This week's blog posts will be a series on the US political system and its competing ideologies and groups. Today I dissect Republicans.
"Many" Republicans have, or at least sometimes have, an inherent distrust of increasing governmental power and raising taxes. "Many" Republicans tend to trust the private sector for solutions and have faith in the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith that private sector evolution will solve all problems over time with economic growth. Thus they have an inherent bias towards economic freedom, supporting free use of private property.
"Many" Republicans tend to favor conservative, slow evolution of social values and reject actions by government to impose social values on free people. Just leave us alone, they would say. They like to override states in this context.
"Many" Republicans tend to favor governmental power in the context of promoting the commercial system, including money and credit. They like to override state laws in this context and favor national solutions in this context.
"Many" Republicans favor a strong military and a strong US to project power over the world to promote freedom; they distrust treaties and leftwing dictators and Communists. They distrust leftist governments in general.
"Most" Republicans oppose using governmental power to increase power of labor unions. For example, they support the current secret union ballot requirement over "card check", which would permit union goons to extort public 'yes' votes from individuals.
"Most" Republicans think much of governmental bureaucracy is a colossal waste of money and creates massive "red tape" that hampers economic development.
"Most" Republicans believe the US is a force of good in the world.
Historically, many of the greatest US presidents and political leaders were, or would have been, Republicans: Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan. To the extent Whigs are a predecessor of Republicans, Henry Clay could be counted in the Republican camp.
Enough ... you get the general drift.
"Most" Republicans are wimps. They just aren't willing to fight to the end for their "values" They cave in and go along with proposals that sell out their principals. The most famous recent case is George H. W. Bush breaking his public promise and raising taxes. The inability of Republicans to beat Democrats in many, many elections that end up in recounts and courts again illustrates their spineless character. The Democrats break rules, and do anything to win; Republican operatives tend to want to play by the rules, hence they lose. Figuratively, one should prefer a Democrat in a foxhole in combat over a Republican.
Most Republicans seem unable to empathize with the truly needy on a national level. They ignore them, while looking to examples of abuse by fakers in gaming the system. A Republican would tell a poor person who has worked hard for his/her entire life and paid taxes for years, but now suffering a string of bad luck, to "pull himself up by his bootstraps". But have you every thought about that cliche? It's a parody - not real: try it sometimes with a real boot. All you accomplish is pulling yourself to the ground to collapse.
"Most" Republicans seem to disbelieve that government can help the national economy improve. They object to taxes for national improvements in a knee jerk fashion, conveniently forgetting the national Interstate highway system built in mid 20th century ... and the building of the national rail networks in the 19th century, both done with government support. Is that historical stupidity or ?
They object to governmental regulation or intervention in financial markets. They say, 'just let the chips fall' and it will all come out better. Hmm ... that worked great in the "flash crash" and in the Panic of 2008 when all money market funds and corporate commercial paper markets were in danger of collapse. "Most" Republicans support policies that favor financial Vikings over the common investor.
They tend to favor those with Money over those without Money in the use of governmental power. Using courts to collect debts is good, but using courts for debt relief is bad. Lenders can lie in courts and get a free pass; borrowers are to be punished for similar acts.
"Most" Republicans tend to oppose maximal personal freedom with regard to "social" or "family values" issues.
"Most" Republicans tend to believe big corporations are generally a force for good for the people and economic development; they ignore massive corporate dislocations and malfeasance: shipping jobs overseas, gross overpayment of the executive suite, huge corporate tax loopholes (really barn doors!).
"Most" Republicans favor the corporation over the union in labor issues. The third class in this battle - the people - are ignored. "Most" Republicans favor the CEOs & management in corporate governance, to the detriment of shareholder power.
"Most" Republicans tend to favor increases in governmental power for "crime" control and "security"; they do not give much weight to personal liberty or privacy in this conflict.
"Most" Republicans tend to favor right wing dictators over left wing dictators who might confiscate multinational corporate property; They tend to favor using governmental power (even via IMF-World Bank) in third world nations to shift property from government to the "private sector", viz., multinational corporations or (corrupt) national private interests.
"Most" Republicans ignore or "brush under the rug" or overtly support US policy around the world that does or tends to enrich its multinational corporations and private persons: they favor economic imperialism for private ends.
"Most" Republicans want no restrictions at all on the growth and power of the wealthy: they seem to positively ignore that such power and wealth is used to corrupt government into granting them more power & wealth. Historical and current evidence of that tendency is ignored.
The doctrine of "most" Republicans fails in both its historicity and in protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all the people. The best one can say is that it does not failure completely. There is some good in it, but much bad.
That's enough. Tomorrow I dissect Democrats.
Word of the Day
"Subsume" - verb [$10]
Subsume means to place in a more comprehensive category.
Sentence: This week's blog series will attempt to elevate our current political debates from the level of a football game, and subsume them into broad philosophical context that, I hope, will make a solution obvious. Often phasing the question correctly makes an answer obvious.