The following is the second in a series whose purpose is to show what's gone wrong in our nation's political arena, and to help start the process of setting things right. The series is addressed to all those who are disturbed by what the Republican Party has become, and frustrated by the failure of the Democratic Party to combat it effectively.
Summary: In the conduct of today's Republican Party, we can see a pattern of destructiveness. It displays an insatiable lust for power and wealth, an impulse to prey upon the vulnerable, a preference for conflict over cooperation, a persistent dishonesty, and a willingness to sacrifice the greater good for selfish advantage. Putting the pieces together, we see that our national crisis is not just at the political level, but goes deeper to the moral and spiritual levels.
I have a message and a plan to help turn back this force. To succeed, it will need the help of many.
The Republican Party, I have said, has been taken over by a destructive force. Time now to flesh out more of the picture showing the relentlessly destructive nature of what now animates the Republican Party:
It's a force that's insatiable in its lust for power and wealth.
- Even though we have the greatest income inequality that we've had in living memory, this force works continually to widen that gap still further. All their budgetary proposals would take from average Americans to give more to those who already have the most. As they protect those who have tripled their share of our national income, they cut food stamps to the most vulnerable Americans -- even at a time when jobs are scarce and even the middle class is struggling.
In the realm of political power, this force has given us a Supreme Court that handed down that disgraceful decision in Citizens United, making it still easier for the nation's widening inequalities of wealth to be translated into inequalities of political power. With our government put up for auction, "All men are created equal" gets swamped by the Almighty Dollar. The Republicans have been working to turn our government from one "by the people" into one controlled by those giant so-called "persons" that make up the corporate world.
It's a force that that insists on making a fight over everything.
When Barack Obama came to the presidency, hoping to restore cooperation to our political system, he reached out by proposing Republican ideas as solutions to important national problems. But the Republicans have turned politics into a form of warfare, so insistent upon conflict that they fought even against their own ideas whenever the other side adopted them.
What Republicans had once proposed as cap and trade, they now denounced as socialism. The idea of an individual mandate for health insurance - an idea originally put forward by Republicans in the Senate -- they now declared to be unconstitutional. And once it was picked up by the Democrats, a sensible idea Republicans had originally conceived and embraced became mischaracterized as "death panels."
It's a force that is consistently dishonest.
It lied us into the Iraq war. It lied about torture. It lied about where the Democratic president was born. Lied about their (lack of interest) in getting Americans back to work in the deepest recession since the Great Depression. About their (not) caring about the deficit. About Benghazi. About the IRS "scandal." A list that could go on for pages.
If you long for the American people to see the ugly picture all this adds up to, please listen to me.
Listen to me if you want to get our national conversation to focus on the question, too long unasked: "What is it that would express itself in all these ways?" What is the larger picture these pieces together create?
What is the name that we in Western civilization have traditionally given to something that: