education, their health…for every aspect of their existence. And what does this Neocon group expect? It’s pretty clear isn’t it?
You can’t be gay. You can’t need an abortion, which—in their philosophy—implies promiscuity. (Unless of course you are a card-carrying Neocon Senator or Governor) You can’t believe in science, including climatology, paleontology and all the sciences that follow on from evolution. You can’t be a Muslim. You can’t be a Liberal. You can’t be God-literally-forbid an agnostic or an atheist. You must own a gun, and guns should be allowed in universities and in most public areas where even children congregate.
You will be what they, the Christian Fundamentalist Neocon Super-rich want you to be. An obedient, white, Fundamentalist Christian, gun carrying, Nascar loving, fat, redneck hick. You will vote with the Party, for tax cuts, private, profitable, expensive health care.
You will keep your mouth shut and not object when your cousin or some neighbor is tossed out on the street or loses unemployment after two years in an economy where there are at least 5 applicants qualified for every job and where several thousand skilled people show up for 200 jobs. That is now. The conditions will get worse.
That may sound like a nightmare to you, but to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, a whole Republican Senate and House of Representatives, and the Super-rich who support them financially…that is life as it is meant to be, right here…and much of it right now…in the United States of America.