Thursday, August 6, 2009
MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF CONSERVATIVE /REPUBLICAN LIES
To all who may be attending their Congressperson's Town Hall meeting this month: Remember, as you encounter a packed room of people shouting out against health care reform, these people were most likely brought in from across the country by wealthy Republican conservatives to disrupt your meeting, and they most likely don't even reside in your district. They have been fired-up by conservative special interest group lies, and now they in turn will be repeating those lies, like President Obama's health care plan will force seniors into euthanasia, will provide taxpayer money for abortions, will end up killing people due to delays in getting medical treatments, will come between you and your doctor, and so on. ALL of these statements are LIES, and they fit a long, steady pattern of conservative, and especially conservative Republican, scare tactics and lies used for over more than 50 years to turn the public away from progressives, liberals, and progressive legislation. I present below a long, only partial, list of those lies.
After having caused the stock market crash in 1929 through years of free market, anything-goes, unregulated capitalism, the Republicans and economic conservatives of that era were horrified by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" programs of active government involvement in the economy. They said fair, common-sense, and humane measures like legalizing labor unions, instituting welfare and Social Security, implementing jobs programs for the more than 20% of the work force that was unemployed, providing unemployment for those who were out of work, and regulating banks, the stock market, and big business was "socialistic", had "gone too far", and would "destroy capitalism." Oh, yes---they also said it "wouldn't work." Sounds suspiciously similar to the type of nonsense being pedaled today by conservative Republicans like Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, doesn't it? Well, these statements were wrong then, just as they are today. They were LIES told by fearful people without vision or heart who didn't understand the situation at hand and/or didn't care about those in need all around them. What Roosevelt's measures really did, of course, was to SAVE capitalism and plant the seeds for the growth of a huge and prosperous middle class.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, ever-fearful conservatives, led by the notorious Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy, were seeing communists under every bed. Many innocent people were hurt by being blacklisted for trumped-up and supposed communist activities. This LIE about alleged communist infiltration throughout government and society unnecessarily and permanently ruined many people's lives.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the big conservative LIE concerned civil rights. Fearful conservative defenders of the status quo argued that granting civil rights to minorities through federal legislation, letting blacks eat at the same lunch counters as whites and use the same bathrooms and buses as whites, was a violation of states' rights and would destroy white American culture and civilization. This, too, was a flimsy conservative LIE. Our country is immensely better off today for having allowed people of all races, ethicities, and creeds equal access to education, employment, and social and cultural activities! Another conservative lie at this time was that, if we didn't fight in the civil war in Vietnam, that country and all the rest of Asia would go communist. This lie was even adopted, adapted, and expanded by liberal presidential cabinets during JFK's and LBJ's administrations. The rest of Asia did NOT go communist after we withdrew from that war, and all it accomplished was create huge profits for the military/industrial complex and kill more than 50,000 American soldiers and countless innocent Vietnamese civilians. Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, darlings of conservative America back then, even lied about having a "secret plan to end the war." They had none, of course, and only used and manipulated the war to gain and maintain political power.
The 1980s brought us the Reagan administration, union-busting, and "trickle-down economics." This conservative lie held that, by cutting taxes for the very rich and big business, and cutting back on the power and number of labor unions, the added wealth created at the top of the income scale would trickle down to everyone else and all would prosper. That being a LIE, of course, the only ones who prospered from the policy were the very rich and big business. The "trickle down" evaporated long before it ever hit the middle class or poor.
"Free trade" was another lie foisted on us by conservatives in the 1980s-1990s, and its close cousin was deregulation. Conservative Republicans like Milton Friedman, George H.W. Bush, Phil Gramm, and Tom DeLay, as well as right-wing think tanks like the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute began their incessant chant that any and all trade is good for everybody, and that eliminating regulations on business would result in an upswing in prosperity for all. They even succeeded in fooling President Bill Clinton and other "new" Democrats into going along with this nonsense. The fact that all this led to was an export of millions of high-paying American jobs and the freezing of workers' wages here, plus a rise in energy speculation which led to record high gasoline prices, plus ever-spiraling health care costs prove what LIES these conservative policies turned out to be!
After 9/11, hardcore neocon warmongers Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld lied to us, telling us Iraq was actively involved with AlQaeda and was building an atomic weapons stockpile. These conservative LIES led us into an unnecessary, preemptive, and hugely costly war in Iraq which has weakened our economy. This George W. Bush administration insinuated that is was totally against abortion and would overturn Roe vs. Wade. But, with a solid Congressional majority, a conservative President, and a working conservative Supreme Court majority, the Republicans made no effort at all to eradicate abortion. Instead, they cynically USED the issue as a political tool against Democrats. This made them LIARS on that issue, too, and proved that they gave it only lip service to use the religious right for votes. The Bush crew also re-fed us the trickle-down economics and tax-cuts-for-the-rich LIES, and accelerated the rates of free trade and deregulation of business to the point where we slid into the worst, deepest recession since the great crash of 1929. Again, as so often before, these conservative and Republican LIES caused nothing but damage and have brought us down.
Now we are faced with another big conservative Republican LIE: that health care does not need reform, and that doing so will make it "socialist", dangerous, and actually harmful to us all. Much like their arguments in the 1930s and steadily onward, this LIE, too, should be dismissed as nonsense designed to protect only the wealthy and hurt everyone else. Remember this steady stream of conservative Republican LIES when you meet with your Congresspersons and vote in the midterm elections next year, folks. The only fear you need to have going forward is in following today's conservative Republican talking points, which are all LIES!