Occupy the GOP

Written by Cement Canary   // 11/18/2011   // 1 Comment

Republicans never argue populism, Republicans fight battles.  They demonize populism as weak against the impending doom of the moment.  Then they always argue surrender, to them, for your salvation.  Sound familiar?  Right-wing politics is religion.

They represent an invisible fount of superior knowledge and we must have faith or we can’t have the glory of America.  Their policies are our sacrifices that in some undetermined future it will prove to be the right thing to do.  Surrendering your rights and your money will ultimately achieve a common good.  Give us your tax money and jobs will grow.  Give us your freedoms and we’ll make you free.

Critical thinking is anathema to Republican support.

Their politics operate like scripture.  Illogical representations of evil get repeated far and wide until they become common knowledge. They believe the Bill of Rights are ten commandments, and that they apply only to their flock.  Ronald Reagan, their first pope, decreed an eleventh commandment: that Republicans should never be criticized by other Republicans.  The religio-political oath of omerta.

Their alliance with Christianity is natural.  Republicans believe in one true way for all people.  Outsiders are literally damned.  Even Nixon, the ultimate pragmatist who believed that criminal activity was an acceptable cost of good governance, rejected the evangelicals.  Religion in politics was to Nixon as selling dope in the mafia was to Don Corleone, poison ultimately bad for the children.

And so it is.  Republican religio-politics is bad for the children. Their policies are anarchist, their tactics are terrorist.  Their base is hyper-radicalized lunatic fringe.  Republican politics in America is slave to this lunatic fringe, and it cannot self-correct no matter the principles of the individual participant.  Those who fight the system are starved of the resources to remain.  So are their true believers irredeemable.  They can neither be converted nor destroyed, so they must be marginalized out of existence.

Time is now for millions of progressive minded citizens to infiltrate and occupy this political party.  American democracy is an enormous franchise.  We number more than 200 million eligible voters.  Registered Republicans represent roughly 25 per cent, Democrats 30 per cent, self-identified independents nearly 40.  The hope of reducing Republicans by number is limited, as it is unnecessary.  The true hope for (d) democracy in this equation is to increase the Republicans by number.  Increasing their population with patriotic, sensible constituents reduces the concentration of radicals.  A ten per cent swing, 20 million voters, would mean a lifetime of sane and sensible discourse to our body politic.

Daniel Berrigan, a jesuit priest tried for criminal disobedience in protest of the Vietnam war, said in his defense: “The time is passed when good men can be silent, when obedience can segregate man from public risk…”  Today the time has again passed when we can accept the false equivalency of religious fanaticism and reasoned proponency.  We are a democratic republic, and we require a democratic solution.  None is more fair than than marginalizing by expansion.  We must occupy the GOP.

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. By JGeralden, 11/18/2011

    Barry Goldwater did not like the religious wing of the Republican Party either. He understood religious fanatics believe in absolute obedience. That’s how they can get someone to go into a church and shoot someone in the head as was done to Dr. Tiller.
    I once admired men in the Republican Party but that was when the Republican Party had a big Tent. Isn’t it amazing they always talk about Ronald Reagan and, when they do, it’s apparent they don’t know a thing about him?
    I’m having a hard time finding someone I admire now. Strangely enough, the addition of religion has created a toxic mix that has run every bit of reason out of the Republican Party. What’s left is a group of people who are not very hospitable. My friend Al is a lifelong Republican but, if he has an event with his republican friends I choose not attend. Their negativity, lack of tolerance and downright hatred for anyone that does not look exactly like them, think exactly like them is insufferable. How one could occupy the Republican Party and endure this is beyond me. My heart goes out to moderates in the Republican (if any are left).

    Reply

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