The shocking things the GOP and the Trumpians believe

Image by Sammy-Sander from Pixabay

As the Republican Party turns to Trumpism and the Democratic Party returns to its progressive roots, will we have an honest debate this election year in our media?

“What you see is what you get” is an old cliché, but it has lasted all these centuries because there is so much truth in it. “Don’t listen to what people say, rather watch what they are doing” is another truism we can apply to educate ourselves on politics today.

The past forty years have seen three Republican presidencies and three Democratic presidencies, and the modern priorities and values ​​of each party are now fairly clear.

On the Republican side, Reagan laid the groundwork for Bush and Trump to give $ 10 trillion in tax cuts to billionaires and giant corporations while spending an equal amount on senseless, unwanted and un-winnable wars, leaving us with a national debt of $ 20 trillion.

Trump has since merged the Grand Old Party with the undemocratic, oligarchic and white male / supremacist values ​​of the pre-Civil War South, causing his supporters to proudly display Confederate flags and strut with as many big guns as they can. carry .

On the Democratic side, there has been a steady revival of the progressive movement, along with its efforts to uplift the working class and poor Americans while cleaning up the environment and protecting the social safety net.

While the Democratic Party embraced neoliberalism for a time, from 1992 to 2016, the majority of elected Democrats today undertake to extend the benefits, freedoms and privileges of citizenship to all Americans, regardless of race, religion or gender identification.

There is an uncredited meme that has been circulating the internet in various forms for quite some time, usually titled “Shocking Things Liberals Believe” which sums it up:

  • People who work full time should not live in poverty

  • Homelessness shouldn’t exist in the richest country in the world

  • Women deserve equal rights and equal pay

  • Businesses and the rich shouldn’t be able to legally bribe politicians

  • Sacrificing the planet for profit is wrong and must stop

  • Every American should have world-class health care at little or no cost

  • Free higher education (and quality public schools) unleash human potential that benefits the whole country

  • Children should learn the true racial history of America so that they can empathize with their peers who are still experiencing these issues and grow up to be knowledgeable adults.

  • Women should make their own medical decisions, politicians should not

  • Massively profitable industries, from oil / coal / gas to Walmart and Amazon, shouldn’t receive billions in subsidies and tax breaks

  • Children shouldn’t be afraid of getting shot in school

  • When Wall Street Bankers Rob Us All They Should Be Jailed Instead Of Bailed Out

  • No CEO is worth $ 10,000 an hour ($ 20 million per year) or more

That’s actually a pretty reasonable summary of the outlook and positions of most Democrats who would describe themselves as liberal or progressive today and, without describing all of the Democrats elected, shows the direction the party is taking.

But that immediately provokes the counter-question: Now that Trumpism has taken control of the GOP, what do they believe?

Since the Party stopped publishing a platform or clear positions on the issues after the 2016 election, we have to roughly examine their behavior, but these, at least, have been consistent. Here’s what’s evident, based on “what they’re doing”:

  • “Free and fair elections” are for suckers

  • White men should rule the country and the world

  • Violence is a legitimate tool in politics

  • Conspiracy theories like the one suggesting Democrats drink children’s blood as a ‘elixir of youth’ are probably real

  • The rich and their children shouldn’t have to pay taxes

  • More guns means less crime and fewer deaths

  • The darker your skin, the more a criminal you are

  • Leadership is about instilling fear, not vision

  • Women are owned by men

  • Climate change and evolution are tricks to deprive us of our freedoms and ruin religion

  • Education makes people stupid

  • Getting into politics is the ticket to wealth and glory

  • The Rich Should Make Money With Everything Government Does Through Privatization

  • Helping people who are going through a difficult time is a waste of time

  • The “rule of law” only applies to minorities and the poor

  • Money and power are the only really important things in life

  • Teaching America’s True Racial History Is A Plot To Make White Children Sad

  • LGBTQ people don’t deserve respect or rights

  • Wealth is a proof of kindness; poverty is proof of moral failure

  • “Give” citizens things like health care, education, family leave, etc. are all “socialism” and will destroy “the American way of life”

  • The government has no right to regulate pollution or protect consumers

  • “Fiscal responsibility” is a phrase that can justify just about anything

Both are obviously partial lists, an attempt to define our political parties based on their behavior rather than their words.

It’s an election year, and these differences should be the basis of our national conversation about who will rule the country in 2023 and beyond.

Are our “reality TV” news media up to the task of comparing and opposing the two political parties, and of judging the most probable results of the orientations they have chosen?

It will be a challenge as long as Republicans keep spitting bullshit like John Kasich who said on CNN this week, during discussion of the January 6 attack, that “we have seen hatred on both sides.” Or the demagoguery of Joe Manchin, using the “but the deficit!” Long discredited! and “but the obstruction!” GOP talking points, whenever a camera appears on Capitol Hill.

On the other hand, if enough of us are active to hold our Fourth Estate to account, especially on social media, and can amplify truthful messages of compassion, clarity and reason to our friends and neighbors, maybe we can actually have a meaningful election year.

Tag, it’s you!

Comments are closed.