"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
- Nazi Marshal Hermann Goering -
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, the people will eventually come to believe it."
- Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels -
"REPITITION DOES NOT TRANSFORM A LIE INTO THE TRUTH."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt -
Intentional or not, the Republican Party all too often follows the practices of the above quoted Nazis: It lies. Blatantly. Over and over, it has resorted to huge distortions, smears, and misstatements rather than face and discuss issues head on. Recent examples have included false insinuations that three-time Purple Heart recipient John Kerry didn't deserve his awards (and was therefore unfit to be President), that former Senator Max Cleland was soft on terrorism and of questionable patriotism, therefore stealing his Georgia Senate seat for Saxby Chambliss (even though Cleland had left 3 limbs on a Vietnam battlefield for his country), and that Barack Obama was first, a Muslim, then one who "pals with terrorists," and then a "socialist." Each of these examples was a deliberate lie told ruthlessly and repeatedly as a tactic used to win elections. This modern-day style of dirty campaigning was begun by Republican strategist Lee Atwater in the late 1980s and has been carried on by his protege Karl Rove in 2000 and 2004, and his protege Steve Schmidt in 2008. Naturally, all the right wing water carriers like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly are always quick to jump in and parrot the latest Republican allegation. Even the religious right gets involved with these lies. Just the other day, I saw a pre-election video put out by far-right preacher Dr. Hilton Sulton. This conservative zealot said, in effect, that GOD CREATED AMERICA on Christian principles; that God is perfect and good; that those clamoring for "change" are therefore violating God's will. The inference here, of course, was that a vote for Barack Obama was a vote against God. How utterly preposterous!!! First, there is NO mention of America ANYWHERE in ANY Bible! Second, it was the Founding Fathers who specifically founded this country, NOT God, and they set up elections and three branches of government for the very purpose of EFFECTING change and in anticipation of FUTURE change! I had to laugh at how wacked-out and blatantly partisan (and dishonest) this supposedly holy Dr. Sulton was! His and his party's lack of honesty, and the Machavellian "end justifies the means" mentality they display, add to the long and growing list of reasons why I can't accept Republicanism.
I have already amply illustrated how the Republicans do not truly represent the economic or moral values and interests of the majority of the country. This explains why they must so often resort to deceit and even character assassination to get their candidates elected. Just recently, right-wing liar and radio commentator Rush Limbaugh began referring to the current economic downturn as "the Obama recession." In fact, Obama has had nothing to do with it. He is not yet President, and it was caused by, and worsened by, the application of neocon deregulatory economic principles and practices begun under Bill Clinton and greatly expanded under George W. Bush! However, truth and facts mean little to Limbaugh or many of his hardcore Republican followers. They believe what they want to, period. And all they want to believe is that which they make up.
Republican folly was personnified in the selection of Sarah Palin as their VP choice last time, and their phony manufacture of Joe the (fake) Plumber as a sort of everyday citizen folk hero being victimized by Democrats. The GOP transparently grabbed Palin for VP, thinking that disaffected Hillary Clinton voters would flock to the ticket simply because she was a woman. It didn't matter to these illogical Republicans that Palin was woefully underqualified to hold national office, or that her political views and Clinton's are 180 degrees apart. They tried to sell Palin as a likeable, down-home, average hockey mom just trying to make ends meet like everybody else (even though the Palins' family income was well above average). With Joe the (fake) plumber, they tried to use him as an example of a hardworking everyday American worker who would suffer loss under an incorrectly presented Obama tax plan. They and their phony character said that Joe was a plumber, wanted to buy his boss's business worth $250,000, but wouldn't be able to under Obama's tax plan because he would be taxed too heavily. It didn't matter that this Joe WASN'T a plumber, nor was he currently employed, nor was he trying to buy a business, that he would do BETTER under Obama's tax plan than under Republican McCain's, and that he was actually a TAX CHEAT with a $1,200 tax lien against him. In both cases, the Republican Party actively and deceitfully tried to sell voters an IMAGE rather than provide real SUBSTANCE for the campaign. Naturally, these fraudulent attempts to sway the election in their favor failed, as VOTERS DO NOT APPRECIATE BLATANT DECEIT NOR DO THEY APPRECIATE HAVING THEIR INTELLIGENCE SO THOROUGHLY INSULTED!
Republicans also love to employ overly simplistic, half-truth, "polar opposites" as a means of attacking their opponents. People and candidates who are pro-choice (meaning they believe it is a woman's personal choice, rather than the state's as to whether or not to have an abortion) are inaccurately and unfairly labeled "pro-abortion" by Republicans. Those who oppose abortion under any circumstance (even though many of these same people support pre-emptive war and the dealth penalty) are errantly and paradoxically referred to as "pro-life" by the Republicans. Those who believe trade with other countries should be mutually beneficial and subject to specific common sense terms and conditions, are labeled as "protectionists" by Republicans (even in cases where these people have not advocated protective tariffs or heavy restrictions). But - those favoring completely unrestricted trade with other countries, no matter how one-sided or foolhardy the arrangement struck may be, are called "free traders" by conservatives and Republicans. These, of course, are deliberate distortions and overly simplistic misrepresentations designed to make voters select preferred Republican candidates.
The Republicans also have a penchant for anti-intellectualism. This is because the intellectual approach of careful examination, analysis, and discussion runs contrary to their preference for simplistic slogans, half-truths, and snap-judgments. Republicans generally shun the best and the brightest and derisively call them "elitists." They apparently prefer morons who can't spell (e.g. Dan Quayle - "potatoe"), can't properly pronounce words (e.g. George W. Bush and Sarah Palin - "nukeyulur" and "Eye-rack"), or those who are addicted to undignified and unsophisticated "you betcha", "darn tootin'", "by golly", and chop-the-g-off-every-ing-word stupid colloquialisms like Sarah Palin. Utterly pathetic. Embarrassing, too.
All parties and political campaigns are guilty of misrepresentation and exaggeration. But the Republicans have a knack for going way over the top with theirs. Their vicious smears and lies are inexcusable. Their favoritism of the wealthy and big business over ordinary citizens is shameful. Their intolerance, rigidiy, lack of diversity, militarism, and refusal to recognize government as a good and necessary force to protect average citizens afrom the excesses of concentrated capital are all fatal flaws. All that plus their use of fear and mean-spiritedness are clear-cut reasons why this is not the same party which once put Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt into office, and is therefore undeserving of support.
You can judge a group, just like a person, by the company they keep. In the case of the Republican Party, their notable members have included the likes of red-baiting Joe McCarthy, Richard M. ("I am not a crook") Nixon, Spiro (I WAS a crook, so I resigned) Agnew, Dick (I'll do whatever I damn well please, Constitution or no Constitution, and to hell with YOU) Cheney, Dan (DUH!) Quayle, Lee Atwater, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, Alberto ("I'm afraid I don't recall") Gonzales, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Michele (the media should expose every member of Congress who may be anti-American) Bachmann, the hateful, vicious, venomous, ever-lying Ann Coulter, Mary Matalin, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, and Bill O'Reilly. That's quite a rogues list. These members, together with all of the reasons I have spelled out over these past 3 blogs, are perfect examples of why I can't, and will never be, a Republican.
NEXT WEEK - GRIEVOUS GOP MISTAKES: A CHRONOLOGY