Progressive Writers Bloc

Can Anyone Identify Republican values?

By Jeanie Warner

Can anyone actually identify Republican values/beliefs? The Republican Party has "flip-flopped" on every one I can think of. For example:

First I hear that they are pro-life, yet they worship Arnold Swartzenegger and Colin Powell, who are both pro-choice. And how are being pro death penalty and pro war being pro-life?

"Family values" is a buzzword with most right-wingers. Yet they don’t seem to support any of the issues that actually help families, like equal education for all children, good job creation, universal health care that families can rely upon or affirmative action programs to help out kids who come from poor families. What do they want to do for the children from poor families? They want to cut spending on head start and after school programs. And where is the funding for day care centers so that single mothers can afford to work?

They say they are for cleaner air, but work to cut pollution control standards. They say they care about the environment, but don’t support the world’s concern about global warming. They say they want to preserve America’s heritage, but promote oil drilling in our last pristine wilderness. They would permit logging in old growth forests without environmental considerations. Where are the Republican programs encouraging solar, wind or co-generation subsidies to help America wean itself away from the oil addiction?

They say they are for less government, yet the Democratic presidency of Bill Clinton was the smallest government in years and the size of the government has exploded under George Bush.

They preach fiscal responsibility yet it was a Democratic president (Clinton) that balanced the budget and left the country with a surplus. Bush has run the country on borrowed money leaving a record-breaking national debt, which will be passed on to our kids and grandkids. And how responsible is it to give huge tax cuts to the rich while the debts are piling up?

Republicans feel that campaign ads/contributions are a form of "free speech" yet when the Dixie Chicks, Linda Ronstadt or anyone from Hollywood comes out against Bush they are "unpatriotic" and should keep their mouths shut. College professors, reporters or government employees who speak out are in danger of losing their jobs.

This list could go on and on but you get my point. I'm trying to understand them but they just make it so hard...

The very meaning of Republican has undergone a major change. When neo-conservatives (imperialists at any cost) made a contract with right-wing religious fanatics to take over the Grand Old Party, people who formerly were fiscally conservative, laissez faire about foreign intervention absent an attack and socially hands-off suddenly became big-deficit military imperialists who believed American citizens should shut up and let them handle it.

I almost feel sorry for genuine conservative Republicans (if there are any left), must see the present administration of neo-cons and religious fanatics as dangerous to our country and to the rest of the world.

Though I don't agree with their politics, I cannot fault a true conservative. The Neo-Con, Radical Rightist, however, may claim to stand for limited government, but, in truth, he just wants less of the government that doesn't serve HIS needs (and wallet), especially regulatory agencies that protect the environment, food, savings and health of the People.

So how do you convince the vast majority of people in this country, who are "middle of the road" politically, that the Democratic Party is really the fiscally responsible party that has a proven track record of reducing the size of the government, improving the economy and making American lives better?

A traditional conservative Republican should, by all rights, have liked the way Bill Clinton worked. Instead, people who call themselves Republicans loathed him. A whole cottage industry of “Clinton Haters” rose up in the “90’s with magazines, books and radio talk shows to deride him and his family daily, concentrating the public’s attention on the human frailties of the President, instead of his policies of fiscal responsibility and building an economy that was good for American families.

Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America,writes, "This rightward movement has largely been accomplished by working class voters whose lives have been materially worsened by the conservative policies they have supported." "Paradoxes abound," says Frank, "on nearly any Main Street in middle America we see 'going out of business' signs side by side with placards supporting George W. Bush."

"Even when they (the extreme rightists) lose they win," Frank argues, as with the recent failure of the senate to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, "Failure on the cultural front serves to magnify the outrage felt by conservative true believers," he observes. "It mobilizes the base. Failure sharpens the distinctions between conservatives and liberals. Failure allows for endless grandstanding without any real-world consequences that might upset more moderate Republicans or the party's all-important corporate wing. You might even say that grand and garish defeat — especially if accompanied by the ridicule of the sophisticated — is the culture warrior's very object."

I should save myself a headache. I’ll probably never figure them out.

What I have come up with so far is that there may be no REAL conservative Republicans anymore. The GOP seems to have been taken over by fascist corporatists. They appear have four issues: no more taxes for the rich, no more regulation for businesses, getting rid of all those programs that help the “lazy poor” and seeing how much of the world they can control for power and profit.

Everything else looks like window-dressing; distractions for the unwashed masses that don’t bother to compare the right wing’s words with their deeds.

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