Reflections of a Humanist


The Lying Republicons

     In today's political debate, we are witnessing something on a scale we've never seen before in this country, except possibly in the first half of the 20th century. From the Nazis.  And that is LYING, lying all the time, about everything, to a degree that should make any adult blush - but unfortunately, doesn't. 

I'm not talking about politicians lying.  Everyone knows politicians lie.  Unlike other Americans, who tell the truth all the time, of course. As you do.

No, i'm talking about the Republicons lying. Lying all the time. Lying about everything. Lying whenever they open their mouths. It is not an aberration. It is not a coincidence. It is not a mistake.  It is a matter of deliberate policy, probably suggested by their sage wordsmith, Frank Luntz, and then repeated in every subsequent email to the troops by brilliant leaders like Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor.

     Luntz,  you will remember, is the young man who achieved notoriety when his role as the key advisor on Republicon talking points was initially revealed.  I use the term "Republicon", by the way, coined originally by broadcaster Norman Goldman, for its descriptive power.  I can practically read the emails now.

"When confronted by difficult policy matters," they would say, "just deny any charges made, go back to our talking points, repeat them over and over, and accuse the other party of anything that will stick."

     What talking points? That you don't raise taxes during a recession. That in order to create jobs, we must control government spending. That big government is the cause of all our problems. That spending must be reined in - except for defense, of course, and subsidies of various sorts to rich corporations and wealthy taxpayers.  Don't mention that all this flies in the face of everything economists know about how the economy really works.

     What the Republicons know is what the Nazis learned: that if you tell big lies, often enough, people come to believe them. They hear them all the time, they don't hear them contradicted, they begin to believe they must be true. At lunch at the Senior Center, i frequently hear otherwise sane people say things such as, "Those damn Democrats, spending all our money," and "Government is too damn big" - meaningless refrains that correspond to no real-world reality. But they correspond exactly to what Beck and Limbaugh and O'Reilly said the night before.

     These are some of the lies Republicons have been telling - and they get their surrogates, such as the commentators on the Fox network, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republicon party, to do some of the dirty work. So we have Limbaugh assuring us that Obama's not an American, and Beck going further: he hates America!  Or that the Democrats who favor ending tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires are unpatriotic.  Or that only traitors would question spending a billion dollars every week or so on the several wars we're in - all unnecessary - around the world.

     Really? Traitors?  In the 'fifties it was the Republicans who balked at foreign entanglements - how soon we forget. They were called isolationist - but not traitorous!  This kind of name-calling is the staple of schoolyard bullies who can marshal no rational arguments to support their positions.  And the Republicons, led by intellectual giants like Luntz, McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor, have perfected the technique.

     One reason they lie is that they don't dare tell you the truth about their intentions, their aims. Because if they did, they'd be run out of town on a rail. Their intention is, first of all, to make sure that the lion's share of American riches flows to their sponors, the already-wealthy. To that end they fight wage increases, scheme to disempower unions, and work tirelessly to lower the tax burden on the rich. 

     Secondly, they want to make government "smaller" - not because it does our country any good to do so, actually, but because a smaller government will have no regulatory teeth, so that rapacious capitalists who want to be able to profit without limit will not have to worry about shoddy products, harmful ingredients, disastrous polluting, dangerous mines and factories. And somehow they've managed to sell these arguments, using the same techniques that Madison Avenue uses to sell canned shaving cream and fancy lingerie, to a public worried about their shrinking share of a disappearing pie.

     And so today we have the insanity that there are literally millions of jobs available - right now, in America - for workers who can't be found to fill them, because they lack the skills. For that you can thank failing schools whose budgets have been relentlessly shredded by Republicon tax warriors, and abandoned job training programs, attacked as needless waste by Republicons since at least the days of Ronald Ray-gun (who jumped at the chance to put up a nonsensical multi-billion-dollar missile-defense shield).

     They have another major aim, besides taking as much of your money as possible and getting rid of government, and that's to defeat the President in the next election.  Now, that's ALWAYS the aim of the party out of power - everyone knows and acknowledges that, but never before has that ranked so high as an objective that it precludes a party from cooperating on policies that could put people back to work and reduce the misery many Americans must now endure.  They just don't care if people suffer - the more who do, the more likely they are to blame the guy in charge - the President - and vote for the other party (theirs) in 2012! And they're probably right, since voters typically don't analyze these things deeply.  Why else would they have voted the President's party out of power in the House in 2010, when it was Republicons during the Bush era who created the economic catastrophe we're still stuck with?

     Haven't you suspected, as you watch these Republicon charlatans, night after night, on the news, that they're lying through their teeth?  Are you so hungry for "red meat" that you encourage the political fantasies of a Sarah Palin, who can't even tell an interviewer what she reads?  Or a Michele Bachmann who doesn't know her American history, but wants you to let her lead the country? Wake up, America! The hour is late. The lies are thick. The Republic is drowning in them.

     Here's what you can do: challenge all these ridiculous assertions the Republicons make. Ask how allowing the rich to get even richer benefits you. Ask how taking away unions' hard-won rights makes workers better off.  Ask how giving multi-million-dollar bonuses to executives whose mismanagement of their companies had to be bailed out by taxpayers, benefits those taxpayers.  Ask the lying Republicons to stop lying about the fact that, for example, they have absolutely no idea how to create more jobs - except perhaps to take them away from you and your neighbors and ship them overseas.

     And don't even think about rewarding them for their crimes! Do you hire bank-robbers to guard the banks?  Do you trust felons to safeguad your homes or pensions?  Do you trust gun-makers to tell you you need to buy more guns? No?? Then don't trust the Lying Republicons.  Throw them out.  And let the Democrats - and perhaps the Green Party - who really care about you and your needs - get on with the job of putting our country back on track.